Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Review: ESCOBAR by Roberto Escobar


Escobar: The Inside Story of Pablo Escobar, the World's Most Powerful Criminal. as Told by His Brother Roberto Escobar“I’m defending him because it is the right thing to do.” - Roberto Escobar on his brothers Godfather like perception and underworld heavy weight judgement by the public by in large. Roberto Escobar depicts Pablo as a Robin Hood-type character; someone who gave back to his people as opposed to the ruthless drug magnate the media inflated him to be; the book, ESCOBAR stresses this yet still leaves room for interpretation.

ESOCBAR is an informative, one-sided, and interesting look at one of the world’s most famous criminal figures in drug trafficking kingpin, Pablo Escobar. While ESCOBAR doesn't add much by virtue of providing the reader with an insight into deep and dark secrets, it does provide a glimpse at life of Pablo and his family whilst on the run from authorities, his vast methods for smuggling drugs around the globe, the sums of cash he had hidden, and his networks of lawful and unlawful people alike.

Despite the core topic being about Pablo, its Roberto who often takes center stage and tells his story while brushing over Pablo in passing. I wouldn’t have minded so much if the book jacket specified a story about the Escobar brothers but it didn’t – as a result I left wanting more of Pablo and his trials and tribulations. More along the lines of the quote below would’ve really added a truer reflection of the books intended purpose:

“On December 3 the New York Times announced the death of Pablo Escobar on the front page. “Pablo Escobar, who rose from the slums of Colombia to become one of the world’s most murderous and successful cocaine traffickers, was killed in a hail of gunfire...

            “The death is not expected to seriously affect cocaine traffic.”

When Roberto focused on his sole existence whist incarcerated, the writing improved along with the recollection and intensity. I found the last portion of the book very satisfying.

“The bomb exploded in my face. My eyes were gone. The explosion had lifted me off my feet to the ceiling, breaking the ceiling tiles with my head. The world was black. I smelled the blood. God, I thought, don’t let me die here.” – Roberto Escobar on a failed attempt on his life whilst incarcerated.

Overall, ESCOBAR is informative and insightful and has me interested to read more about Pablo and his exploits.

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