Wednesday, August 13, 2014

marching powder

I finished this book last week and was hooked from start to finish. Marching Powder is about one of the most famous tourist attractions in Bolivia, the San Pedro prison. Yes, I said that right. Men and women from all over the world travel to witness and even stay in the world's most bizarre prison. Within its walls is an economy more stable than the country of Bolivia itself. Told by an actual tourist who voluntarily lived in the prison for 3 months to write this book, Marching Powder is an accunt of Thomas McFadden's life in San Pedro, from the moment he was arrested to his release.

McFadden was arrested for attempting to smuggle 5 kilos of cocaine out of Bolivia. He lands himself in San Pedro prison and nearly dies, without the help of a fellow inmate. While in San Pedro he learns that money rules everything and that with the right amount, you can live pretty comfortably. It was not uncommon for women and children to live with their husbands and fathers in jail. If you had enough money, you could live much better than many of the free citizens in Bolivia in San Pedro. Thomas McFadden unofficially becomes the prison tour guide and entertains and amazes men and women from all over the world with his stories and notorious prison parties.

This book is not the most eloquently written, but the subject matter is so unbelievable and fascinating, it made up for its lack of articulation. This was probably one of my favorite nonfiction books I've read this summer and in my life and another one that will make a great movie someday.

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