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Paperback Blow : How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All Book

ISBN: 0312267126

ISBN13: 9780312267124

Blow : How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All

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Book Overview

BLOW is the unlikely story of George Jung's roller coaster ride from middle-class high school football hero to the heart of Pable Escobar's Medellin cartel-- the largest importer of the United States cocaine supply in the 1980s. Jung's early business of flying marijuana into the United States from the mountains of Mexico took a dramatic turn when he met Carlos Lehder, a young Colombian car thief with connections to the then newly born cocaine operation...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Literally Being Blown Away

I was handed Blow from a friend and finished it within a busy schedule in less than a nine days. It is the unbelievable story of George Jung's life from being a small town local hero, to becoming deeply seeded in the Colombian drug trade. He managed to make more than 100 million dollars before he was caught for the last time and his extraordinary life leaves you nothing but dumbfounded. My favorite aspect of this novel is that you fall in love with and root for the bad-guy. The reader never really acknowledges George as the enemy even though he is part of a murderous, criminal trade. Because his personality is so likeable you disregard many of the immoral things that he does. How he plays the prison game and makes friends everywhere he goes. George even manages to befriend Senor Pablo Escobar. As a white kid from suburbia this feat is astonishing. The story is written through a mix of George's and author Bruce Porter's point of view and with interviews from several of his close friends and colleagues you can understand his life and actions from every point of view. George's dialogue is especially captivating because he is such a humble, carefree man with it seems no fear and complete control. Since the book is vulgar and sometimes portrays cocaine use in a humorous and unapologetic fashion I would recommend the book for at least, mature late teens. This book instantly became a new favorite of mine and because it is a true story I think it is especially unbelievable. This intensely researched and complete chronicle of George Jung's life is one of the most irresistible stories I have ever read.

Got to know when to calm down

For anyone expecting this book to be a kind of light, or detailing of the events in the film it's not. The George Jung we read about in Bruce Porter's book is a quite different one from the one played by Johnny Depp. He's a lot smarter (while not exactly being a genius), a lot more greedy, and a lot tougher. Plus, anyone enamored of the movie will be starstruck by the level of embellishment Ted Demme indulged in while making it. Jung never stopped dealing, even after he basically got a "get out of jail free" card for testifying against Carlos Lehder (Diego in the movie), a sinister megalomaniac who along with Jung basically introduced coke to the US. There was no "one last run" for his daughter, who we only hear about a few times in the book in vague reveries of regret Jung has for all she had to witness in his "glory days". Mirtha was not quite the ruthless bitch Penelope Cruz played, and seemed to have stuck by Jung through quite a bit. The book is essentially a repetitive documentation of drug smuggle after drug smuggle, until Jung gets way too comfortable and dipping into his own stash all the time. He just doesn't know when to calm down. Soon, he's so fried that he starts bragging to undercover cops and taking them under his wing as fellow smugglers, and so of course getting busted. For all this, Jung is no ruthless monster like many of the people we see him associate with. He's actually kind of a middle class goofball who had a business mind and weird determination to never be poor, which may have stemmed from his childhood (who cares? that's no excuse.) He seems to have had quite a bit of intellect and could have been successful at something other than his purely destructive occupation. He simply chose his own path and paid for it. He gets out of jail after he should have gone away forever, starts dealing weed again, and then goes away for good. There's no heartbreaking twist to any of this, just one man's greed getting the best of him. This is a sad story not for Jung but for his daughter, his wife, and his father, who also seems to have seen some good in him the whole way through. (We actually get to read the real tape Jung made for his father, one of the highlights of the book). An alternately exciting, depressing tale.

Jailing Jung (Blow) and Killing Pablo

Those interested in learning about the disparate personalities largely responsible for the cocaine avalanche that washed over America need only read this excellent book and Mark Bowden's equally fascinating work of non-fiction titled "Killing Pablo."In "Blow", we laugh at the ordeals of George Jung and company as they grow rich exploiting America's burgeoning drug market while being chased, indicted, and jailed by inept and unsophisticated law enforcement agencies and prosecutors. In "Killing Pablo", we shudder over the actions of the world's (formerly) most ruthless drug lord who held Colombia hostage through rewards and ruthless punishment aptly termed "plata o plomo" (silver or lead).Porter and Bowden performed exhaustive research on their respective protagonists and produced rousing narratives. Two of the finest works of non-fiction - of any topic - I've ever read.

Great Crime Story

I really enjoyed reading this book. It is a true story of the rise & fall of George Jung. George became involved with smuggling pot in from Mexico in the 1960's & went on to become one of the founding members of the Colombian Cocaine Cartel led by Pablo Escobar. Geogre intially was Pablo's MAJOR U.S. cocaine distributor, was the one link Pablo had to the U.S. cocaine distribution network. Another Colombian, Carlos Ledher, stole George's U.S. connections, & cut him out of the business. George then basically married into a Colombian family, and started moving smaller cocaine contract loads through a relative by marriage-Humberto. Humberto was connected to Pablo Escobar. This book is well written, and also tells a bit about drugs, their cultivation, the human physiology of drug interactions, and how basic smuggling operations are established. It is also just a plain good story. I thought the ending was a bit sad though. To clear up the question of: "Is George free, or in Prison". George was free, and delivering seafood to restaurants in Massachusetts. He subsequently got busted smuggling pot from Mexico, and received a 22 year jail sentence in 1993-1994, and is currtely in prison at Otisville, New York.

The Forrest Gump of the Drug Business

I read this book after seeing the movie "Blow". The movie was average but the subject matter was something I wanted to explore after seeing George Jung's picture at the end. I was not disappointed. I couldn't put the book down and throughly enjoyed it.As all biographies do, the initial setup of his formative years is somewhat boring and can be skimmed. Bad student, played football. Nothing else is relevant. But when the book overlays living in Los Angeles in the 60's with the drug trade, this book really heats up. Jung reminds me of Forrest Gump. Always in a place where drug history was happening. Particularly where his old grass connection is the key to establishing him as a major player in the new cocaine business.The book and the movie have many similar points but many different ones. For example, in the movie, his first stewardess girlfriend dies. But in the book, there is no mention of when and how they split up. In the movie, he misses his daughter and wants contact. There is no mention of that in the book.The book really projects that Jung ...got in the right business at the right time. But he's not really a smart guy. The movie covers some of his busts correctly but the Cape Cod bust that starts his downfall is almost unbelievable how stupid he could be. Read the book to find this bizarre fact.As a earlier reviewer who identified himself as a former drug runner stated, using your own product clouds your judgement and clearly that applied to Jung. Irrespective, this book gives great insight into the drug traffic business and shows what a bizarre environment it was. Somewhat like the Wild West. Read this book for entertainment value as it reads quickly and is very informative.
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