BOOK REVIEW ~ Son of Escobar

Son of Escobar: First Born


Synopsis:

Pablo Escobar was the most notorious drug lord the world has ever seen. He became one of the ten richest men on the planet and controlled 80 per cent of the global cocaine trade before he was shot dead in 1993. In 1965, a secret mission by Colombian Special Forces, led by an MI6 agent, to recover a cash hoard from a safe house used by a young Pablo Escobar culminates in a shoot-out leaving many dead. Escobar and several of his men escape. Only a baby survives, Roberto Sendoya Escobar. In a bizarre twist of fate, the MI6 agent takes pity on the child, brings him home and later adopts him. Over the years, Pablo Escobar tries, repeatedly, to kidnap his son. The child, unaware of his true identity, is allowed regular meetings with Escobar and it becomes apparent that Roberto’s adopted father and the British government are working covertly with the gangster in an attempt to control the money laundering and drug trades. Many years later in England, as Roberto’s father lies dying in hospital, he hands his son a coded piece of paper which, he says, reveals the secret hiding place of Escobar’s ‘missing millions’. The code is published in this book for the first time.


My thoughts: After having read a few books on Pablo Escobar, when I saw this one, I was immediately intrigued and requested it with fingers crossed. And before long the next day I was reading it; devouring every word. This was the first I’d heard about a first born son, who was scooped up as the mother was breathing her last, what a story. He’s rescued and adopted by an undercover agent who is there on assignment. The agent and his wife had always wanted a child, but had been unable to conceive.

Even after some digging, they learned little more about the boy. The mother who sadly was killed was just a young teenager. The father was an older teen named Pablo Escobar, who lived 350 miles away was early in his career. I think most will find this a good book written from the son’s perspective, growing up with his adoptive family. It’s got plenty of action and excitement, I know I enjoyed the heck out of it and would recommend it for anyone who is interested in the Pablo Escobar story.  Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Roberto Sendoya Escobar, and Ad Lib Publishers.


 

SonEscobar


Publisher:  Ad Lib Publishers – 218 pages
Publication: Aug 7th, 2020
My Rating:  5/5 STARS


About the AuthorRoberto Sendoya Escobar lives with his wife in a remote finca on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca under his adopted name of Phillip Witcomb. He works as an acclaimed fine artist, and his work sells for many thousands of pounds. He plans to donate a substantial percentage of profits from this book to charities which benefit young people.


BOOK REVIEW ~ The Racetrack Gangs

The Racetrack Gangs: Four Decades of Doping, Intimidation and Violent Crime


 

Description:
Between the two World Wars, there was a dramatic upsurge of violence as rival criminal gangs vied for rich pickings from bookmakers at racetracks throughout England.

With ready access to cash, ‘bookies’ were a magnet for mobsters’ blackmailing demands. Refusal to pay resulted in severe punishment. Their justified fears spawned a ready ‘protection’ market .

Conflict between rival gangs were frequent and increasingly violent. Charles ‘Darby’ Sabini with his brothers ran ‘The Italian Mob’ who clashed with Billy Kimber and his Brummagen Hammers.

Uneasy partnerships were formed but seldom lasted. The Sabinis were friendly with the Cortesi family until a rift resulted in one of the Cortesis shooting Harryboy Sabini. Other gangs such as The Titanics and The Nile Mob were ready to fill voids. As well as broken alliances, internal friction and members changing sides resulted in bloodshed on the streets, in pubs and clubs and on the courses. Public order was so threatened that the Flying Squad was tasked with the eradication of the problem and, in 1936, the celebrated Battle of Lewes Racecourse brought matters to a bloody conclusion.

This well researched and gripping account describes the vicious dramas played out in the 1920s and 1930s.


My thoughts:  This being another Dick Kirby book, I “wished” for it, and in a reasonable time was informed that I’d been chosen to get it. This is a book about British true crime gangs in the early part of the last century. It focuses on the ones in particular that were preying on the racetracks, and the bookmakers who went there with money much of the time. The gangs would fight each other when they weren’t jumping other people for money. Their allegiance to a certain gang would be pretty fluid too, depending how the wind was blowing that week.

It goes over different violent cases involving gang members and attacks on bookies, other gangs, and just random folks in different areas through the years. It gives what information is known on who was involved and what happened. Then if available, it also tells the charges filed and court cases with the outcomes when known and sentences. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Dick Kirby, and publisher Pen & Sword.


