October 8, 2011

Marching Powder - Book Review

 One of my favourite books is Marching Powder by Rusty Young which is the true story of a convicted English drug smuggler who was sent to one of the world's most notorious prisons in Bolivia. In order to survive, he became a tour guide. The el Panal de San Pedro prison is like none other; inmates have to pay for their cells, food and services once inside the prison and as a result it has become a small village in itself, a microcosm of the world outside. Women and children live there too, to be with their husbands because they can't survive alone on the outside...seems logical enough. The bulk of the book tells of Thomas McFadden's incarceration and how he eventually flourished in prison.
Bolivian marching powder the name for a high quality cocain, so you can connect the dots...even the prison cat is addicted.
Sound bizarre? That's because it really is. I also know people who have been to visit this prison and have told the same stories in explicit detail. I won't tell you too much because you just have to read the book to get your head around it. It's a fascinating concept and a great read, offering a glimpse at a world I could never have imagined. I hope I meet an interesting character with such a great story next time I go backpacking!



  1. Malou,

    Great review.

    Email me if you'd like a copy of my book: attwood.shaun@hotmail.co.uk

  2. Thanks for following Jon. I'll pick up a copy of your book :)