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A brutal and gripping autobiography by the original Cocaine Cowboy and real-life Scarface, the man responsible for flooding 1980s US with cocaine, co-written by Evan Wright, author of Generation Kill

The best crime book since Wiseguy’ – Rich Cohen

A real-life Scarface, Jon was born into the Gambino Mafia family and witnessed his first murder aged seven. He joined a US Army assassination squad in Vietnam to escape a teen criminal charge, then fled New York to reinvent himself in Miami as the number one supplier of cocaine in the US. With a crazed bodyguard always at his side, and a fortress protected by mortars, tear-gas cannons, and a gold-fanged attack dog, Roberts was brutally effective at what he did.

With a cast that includes everyone from Jimi Hendrix and OJ Simpson to the CIA and General Noriega, American Desperado is a hedonistic, adrenaline-soaked joyride through the world of Escobar and the cartels, told by one of most successful criminals of all time.

Reviews

An American criminal mastermind

Ed Caesar, Sunday Times

A spellbinding narrative of drugs, death and debauchery as told by one of America's most notorious criminals... A savage, unrelenting tale

Kirkus Reviews

A tour de force. The best crime book since Wiseguy. Puts you in the middle of a world where it's wonderful to be a tourist, terrible to be a resident. I am filled with nothing but admiration and envy for Evan Wright

Rich Cohen, author of THE FISH THAT ATE THE WHALE

Imagine if Mister Kurtz from Heart of Darkness sat down with Dick Cavett for a little chat about the nature of good and evil, empathy, fatherhood, violence, drugs, power, self-knowledge, women, family, the hero versus the anti-hero, freedom, imprisonment...Try as you might, you can't really put this book down

Doug Stanton, author of HORSE SOLDIERS and IN HARM’S WAY

Seldom have I read an account of criminal enterprise that took me so deeply into the blackness of a man’s soul – a scary read, pounding and relentless and irresistible

Bruce Porter, author of BLOW

American Desperado is the first great crime book of the 21st Century. Dangerous, darkly hilarious, hair-raising, and terrifically written, Wright's prose spills over with the kind of insane, brilliantly rendered detail and dialogue that make you want to call people at four in the morning and read out loud

Jerry Stahl, bestselling author of PERMANENT MIDNIGHT

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780091949419

    December 3, 2018

    Ebury Press

    576 pages

    RRP $28.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Trade Paperback

    9780091945220

    November 1, 2011

    Ebury Press

    576 pages

    RRP $37.99

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook

    9781448116010

    November 1, 2011

    Ebury Digital

    576 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