 

RacetrackBangs


Publisher: Pen & Sword – 224 pages
Publication: Oct 30th, 2020
My rating: 3/5 STARS


About the author– Dick Kirby was born in the East End of London and joined the Metropolitan Police in 1967. Half of his twenty-six years’ service was spent with Scotland Yard’s Serious Crime Squad and the Flying Squad.

Kirby contributes to newspapers and magazines on a regular basis, as well as appearing on television and radio. The Guv’nors, The Sweeney, Scotland Yard’s Ghost Squad, Brave Line Death on the Beat, Scourge of Soho, Crime and Corruption at The Yard and London Gangs at War are all published under the Wharncliffe True Crime imprint and he has further other published works to his credit. On retirement he lives near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Kirby can be visited at his website: http://www.dickkirby.com.


BOOK REVIEW ~ Poetic License

Poetic License:  A Memoir


Synopsis:
At age forty, with two growing children and a new consulting company she’d recently founded, Gretchen Cherington, daughter of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Richard Eberhart, faced a dilemma: Should she protect her parents’ well-crafted family myths while continuing to silence her own voice? Or was it time to challenge those myths and speak her truth—even the unbearable truth that her generous and kind father had sexually violated her ?

In this powerful memoir, aided by her father’s extensive archives at Dartmouth College and interviews with some of her father’s best friends, Cherington candidly and courageously retraces her past to make sense of her father and herself. From the women’s movement of the ’60s and the back-to-the-land movement of the ’70s to Cherington’s consulting work through three decades with powerful executives to her eventual decision to speak publicly in the formative months of #MeToo, Poetic License is one woman’s story of speaking truth in a world where, too often, men still call the shots.


My thoughts: This was an interesting read. I try not to read much of the descriptions, before I read the book as I prefer to go in cold if I can, or close to it. I enjoyed following Gretchen as she shared what it was like growing up with her poet father as he wrote, slogging along and trying to improve himself as a poet and studying the old poets. She saw how he eventually made some headway in his career, writing poems that were recognized and gaining some visibility.

His career took off, book sales improved. He began winning different awards and attaining more prestigious posts as a result. It was her father with all of his fascinating friends that she wanted to know about and understand more. He was often gone on trips, going to visit his poet and writer friends and have a good time. She thought if she could figure out her father, she would understand herself. This became more important when they began having problems between them, her and her Dad.

It’s a complicated story of a family, and how their early years affected the rest of their lives. Advanced electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, the author Gretchen Cherington, and publisher She Writes Press, for my unbiased review.


PoeticLicense


Pubisher:  She Writes Press – 261 pages
Publication:  Aug 4th, 2020
My rating:  4/5 Stars


 

The Author– At age forty, with two growing children and a new consulting company she’d recently founded, Gretchen Cherington, daughter of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Richard Eberhart, faced a dilemma: Should she protect her parents’ well-crafted family myths while continuing to silence her own voice? Or was it time to challenge those myths and speak her truth―even the unbearable truth that her generous and kind father had sexually violated her?

In this powerful memoir, aided by her father’s extensive archives at Dartmouth College and interviews with some of her father’s best friends, Cherington candidly and courageously retraces her past to make sense of her father and herself. From the women’s movement of the ’60s and the back-to-the-land movement of the ’70s to Cherington’s consulting work through three decades with powerful executives to her eventual decision to speak publicly in the formative months of #MeToo, Poetic License is one woman’s story of speaking truth in a world where, too often, men still call the shots.


BOOK REVIEW ~ They Called Him a Gangster

They Called Him a Gangster: My Secret Life with Meyer Lansky, the Financial Genius Behind the Mafia


 

Synopsis:
A powerful memoir about a secret life with the head of the mafia.

Only few people are well acquainted with Meyer Lansky, known as the ‘Mob’s Accountant’ who, in his youth, managed the investments of the New York mafia and was considered one of the leading figures of the city’s underworld.

Most of the stories known to the public are related to his past illegal activities. But as we are all aware, there is more than one side to every story.

The Other Side of the Story is a captivating biography that sheds a positive new light on the character of the “Gangster”.
Zali de Toledo was a teenager who arrived in Israel into a new culture, wishing simply to make a fresh start in her beloved country.

While working as a waitress in the “Dan” hotel lobby, the two met, as fate would have it. Soon, an intimate relationship developed between them and their secret love blossomed and flourished.

