Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

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

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    201
  • 4 Stars
    56
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    171
  • 4 Stars
    42
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    183
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • 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

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

If you haven't, read this.... You must!

I have read this twice over the past 15years and it is an absolute must read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Could very possible make a very good movie from this story.
suprized someone has not made a documentary about this prison?!?!?!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting Story - Awful Narration

Not ideal - interesting story but really bad accent from the narrator. Avoid if this will bother you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Big thumbs up

I loved this book! The narration was good and the story was too. The only problem I have with it is the narrators voice didn’t fit the character. The protagonist is a black man from Liverpool in his early 20s yet the narrator sounds like an African nearing his 50s. That fact makes it harder to reconcile the two but you do get used to it as in spite of that the narrator is good

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping, well narrated, powerful!!!

True story about Thomas Mcfadden a British- Tanzanian man who was arrested for drug smuggling.

Fantastic book!!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

Fantastic story. ,Narrator could have been better as he sounded a little simple. Worth a listen.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good book

A very good read. How this man gets on at he start of the book is crazy. The gear is so cheap in the prison. Anybody would think its a holiday, but it's not.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

top book


very good book great story line would recommend to any one could listen over and over

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A drug smuggler

Let’s not forget he’s a drug smuggler and openly brags about it. Interesting depiction of Columbia’s jails but a lot of self important Biloxi’s in the main.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • 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