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Editor reviews

I found Mark Bowden's book very informative and on target with an honest and detailed description of the events that occurred during the hunt for Pablo Escobar. I really liked how Bowden was able to successfully portray both sides of the story: the Colombian side, with all the corruption and weak government; and the American side and all the tactics and operations the CIA/FBI/DEA and other organizations ran in Colombia. A must-listen for any person trying to learn more about the history of Pablo Escobar, narco-terrorism, the drug war, and much more. (Alejandro, Customer Service Representative)

Summary

On July 22, 1992, Colombian druglord Pablo Escobar walked out of the luxurious prison he built for himself and disappeared into the Colombian jungle. His audacious escape destroyed the nation's tenuous cease-fire with its infamous narcos, and pushed it into open war with the Medellin drug cartel.

Over the coming days and weeks, the United States launched a joint military and intelligence operation with the Colombian government, assembling a team of expert personnel and an arsenal of state-of-the-art weaponry and surveillance technology the likes of which the world had never seen. Their mission: to track down Pablo.

But this time, they knew it would not be enough to just capture Escobar. This time, they would have to finish the job. This time, they were going to kill him.

©2001 Mark Bowden, All Rights Reserved (P)2001 Simon & Schuster Inc.

Critic reviews

"A gripping investigation...fascinating." ( Booklist)
"Bowden hits another home run..." ( Publishers Weekly)
"A master of narrative journalism." ( The New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about Killing Pablo

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book.

I enjoyed this book due to its massive build up and its notorius inevetibilility of the ending.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Well written and narrated, gives a good insight into the lead up to the events and interesting to know the background from 1948 onwards on the history and culture, which answers the questions of the loyalty the public have to Pablo.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Good read

I have watched and read many books and articles on this topic and this by far is the stand out work I have enjoyed.
It wasn't flowery romantic it was portrayed as it was. Ruthless and violent.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Worth listening to after watching Netflix's Narcos

This book helps with the nuances that you may miss or have been reconstructed in Netflix's Narcos due to 'creative licences'. It's worth a listen for that reason and I enjoyed listening to the author who does a great job of creating a narrative that you almost don't want to hear the end to. I would suggest listening/reading to this after understanding some of the main characters in the plot, this will certainly help place them in this story.

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awesome

my favourite book even better in audio a must read/listen only wish there was more

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Great recollection of the events

Being just a teenager when the terror and manhunt happened, still remember these events in the news as it was yesterday.

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decent

it was ok i think there should be more in depth details on the lofe and tomes of escobar
finito

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Very interesting story

Would you consider the audio edition of Killing Pablo to be better than the print version?

Not read it

What was one of the most memorable moments of Killing Pablo?

When they took down the mountain.....

What about Mark Bowden’s performance did you like?

Good and solid

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

NO

Any additional comments?

Worth a listen, interesting how a bully and a thug with a bit of charm can take over a country....

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bob
  • 25-03-03

Relevant Accessible History

As somebody who uses Audible to make my commute bearable, I have the tendency to gravitate mostly towards mindless fiction to make the time pass... and base my reviews primarily on how successful books do with that criteria.

That being said... this is a book that isn't mindless, but still kept me captivated. It's a facinating look into both American policies in Central America as well as techniques that are used in tracking people. I have thought about this book frequently during the recent hunts for Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. I was very surprised how hit-and-miss the technologies seem to be.

The author does a good job in presenting the details of the situations without making personal judgement on the characters involved, but does so in a manner that isn't school-bookish.

Well done.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicktirebiter
  • 23-03-04

4 Stars - Really Gripping Story

This is a story worthy of Robert Ludlum or Elmore Leonard. Intrigue, deception, suspense, global politics and fantasy -- plus it's actually true! Provides a wild inside view to the cocaine trade, Columbian politics and the bizarre world that money can create. Pablo emerges as an almost mythic figure, on the one hand revered by his associates and public, and on the other a frighteningly brutal indescriminate killer. Without giving away the story, I'll tell you that there are real parallels with the Elliot Ness story of the untouchables. A great read (listen).

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JustThisGuyYouKnow
  • 09-04-04

Almost too scary to be true

Mark Bowden's writing on the modern history of Columbia and the horror that engulfed the entire country for a decade is an astonishing piece of work.
This is a gripping work of non-fiction and is a truly powerful insight to one of the world's most notorious terrorists, Pablo Escobar.

A huge thumbs up.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave Picarillo
  • 08-03-03

Fantastic

Excellent book that not only tells an exciting story, but also delves into Columbia's past and provides some insight into how a manical person such as Pablo Escabar can rise to such power and in some eyes prestige

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bob
  • 14-01-17

great story

I wish the unabridged version was available! Great story telling and background by the author.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • M.W.
  • 02-06-05

Not that great

I don't share the other reviewers' enthusiasm for this book. The author is also the reader...and he does not bring a great deal of enthusiasm to the table. The story reads like a chronicle. In all, it's a rather stiff, uninspired timeline of Pablo Escobar's life.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • JT
  • 04-06-03

3 STARS

Overall, a very good book. However, it would have been much better if read by a professional voice actor.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Heath
  • 18-06-05

Bowden hits another home run

Bowden is one of the few authors who can read his own work and keep you intrigued. The trade-off is that he does sound like a journalist rather than a story teller.
You won't find a more well-researched account of the drug wars up close and personal. A fascinating read and one of the books I found myself listening to in my driveway.
My only beef - it's abridged...

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • ForrestUnderwood
  • 26-12-18

Watch Narcos instead

Mark Bowden is a great author (I liked BHD) but shouldn’t narrate his own books.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Omar
  • 25-09-16

Thriller

It is impossible to verify the facts surrounding the hunt and killing of Escobar, so I am not sure how accurate it is. But this is as good as a nonfiction can ever be written

1 person found this helpful