In this riveting unique memoir, de Toledo reveals the powerful love affair she had with Lansky, the hundreds of letters he wrote to her over the years, the other personality and sensitivity of the man who was, in the eyes of many, a criminal, the little things between him and her, and the tough decisions they had to make.


 

My thoughts:  This isn’t your typical gangster memoir, I found. It has a whole different angle and flavor to it. Be prepared for something different from your usual mob book. This is more intellectual and political, dealing with current affairs of the time, and affairs of the heart too, you could say. I enjoyed reading this book because it was different from your usual shoot-em-up gangster title, and more of a love story, with the very-married Lansky trying to return to Jerusalem to spend some time with his mistress. His detractors have been keeping him away based on his former bootlegging reputation, while his health declines. Advanced electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, the author Zali de Toledo, and publisher BooksGoSocial, for my unbiased review.


 

GangsterMeyer


 

Publisher: BooksGoSocial – 250 pages
Publication: Aug 2nd, 2020
My rating: 3/5 Stars


 

From the author– Meyer Lansky always said that the truth has three realities: mine, yours and the truth’s own. So many books and articles have been written and movies have been made about him, mostly based on the FBI files or hearsay. In the 70’s, Gabriel Bach, former State Attorney and then Judge of the Supreme Court of Israel, brought these files over, and they found their way to Prof. Walkaway, a historian at the Tel Aviv University, who told me there was nothing for which Meyer could be put on trial.

I have written here my side of the story, the other truth, from Meyer’s point of view, as per his own words in the many letters he wrote to me.


 

BOOK REVIEW (ARC) ~ Trial by Fire

Trial by Fire: A Devastating Tragedy, 100 Lives Lost, and A 15-Year Search for Truth


Synopsis:
In only 90 seconds, a fire in the Station nightclub killed 100 people and injured hundreds more. It would take nearly 20 years to find out why—and who was really at fault.

All it took for a hundred people to die during a show by the hair metal band Great White was a sudden burst from two giant sparklers that ignited the acoustical foam lining the Station nightclub. But who was at fault? And who would pay? This being Rhode Island, the two questions wouldn’t necessarily have the same answer.

Within 24 hours the governor of Rhode Island and the local police commissioner were calling for criminal charges, although the investigation had barely begun, no real evidence had been gathered, and many of the victims hadn’t been identified. Though many parties could be held responsible, fingers pointed quickly at the two brothers who owned the club. But were they really to blame? Bestselling author and three-time Emmy Award-winning reporter Scott James investigates all the central figures, including the band’s manager and lead singer, the fire inspector, the maker of the acoustical foam, as well as the brothers. Drawing on firsthand accounts, interviews with many involved, and court documents, James explores the rush to judgment about what happened that left the victims and their families, whose stories he also tells, desperate for justice.

Trial By Fire is the heart-wrenching story of the fire’s aftermath because while the fire, one of America’s deadliest, lasted fewer than two minutes, the search for the truth would take twenty years.


 

My thoughts:  This story about a tragedy in a club back in 2003 really got to me once I started reading it. I don’t know how you could read it and not be affected by it, really. It is so well-researched and told that you almost feel a part of things as you read along. I couldn’t help but feel for both the owners of the club, the brothers, but also the victims, those who got out, the ones who were injured and survived, the ones who perished; and the families of all of them. There was a lot to this story, it wasn’t so cut and dried and I found it fascinating. I plan to do more reading on it as I plan to find some of the other books that are mentioned about it in this book. I’ve already seen the video that was captured that night it happened by pure happenstance, and it was horrifying to see it after reading the book. It’s totally haunting to watch anytime, knowing that 96 souls died in that space, with 4 more losing their battle in the hospital later.

I highly recommend this for anyone wanting to learn more about this famous case, perhaps ready for a fresh perspective, or interested in this type of non-fiction book.  Just be warned that it is very heavy subject matter if you are of delicate nerves.  Advanced electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, the author Scott James, and publisher for my unbiased review.


 

trialbyfire


 

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books  – 384 pages
Publication:  Oct 27th, 2020
My rating:  5/5 Stars


 

The Author– SCOTT JAMES is the bestselling author of the novels The Sower and Soma, finalist for the national Lambda Literary Award for debut fiction, under the pen name Kemble Scott. With his weekly eponymous San Francisco column for The New York Times, James found stories that drew coverage from other national and international media, including The New Yorker, The London Times, The Guardian, and many more. He’s been honored with three Emmy Awards for his work in television news. He lives in San Francisco, and is co-founder of The Castro Writers’ Cooperative, known as The Coop, a co-working space for Bay Area writers.


