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
Kildonan by the sea
The reader is great but the content is less than satisfying.
Some of the escapades are entertaining, but something is missing
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.
Sometimes truth is more interesting than fiction, like a car crash, compelling fascinating, sometimes terrifying. Told in a an undramatic way, it smacks of truth, he's not trying to impress you, he probably doesn't care what you think of him. He doesn't pretend to be a nice guy, he led an incredible life.
So graphic and violent at times it had me retching, but absolutely fascinating, I couldn't stop listening. By far the best performances I have ever heard for an audiobook. Dark, brutal, fascinating, astounding and some times even heartbreaking. Couldn't recommend if more!!!
Great story, great narration. Massively enjoyed all of it. Comic, tragic, horrific, informative. Am now listening to more in the same sort of genre - high octane autobiographies.
Not the most interesting of life stories, which is surprising considering how interesting the Chicane Cowboys documentary was.
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.
When Jon was serving as a soldier in Vietnam.
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.
If you're looking for your next 'fix', this is definitely it. I was thoroughly gutted when it finished.
I was just in amazement at how it all worked
Incredible story, Incredible life. really good listen, I loved it. this story is no holds bar account of a serious bad boy!!
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