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Marching Powder

Length: 14 hrs and 3 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (217 ratings)

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Summary

San Pedro is Bolivia's most notorious prison. Small-time drug smuggler Thomas McFadden found himself on the inside. 

Marching Powder is the story of how he navigated this dark world of gangs, drugs and corruption to come out on top.

Thomas found himself in a bizarre world, the prison reflecting all that is wrong with South American society. Prisoners have to pay an entrance fee and buy their own cells (the alternative is to sleep outside and die of exposure); prisoners' wives and children often live inside, too; high-quality cocaine is manufactured and sold from the prison.

Thomas ended up making a living by giving backpackers tours of the prison - he became a fixture on the backpacking circuit and was named in the Lonely Planet guide to Bolivia. When he was told that for a bribe of $5,000 his sentence could be overturned, it was the many backpackers who'd passed through who sent him the money. 

Written by lawyer Rusty Young, Marching Powder - sometimes shocking, sometimes funny - is a riveting story of survival.

©2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd (P)2010 Macmillan Digital Audio

What listeners say about Marching Powder

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Columbian Scouser ?

Story is rolling along ok but Thomas is meant to be from Liverpool he sounds like a Columbian count Dracula ....sack the casting director

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Crazy story

This book was amazing, it should be made into a movie. I done one of the tours a few years ago they are wild.

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Great book

great book, had high hopes for a film a few 6esrs back but no luck :( this will have to do for now

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5👌

A good tale we'll told, easy listen and would recommend. Bag packers story 👍 👌

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    5 out of 5 stars

Even better than expected

Whilst travelling in South America over 5 years ago this was repeatedly recommended to me. In all honesty I probably didn't read it purely because I got the impression it was the fashionable thing to do. I wouldn't say I missed out because instead I got to listen to the audiobook on my weekly commute and it made the journey an absolute joy. From start to finish I found this book absolutely fascinating and was hooked from the beginning. Unlike the fiction I usually lean toward, it was nice to enjoy a story which was completely unpredictable and which provided such an insight into something I know so little about. It was extremely well narrated but easy to follow and understand something which could have been rambling and confusing. I loved this book as a complete change from anything I've read or listened to before.

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a story of stupidity and hope

read it, you'll find it unbelievable too, whilst I suspect some enhancement, I still loved the story

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Interesting book, horrible narrator

I googled the narrator and leearned that he is a white Australian man who overdid the accent trying to hard to sound like a black African man. His narration was dreary and made the listening really onerous. Also, he made the main character sound like a bit of an idiot (old white man stereotype of an African man). The book was interesting, although too long with too many unnecessary details.

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gripping and fascinating

Had me gripped throughout and felt like the pace kept up throughout which is impressive for non fiction.

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Excellent book

This is one of my favourite books of all time. I cannot believe how different the penal system is in South America.

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Best audio book you will ever listen to.

Hands down the best audio book ever. Captivating start to finish! I wish I could meet you Thomas and Rusty.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-09-18

Excellent story.

Great story- quite a long listen but well worth every moment Highly recommend to those interested

2 people found this helpful