 

BOOK REVIEW (ARC) ~ Big Kibble

Big Kibble: The Hidden Dangers of the Commercial Pet Food Industry and How to Do Better by Our Dogs


 

Synopsis:
A big, inside look at the shocking lack of regulation within the pet food industry, and how readers can dramatically improve the quality of their dogs’ lives through diet.

What’s really going into commercial dog food? The answer is horrifying.

Big Kibble is big business: $75 billion globally. A handful of multi-national corporations dominate the industry and together own as many as 80% of all brands. This comes as a surprise to most people, but what’s even more shocking is how lax the regulations and guidelines are around these products. The guidelines―or lack thereof―for pet food allow producers to include ever-cheaper ingredients, and create ever-larger earnings. For example, “legal” ingredients in kibble include poultry feces, saw dust, expired food, and diseased meat, among other horrors. Many vets still don’t know that kibble is not the best food for dogs because Big Kibble funds the nutrition research. So far, these corporations have been able to cut corners and still market and promote feed-grade food as if it were healthful and beneficial―until now.

Just as you are what you eat, so is your dog. Once you stop feeding your dog the junk that’s in kibble or cans, you have taken the first steps to improving your dog’s health, behavior and happiness.

You know the unsavory side of Big Tobacco and Big Pharma. Now Shawn Buckley, Dr. Oscar Chavez, and Wendy Paris explain all you need to know about unsavory Big Kibble―and offer a brighter path forward for you and your pet.


 

My thoughts:  This is a very informative book on dog FEED (note the difference) that will give you a quick education on the history of kibble and what is allowed to go into it. I’d done some reading before about dog foods/feeds while researching a good kind to feed to my own dogs, and had been shocked at some of the things that are really allowed to go into them. So I was interested to read this book to see if that was confirmed here. I also wanted to check out the recipes for making your own dog food from fresh, which seems to be the best way to go, or buying it premade from a vendor. Either that, or doing the raw food. It just depends on how much time you have, of course and how far you want to dive into it.

The book is a good read for any dog owner who wants more information on kibble and dog nutrition, and you can always ask your vet’s opinion about what you read as well, if you have any questions. The authors are up front about the fact that they recently launched a fresh food delivery service, and they want to share some of what they learned about dog nutrition, and recipes with dog owners. Advanced electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, the authors Shawn Buckley & Dr. Oscar Chavez, and publisher St. Martin’s Press for my unbiased review.


 

BK


 

Publisher:  St Martin’s Press – 310 pages
Publication:  Nov 10th, 2020
My rating:  5/5 Stars


 

The Authors– Entrepreneur and founder SHAWN BUCKLEY and veterinarian and professor in clinical pet nutrition DR. OSCAR CHAVEZ are the owners of Just Food for Dogs, a pioneer and disrupter in the dog food industry, and the leading brand of dog food made with USDA approved whole foods, fit for human consumption.


 

BOOK REVIEW (ARC) ~ The Mourning Report

The Mourning Report


 

Synopsis:
Two years after her mother’s death from breast cancer, Caitlin, then 20 years old, was admitted to a psychiatric facility after a suicide attempt. There, a therapist diagnosed her with major depression and anxiety, and she spent time as an inpatient.

Years later, still suffering from grief and depression, Caitlin decided to embark on a “grief journey,” interviewing the people involved in her mother’s dying process: a hospice nurse, a priest, an estate planner, a hairstylist, and a funeral director. If she figured out how they could function after being so close to her mother’s death, then maybe she could learn how to navigate her own life.

Each chapter of The Mourning Report is centered on each interview and the memories, anxieties, and reflections that it stimulated. It asks what it means to “move on.”


 

My thoughts: This book jumps around in time in its telling of the story. Not necessarily a bad thing, just the choice of the writer, Caitlin Garvey, who shares her extremely painful journey watching her mother pass away from cancer. It details her rough time putting her life back together and moving on after the loss; which some may relate to if they’ve lost someone that close to them. For a young woman like her, there could be no one closer, just as it is for most.

