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What Is The Latest Book That You Have Read?

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Pablo Escobar's Story 1: The Rise

By: Shaun Attwood

Pablo Escobar was a mama’s boy who cherished his family and sang in the shower, yet he bombed a passenger plane and formed a death squad that used genital electrocution.
Most Escobar biographies only provide a few pieces of the puzzle, but this action-packed 1000-page book reveals everything about the king of cocaine.
Mostly translated from Spanish, Part 1 contains stories untold in the English-speaking world, including:
The tragic death of his youngest brother Fernando.
The fate of his pregnant mistress.
The shocking details of his affair with a TV celebrity.
The presidential candidate who encouraged him to eliminate their rivals.

Quite the story! Well worth the read!!

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Clubland, by Frank Owen - the story of the mid-late nineties New York club kid and party scene, centering on the extensive effort to indict and convict Limelight and Tunnel owner Peter Gatien on drug-dealing charges, and the high profile killing of a club drug dealer by the public face of the club scene, Michael Alig.  Took me back to some unhealthy but still often fun days back in New York on the tail end of that scene - there was a lot of crap going on, but at the core, dancing to the music was a good time... and that's what I'll try to remember.  

YimSiam

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See Something Say Nothing: A Government Employees Tale of Corruption

One mans attempt to expose the corruption within the secret fraternities found within the government. A fight for justice, and a journey of enlightenment.

A sad, shocking story of US government corruption and cover ups. A short, quick read.

****

 

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The FBI and J. Edgar Hoover: The History and Legacy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Under Its First Director

No single figure in 20th century American history inspires such opposing opinions as J. Edgar Hoover, the iconic first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In his time, he was arguably the most powerful non-elected figure in the federal government. Serving under eight presidents (and outliving two of them), he remains the longest-serving head of a major government office, and Hoover died as he began: a civil servant, having been appointed by the Attorney General and serving at the pleasure of the president. That said, no civil servant had ever accrued to themselves the power and public attention that Hoover did.

Interesting. Worth a read.

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Becoming a Man in Thailand

By: C.J. Fawcett

Nathan Foster was a coward. Kicked out of Marine boot camp and afraid to face his high-ranking Marine father, he stole his father's frequent flyer miles to run away to Thailand until he could figure out what to do with his wreck of a life.

Socially inept, Nathan quickly gravitated to the bars where, for once in his life, women seemed to like him. And at 19 years old, he liked them right back.

Between bargirls to university girls interested in farangs, Nate is able to forget his failures back in the States. With expats from around the world, he finds an interesting mix of men trying to find a new life.

But has he really changed? When he's faced with a dangerous situation with someone in the Russian mafia, would he simply run away again, or could he actually take a stand for the first time in his life and become a man?

Fun read. Moves right along and one can feel the vibe of Thailand.

****

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Crazy Medicine - Matt Carell

A little novella set in Thailand of course about some bar girls and a dealer and a foreigner girl who wants to make a film about the yaba trade.  Apparently it was turned into a short film by the other and his colleagues.  Too superficial and brief to really get past the basics - the bar life is more complicated than some make it seem, drugs are bad, don't mess with bargirls or the Thai authorities.  Plot is a bit ludicrous as well - better to just stick with the John Burdett stuff and Private Dancer, I think.  

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 Uncanny Valley - Anna Weiner

Pitched I suppose as something of an expose of the San Francisco tech startup life, but doesn't really get past any of the usual milestones we are already familiar with: tech bros are shallow, the money of the life can be beguiling, tech has changed the city and our world, the snack bar is awesome, maybe it's kind of unethical and all the revolution talk might just be playing into the hands of the existing powers that be by providing new tools for control and repression... or something like that.  She's a good writer, prose is perfectly alright, but I felt like it never got out of second gear.

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Five Crazy Years - Memoirs of a Go-Go Bar Owner - Gordin

Another title and premise with promise, an American retiree dives into the go-go bar management business in Patpong during the last decade.  Some basic observations on Thai culture and the biz, and friendly and seemingly candid description of what it is like to do what so many of us must - for at least a moment, come on - have considered at some point, and so for that I'm thankful the gentleman made the effort.  It's brief though, and seems to avoid tangling with some of the thorny issues that must come up (and includes an odd set of references to Wild West US history, which don't really work).  Kudos to the author for the courage to take that crazy step, and for sharing his experiences, even if it is not yet The Great Authoritative Thailand Bar-Owner Memoir that I'm waiting for.

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The Power and the Glory - Graham Greene

This was a good one - Greene is eminently readable, great prose and thoughtful issues in play, and a plot that somehow rolls out fairly plausible in its way, about a period and context I wasn't aware of: the persecution of Catholic priests in Mexico's Tabasco state in the first half of the last century.  Protagonist is a 'whisky priest' on the run from the law and his own conscience, as he makes his way he encounters a handful of memorable characters and struggles with his situation as a drunk, a father (small 'f' and big 'F') and ethical dilemmas...  (Sorry to those reviewed just above, where I've been perhaps less than charitable - it's tough to get a passing grade when you're juxtaposed against Graham Greene during the same weekend read-a-thon... the bar is set high!)

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On 5/25/2020 at 11:45 PM, YimSiam said:

The Power and the Glory - Graham Greene

Good one this, integral to my formative years.

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