Smokescreen: A True Adventure

Robert Sabbag

Published by Canongate
ISBN 10: 1841952613 / ISBN 13: 9781841952611
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Synopsis: 'Do you think you have the balls it would take to risk your life for a million dollars?' Allen Long certainly did. Balls like a bull elephant's - with charisma and cunning in the same large measure. But he needed to know that those around him could handle pressure. After all, they'd be violating Colombian and US airspace in a dilapidated DC-3 and landing on jungle mud tracks in bandit country. They'd have to avoid detection by America's most tooled-up law enforcement agencies and remain wired and vigilant at all times. From the writer of the drug smuggling classic Snowblind, comes a true story more hair-raising, high-octane and heart-pounding than any fictional adventure thriller. Take a seat. And hang on for the ride of your life.

Review: This is a story from the long-ago days of Colombian marijuana smuggling--long ago, because most of the pot now smoked in the United States is grown domestically, and the top narcotics import from Colombia is cocaine. Author Robert Sabbag tells the tale of Allen Long, who got involved in this unsavory business in the 1970s because he wanted to provide high-quality cannabis for his buddies and also for the sheer adventure of it. Some readers will find Long a disconcerting protagonist--he's a drug smuggler, after all--though it may appeal to advocates of drug legalization and readers of High Times. Sabbag essentially romanticizes Long's activities, such as when he writes about the "rather consoling absence of gunplay" that marked the business of marijuana smuggling in its primitive past. The storytelling is adequate, but parts of Loaded are plainly padded. Here's a bit of sample dialogue: "This is really great pot." "You like that?" "I don't think I've ever smoked anything better." A better and more hardheaded book on Colombian drug smuggling is Mark Bowden's Killing Pablo. --John Miller

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Title: Smokescreen: A True Adventure
Publisher: Canongate
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Good

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