I found the book easy to become involved in and feel a part of. I read it in one go, other than being interrupted by a puppy’s mischief a time or three. I needed the breaks, as I’m the emotional type that tends to go through a lot of tissues reading books like this. I found it really moving and heartfelt. I would suggest it for anyone interested in grief, or memoirs. Advanced electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, the author Caitlin Garvey, and publisher Homebound Publications for my unbiased review.


 

Mourning


 

Publisher:  Homebound Publications – 168 pages
Publication:  Oct 6th, 2020
My rating:   4/5 Stars


 

The Author– Caitlin Garvey is a Chicago-based writer and English professor. She has an MFA from Northwestern University and an MA in English Literature from DePaul University. Her nonfiction has been nominated for multiple awards, including The Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and has appeared in The Baltimore Review, Post Road Magazine, The Tishman Review, Little Fiction: Big Truths, Matter Press, Ragazine, JuxtaProse, among others.


 

BOOK REVIEW (ARC) ~ A Brotherhood Betrayed

A Brotherhood Betrayed: The Man Behind The Rise And Fall Of Murder, Inc


Synopsis:
The riveting true story of the rise and fall of Murder, Inc. and the executioner-turned-informant whose mysterious death became a turning point in Mob history.

In the fall of 1941, a momentous trial was underway that threatened to end the careers and lives of New York’s most brutal mob kingpins. The lead witness, Abe Reles, had been a trusted executioner for Murder, Inc., the enforcement arm of a coast-to-coast mob network known as the Commission. But the man responsible for coolly silencing hundreds of informants was about to become the most talkative snitch of all. In exchange for police protection, Reles was prepared to rat out his murderous friends, from Albert Anastasia to Bugsy Siegel—but before he could testify, his shattered body was discovered on a rooftop outside his heavily-guarded hotel room. Was it a botched escape, or punishment for betraying the loyalty of the country’s most powerful mobsters?

Michael Cannell’s A Brotherhood Betrayed traces the history of Murder, Inc. through Reles’ rise from street punk to murder chieftain to stool pigeon, ending with his fateful death on a Coney Island rooftop. It resurrects a time when crime became organized crime: a world of money and power, depravity and corruption, street corner ambushes and elaborately choreographed hits by wise-cracking foot soldiers with names like Buggsy Goldstein and Tick Tock Tannenbaum.

For a brief moment before World War II erupted, America fixated on the delicate balance of trust and betrayal on the Brooklyn streets. This is the story of the one man who tipped the balance.


My thoughts:
This is a well-written mob story about Murder, Inc. that I enjoyed recently. It tells the tale of the group that was formed to handle the punishments or hits for the mob after the families became equal under the Commission. This was brought about by Lucky Luciano when he killed the last of the Mustache Petes, who insisted on doing things the old way, with one boss having to be in charge over everyone. This cleared the way for Jews to now be part of it too, among other changes.

The families could just get in touch with Murder, Inc. when they had a problem with one of their members getting out of line or bringing too much heat. They could also be called if a member was suspected of talking to the authorities. They were chosen because they were already known as ruthless killers who had become pretty efficient at it. That only increased after it became their major interest. This book would be of interest to most who like true crime/ mob books, especially those from past generations, like in J. Edgar Hoover’s time. Advanced electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, the author, Michael Cannell, and publisher in return for my honest review.


Brotherhood


 

Publisher: Minotaur Books – 336 pages
Publication: Oct 6th, 2020
My rating: 4/5 Stars


The Author– Michael Cannell is the author of three non-fiction books, most recently Incendiary: The Psychiatrist, the Mad Bomber and the Invention of Criminal Profiling (St. Martin’s Press). The Limit: Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit (The Twelve) was published in 2012. The Sundance Channel/AMC has optioned The Limit to be made into a television series. I.M. Pei: Mandarin of Modernism (Crown) was published in 1995. Michael was editor of the New York Times House & Home section for seven years. He has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Sports Illustrated and many other publications. He lives in New York City.


BOOK REVIEW ~ Gentle on my Mind

Gentle on my Mind: In Sickness and in Health with Glen Campbell


Synopsis:
The page-turning, never-before-told story of Kim Campbell’s roller-coaster thirty-four-year marriage to music legend Glen Campbell, including how Kim helped Glen finally conquer his addictions only to face their greatest challenge when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Kim Campbell was a fresh-faced twenty-two-year-old dancer at Radio City Music Hall when a friend introduced her to Glen Campbell, the chart-topping, Grammy-winning, Oscar-nominated entertainer. The two performers from small Southern towns quickly fell in love, a bond that produced a thirty-four-year marriage and three children.

