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Marching Powder - Rusty Young

Paperback

Published: 2nd July 2004
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Marching Powder is the story of Thomas McFadden, a small-time English drug smuggler who was arrested in Bolivia and thrown inside the notorious San Pedro prison.

He found himself in a bizarre world, the prison reflecting all that is wrong with South American society. Prisoners have to pay an entrance fee and buy their own cells (the alternative is to sleep outside and die of exposure), prisoners' wives and children often live inside too, high quality cocaine is manufactured and sold from the prison.

Thomas ended up making a living by giving backpackers tours of the prison - he became a fixture on the backpacking circuit and was named in the Lonely Planet guide to Bolivia. When he was told that for a bribe of $5000 his sentence could be overturned, it was the many backpackers who'd passed through who sent him the money. Sometimes shocking, sometimes funny, Marching Powder is an always riveting story of survival.

About the Author

Rusty Young is an Australian lawyer who met Thomas McFadden on a tour of San Pedro. He was so impressed by him that he stayed there (voluntarily) for three months in order to write his story. Thomas McFadden is now a free man, living in London.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Marching Powder
 
4.8

(based on 4 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Deserves multiple readings (3)
  • Easy to understand (3)
  • Informative (3)
  • Well written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual reader (3)

      Reviewed by 4 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-4

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      5.0

      It's almost as if it's fiction!

      By KB

      from Melbourne, AU

      About Me Casual Reader

      Pros

      • Couldn't put it down
      • Deserves Multiple Readings
      • Easy To Understand
      • Informative
      • Well Written

      Cons

      • Couldn't put it down

      Best Uses

      • Travel Reading

      Comments about Marching Powder:

      I came across Marching Powder a few years back when I'd seen Rusty Young (the author) interviewed on the Panel, and was really intrigued by his story and wanted to know more.
      When I began reading I was surprised at how engaging his writing was and how real the story was. Reading about the conditions in the prison and the lengths that the prisoners had to go to was so surreal and hard to believe that it was reality rather than fiction. The more I read, the more addictive the story became and although in some parts it was quite graphic and descriptive it was almost like watching a car crash in slow motion, you don't want to look but at the same time you can't resist, because you want to see what happens.
      I have since recommended this book to all of my friends, who have all agreed that it is a fantastic read, an eye opener. Highly recommend – but don't lend it out, as it will never comeback!

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      Eye Opener!

      By Roh

      from Australia

      About Me Casual Reader

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Deserves Multiple Readings
      • Easy To Understand
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Marching Powder:

          Fantastic and interesting insight to the south american jail system.

          Comment on this review

           
          4.0

          Very interesting

          By Betty

          from Holbrook

          About Me Bookworm

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Deserves Multiple Readings
          • Informative
          • Shocking

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Travel Reading

            Comments about Marching Powder:

            I really enjoyed this book. It takes you on a bit of an emotional journey. Very eye opening.

            Comment on this review

             
            5.0

            An awesome fun read!

            By Snag

            from Tasmania

            About Me Casual Reader

            Pros

            • Easy To Understand
            • Informative
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Older Readers

              Comments about Marching Powder:

              I started reading this book and it was a mates so I did not expect to finish.

              I had to buy it so I would finish it. I was captivated by a few chapters in. I wanted to know about Thomas Mc Fadden and reading about him and his experience was so much fun.

              The whole book turned out to be a crazy experience I did not expect!
              I finished the bookand could think back on it all with a smile.

              It was funny, exciting and sad!
              Just a great read!

              Comment on this review

              Displaying reviews 1-4

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              ISBN: 9780330419581
              ISBN-10: 0330419587
              Audience: General
              Format: Paperback
              Language: English
              Number Of Pages: 371
              Published: 2nd July 2004
              Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0  x 2.5
              Weight (kg): 0.298