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American Desperado: My Life as a Cocaine Cowboy | [Jon Roberts, Evan Wright]

American Desperado: My Life as a Cocaine Cowboy

American Desperado is possibly the most jaw-dropping, event-filled, adrenaline-soaked criminal autobiography ever written. Like a real-life Scarface Jon was born into the upper levels of the Gambino crime family and witnessed his first murder at age seven. He became a one-man juvenile crime wave before joining an assassination squad in Vietnam.
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Publisher's Summary

American Desperado is possibly the most jaw-dropping, event-filled, adrenaline-soaked criminal autobiography ever written. Like a real-life Scarface Jon was born into the upper levels of the Gambino crime family and witnessed his first murder at age seven. He became a one-man juvenile crime wave before joining an assassination squad in Vietnam. He returned to New York at age 20 to become one of the city's top nightclub promoters, then journeyed to Miami where he became the de facto transportation chief of the Medellin Cartel, and along with a tech-wizard partner, created some of the most sophisticated smuggling technologies ever. With a hulking 6'6" bodyguard always at his side, and a rural fortress protected by mortars, tear-gas cannons, and a gold-fanged attack dog, Roberts was brutally effective at what he did. To law enforcement, he was known as the "Bearded Gringo," a spectre they could never touch. To United States senators and CIA officials, he was "the guy who can get things done". He eventually formed a clandestine alliance with the US government and in the end found personal late-life redemption.

©2011 Jon Roberts and Evan Wright (P)2011 Random House AudioGo LTD

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (139 )
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4.6 (101 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Wras 23/12/2012
    Wras 23/12/2012 Member Since 2012

    Kildonan by the sea

    HELPFUL VOTES
    229
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    79
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    Overall
    "Bragging from soulless man."

    The reader is great but the content is less than satisfying.

    Some of the escapades are entertaining, but something is missing

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robert london, United Kingdom 28/07/2015
    robert london, United Kingdom 28/07/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    Story
    "Average "

    Not the most interesting of life stories, which is surprising considering how interesting the Chicane Cowboys documentary was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wulfgar 26/06/2015
    wulfgar 26/06/2015 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    Story
    "pure evil!"

    Awesome story with amazing details. enjoyed everything but the annoying voice of Evan Wright but you can get past it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhys 13/04/2015
    Rhys 13/04/2015
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    Story
    "Great listen"

    Was a great story which I thoroughly enjoyed listening to.

    Was broadly three parts, growing up the son of someone high up in the Mafia, being a soldier in Vietnam and finally his life as a smuggler.

    All were told from a different angle which made the story more interesting, for example the war veteran was not from the "look at me I'm such a macho hero", but actually told of how the U.S. Government depended on people like him who would do "dark" things to the enemy, even though as he puts it they went too far on a number of occasions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Mcdermott 05/01/2015
    M. Mcdermott 05/01/2015 Member Since 2012
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    "Total tosh"

    One of only two books I've ever returned.

    True story my @rse!

    Anyone listening to the first 5 minutes (which is all I got through) would clearly see this is poorly dramatised rubbish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin101 London 12/12/2014
    Benjamin101 London 12/12/2014 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I was captivated after the first line!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this audiobook to a friend. It was incredibly fast paced and extremely interesting. Jon Roberts was also very fun and this comes out quite a lot throughout the book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of American Desperado?

    When Jon was serving as a soldier in Vietnam.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    They help make the book more three dimensional. I've never listened to an audiobook with so many narrators before and it really worked well. It helped define the different characters when at points, it would have been quite easy to get them mixed up. It also made it seem like each different character was expressing their own view point on the story.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're looking for your next 'fix', this is definitely it. I was thoroughly gutted when it finished.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blair Milligan Scotland 07/07/2014
    Blair Milligan Scotland 07/07/2014 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    4
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "One Bad Ass Dude"
    Would you consider the audio edition of American Desperado to be better than the print version?

    Definitely as it give you a chance to enjoy the story in the car when driving. This could be problematic with the print version.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of American Desperado?

    The most memorable part is when he goes to south america and sees the mountain of cash behind the secret wall.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

    John Riccobono, obviously!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    If you did coke in the 80s... It was probably Johns


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gingerdave78 15/04/2014
    Gingerdave78 15/04/2014 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    "Ace"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, fantastic story! Shows the continued corruption of the american government from foreign to domestic wars, political party funding, law enforcement, contradicting US justice and Drugs.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of American Desperado?

    Vietnam tour........ really? Airborne advanced recon death squads? I could imagine the SOC or Green berets doing it, but not joe blogs recon infantry. Hard to believe without the press who combed the countryside for stories like this during the campaign! I'm sure the VC would of loved to take a reporter to a mutilated VC or civilian body.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No it is long but interesting all the way through! `


    Any additional comments?

    I have a feeling of an inflated opinion of himself or more of his emotions, all the way through the book..... but with the other opinions of friends and family throughout, put a sometimes contradicting view of events into to the memory's of emotions and events. Which shows to never show weakness when dealing with cartels and hitmen, but also playing the crowd!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. G. Laing London 23/03/2014
    Mr. G. Laing London 23/03/2014 Member Since 2015

    Gary

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    "Excellent book and we'll read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book does no gloss up crime as some good old criminal who's misunderstood and really a good bloke at heart. A true life and sometimes shocking story of what it must be like being a real gangster not a movie gangster


    What did you like best about this story?

    Jons character and honesty


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

    Jon


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim St Albans, United Kingdom 16/11/2013
    Tim St Albans, United Kingdom 16/11/2013 Member Since 2013
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    "An enjoyable if at times challenging listen"

    The subject matter can be challenging but that is clear from the description - the subject of the story did not become what we has through being a nice person and doing nice things.I found the story compelling but it is clear that the author is not totally convinced by all of the claims made which in some ways makes the story more interesting. Even if only half of it is true I think it gives an interesting insight into what was going on behind the scenes in 1970's New York and Miami.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • peter
    sunshine coast, Australia
    04/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Top Notch"
    Where does American Desperado rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    good


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was just in amazement at how it all worked


    Any additional comments?

    Incredible story, Incredible life. really good listen, I loved it. this story is no holds bar account of a serious bad boy!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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