In Gentle on My Mind, Kim tells the complete, no-holds-barred story of their relationship, recounting the highest of highs—award shows, acclaimed performances, the birth of their children, encounters with Mick Fleetwood, Waylon Jennings, Alan Jackson, Alice Cooper, Jane Seymour, and others—and the lowest of lows, including battles with alcohol and drug addiction and, finally, Glen’s diagnosis, decline, and death from Alzheimer’s.

With extraordinary candor, astonishing bravery, and a lively sense of humor, Kim reveals the whole truth of life with an entertainment giant and of caring for and loving him amid the extraordinary challenge of Alzheimer’s disease. This is a remarkable account of enduring love, quiet strength, and never-faltering faith.


 

My thoughts:  This was a wonderful though ultimately sad read. I’d seen the documentary a few years back that I found so profound, and this was the perfect follow-up to it. So very moving, it shares a lot more about Glen’s background I didn’t know. Their love story is also rather amazing by itself, with some major challenges, but Kim was in it for life. I do think this really shined a light on Alzheimer’s and got people thinking and talking about it. Not to be missed by real Glen Campbell fans, or those with an interest in Alzheimer’s. Advanced electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, the author Kim Campbell, and publisher Thomas Nelson for my unbiased review.


GentleMind


Publisher: Thomas Nelson – 304 pages
Publication: June 23rd, 2020
My rating: 5/5 Stars


The Author- Kim Campbell was married to legendary country/pop star Glen Campbell for thirty-four years until his passing in August of 2017, following a long and very public battle with Alzheimer’s. The award-winning documentary, Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, shared their family’s journey with the world and opened up a national conversation about the disease. Kim’s work as an advocate for people with dementia and for their families has taken her to Capitol Hill and the United Nations, and she is the creator of a website called CareLiving.org that encourages, informs, and inspires caregivers to take care of themselves while caring for others. She also established the Kim and Glen Campbell Foundation to advance the use of music as medicine to unlock forgotten memories, restore and rebuild neural pathways, alleviate depression, manage behaviors and boost cognition. Kim is an honorary faculty member of the Erickson school of Aging Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, holds a BFA from East Carolina University, and studied interior design at UCLA. To book Kim for speaking engagements, go to apbspeakers.com.


BOOK REVIEW (ARC) ~ Dopeworld

Dopeworld: Adventures in the Global Drug Trade


 

Synopsis:
In this irreverent ode to gonzo journalism, one writer travels the globe to explore the use of recreational drugs in cultures around the world.

After I got out of jail, I was determined to find out more about how the issue of drugs not only landed me there, but has shaped the entire world: wars, scandals, coups, revolutions. I read every book, watched every documentary. I saved up to buy plane tickets. I went to Colombia, Mexico, Russia, Italy, Japan and the Afghan border—all in all, fifteen countries across five continents.

Call me Narco Polo.

Just as Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations did for the world of food, Dopeworld is an intoxicating journey into the world of drugs. From the cocaine farms in South America to the streets of Manila, Dopeworld traces the emergence of psychoactive substances and our intimate relationship with them. As a former drug dealer turned subversive scholar, with unparalleled access to drug lords, cartel leaders, street dealers and government officials, journalist Niko Vorobyov attempts to shine a light on the dark underbelly of the drug world.

At once a bold piece of journalism and a hugely entertaining travelogue, Dopeworld is a brilliant and enlightening journey across the world, revealing how drug use is at the heart of our history, our lives, and our future.


My thoughts: This was certainly a unique way of looking at the history and place/power of drugs throughout the world. I found it very enlightening, learning a huge amount about the history of drug use I never knew or would have thought would all be real.

Author/journalist Niko Vorobyov delivers his work in a way that kept me returning for more of the edge of witty humor running through it.  I couldn’t stop until I reached the end, and was left thinking about it afterward.  Advanced electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, the author, and publisher in return for my honest review.


 

DOPEWORLD


Publisher: St Martin’s Press – 432 pages
Publication: August 18th, 2020
My rating: 4/5 Stars


 

The Author– Niko Vorobyov was born in Leningrad, Russia, before moving to Great Britain. From 2013-2014 he served a two-and-a-half year sentence for Possession with Intent to Supply. Upon his release, he graduated from University College London and began working at a Russian news outlet, Russia Today, before putting together his media, academic, and under-the-counter expertise to write a book.