Listen free for 30 days

Marching Powder

Length: 14 hrs and 3 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, True Crime
4.5 out of 5 stars (147 ratings)

£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 members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    90
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    99
  • 4 Stars
    16
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

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

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

I’ve read this before, and enjoyed it so much I just had to get it to listen to. With it being audio it gave the whole story life! A fabulous, interesting, unbelievable, captivating book!

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

Powder

Enjoyed the book 6.5/10. Great story let down a little with the narrator but overall a good listen.

  • 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

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

excellent

this book was recommended to me and I was not disappointed. very well read and written. I recommend to you

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

Great story, well narrated

I knew the story having read the book a few years ago. This audiobook totally does it justice. recommended.

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

Interesting Tale!

Finally listened to this after spending some time in La Paz and learning of the prison there. Really interesting tale!

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

Fascinating experience behind bars in Bolivia

A detailed, fascinating story accounting the experience's of a smart, honest and likeable drug trafficker put behind bars in a Bolivian jail.

It's a story of survival, luck, opportunism, bribes and making the best of a situation.

The narrators performance is excellent and really suits the story.

One of my favourite purchases to date and definitely worth a listen.

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

Odd accent

I don’t understand the choice of accent for the main character. He seems to have a Caribbean accent when in reality he mentions he’s from Liverpool in England. I found the accent so distracting it made me not want to finish the book.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort 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 of 2 people found this review helpful