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Mr Smiley

Narrated by: Howard Marks, Larry Love
Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (65 ratings)

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Summary

The last pill and testament from Britain's most famous and well-loved drug smuggler, Howard Marks.

Howard Marks is the most famous drug smuggler of his age and a hero to a generation. On his release from one of America's toughest prisons, Howard made a promise to himself to go straight. No more drugs, no more smuggling, no more fake passports. He would retire to a quiet life with his family in the Balearic Islands of Spain. It didn't quite work out that way.

This was the mid-'90s - the height of the ecstasy and clubbing boom - and Ibiza was at the very centre of the vortex for the "E generation". Pills had taken the place of marijuana, Paul Oakenfold had replaced The Rolling Stones as the music of the masses and every year an army of Brits headed south to lose themselves to the excesses of the island's increasingly wild clubs.

It wasn't long before Howard found himself trying pure ecstasy and rubbing shoulders with some of the kingpins of the pill trade, including some of Britain's most notorious gangsters, who were laundering millions of pounds of gold stolen in the legendary Brink's-Mat bullion raid. As Britons descended on Ibiza ahead of one of the greatest summers of the decade, Howard was preparing for his most outrageous operation yet.

Incredibly funny, moving and scabrous, Mr Smiley follows a journey to the heartland of the clubbing and British crime scene. It is also a fitting last word from one of Britain's best-loved bad boys.

©2015 Howard Marks (P)2015 Bolinda

What members say

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

Poorly narrated, better to read the hard copy

Poor narration an insult to Howard Marks. What should have been a beautiful, silky Welsh voice was instead a gruff voice with terrible timing and interrupted flow. Otherwise very interesting sequel to Mr Nice. Needs to be re narrated

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A sobering account

Having only just listened to this in 2019; knowing of Howard’s departure from this mortal plain; it was quite a bitter sweet pill to swallow - pun intended.

As an avid fan of Mr. Nice, The Book of Dope Stories and Senior Nice - I was waiting for the right time to indulge in Howard’s latest and final accounts.

The story, as always, was fascinating and well written. Every last detail made the experience as enjoyable as ever.

My only disappointment was the realisation that in fact, Howard was to only narrate the introduction.

I struggled to gel to Larry’s gruff, guttural tones but eventually was able to become absorbed and ignore the fact it wasn’t Howard speaking. None the less, still disappointed as I’d loved listening to him in other audio books.

I can only assume he was unfortunately too poorly to narrate as he sounds tired in the intro.

I was lucky enough to meet Howard on several occasions and also converse over email about material for a book; Tripping; he’d devised years ago that never came to fruition.

It was sad to think, as the final pages of this book were read by Larry, that these were the last words to be written by Howard and last words if his I’d be able to enjoy.

Recommended to any fans of Howard or accounts of crime and debauchery....

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Typical of previous books written by Howard Marks

Would you recommend Mr Smiley to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes if you liked his other works otherwise id say it was not as good as previous titles like Mr Nice

What three words best describe Howard Marks and Larry Love ’s performance?

Welsh, rough and authentic.

Did Mr Smiley inspire you to do anything?

Look after myself more.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Local hero?

A fellow Welshman, I enjoyed Mr Nice, and liked that Mr Marks stayed away from dealing hard drugs. This story though just shows that no matter your good intentions, the lust for easy money can alter someone's morals.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Lost the will to live after 8 chapters..

I lasted 8 chapters and couldn't listen to it any more. I can image if you have had little life experience then this may excite you but if you've left the nest of mum and dad then the pathetic self he portrays here will bore the pants off you.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Started good but dragged on too long

Would you try another book written by Howard Marks or narrated by Howard Marks and Larry Love ?

Yes I would but with some intrepidation

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Bored. Goes on for too long and draws it out.

Did Howard Marks and Larry Love do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

Not really - all rolled into one. at times.

Do you think Mr Smiley needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. Not really.

Any additional comments?

Boring in the end but the tone of voice gives it extra chracter which it needs.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful