Marching Powder - a ripsnorting read

Finally i've read a book that has nothing to do with terrorism or international politics. My very good friend Shanny lent me an extraordinary tale called "Marching Powder", the true story of an Englishman inside a Bolivian prison.

Ooh yeah, a true story. We love it.

So Thomas McFadden became famous because he started giving tours, and became the unofficial tour guide of San Pedro prison, in La Paz; Lonely Planet had the prison listed as a must-see destination mainly because of this guy's charming demeanour (and cocaine parties).

But it's not only tourists who pay their way into the prison .. the prisoners themselves have to pay an entrance fee into San Pedro - after they are sentenced. They then have to buy their own cell through the internal real-estate system!

.. there are restaurants and shops set up so that people can survive;
.. prisoners' families stay inside the prison because they can't live in the ruined outside economy without their breadwinner.
.. And the best cocaine laboratories are hidden away inside the prison.

It's plainly written, and very enjoyable, although painful and frightening in places. There's a lot you find hard to believe, and corruption drips off the page. i'd give it a big 8 star rating.

Apparently Brad Pitt is producing the film, due this year.
(more info:

No comments: