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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.
Being a small-town gal from Mid-Mo, I had no IDEA about anything about the drug trade. This book will open your eyes and get you inside the head of the most successful cocaine smuggler in US history. Here is my review of the book as it appeared in my high school newspaper: If people were ever interested in smuggling cocaine into the United States in the 1970's and 80's, they only had to come to one person - a man named George Jung. The novel "Blow" recounts Jung's rise and desperate fall in the Medellin cocaine cartel, an association of high price manufacturers of the illegal product, where he played a key role alongside the infamous Pablo Escobar. Writing in chronological order of Jung's adventures and the exotic locales he visits, author Bruce Porter uses his exclusive eyewitness sources to tell the fascinating life story of a successful drug smuggler. The book's success lies in the exceptional amount of detail present. The intricately woven web of facts mesmerizes the reader as the story unfolds. Porter leaves nothing of this amazing story untold, which makes the story complete; the reader does not feel cheated out of information. "Blow" is also successful regarding the intimate interviews given by Jung; his wife, Mirtha; and his may associates in his million dollar drug operation. Porter chooses the right times to let the people involved tell the story. Tucked in with the rest of the story are quotes and anecdotes from Jung's closest friends and businessman. Kudos to Porter for getting the interviewees to reveal so much about their lives. The only downside present is that with so many characters involved, the reader might forget who some people are and what thier part in the novel is. Although changed and dramatized for effect, the movie is an accurate representation of the novel. "Blow" is an enjoyable and intriguing true crime classic.
I enjoyed reading this book very much. The book starts out with a boy that decides he never wants to be poor. When the boy becomes a teenager he moves out and beigns to sell marijuana. Come to find out he could make a lot more money if he sells marijuana throughout the country. Later in the story he ends getting busted for selling narcotics. His mother disowns him, his wife divorces him, and his daughter hates him. The story is a very good story bit I personallly didn't enjoy the ending. I feel the part in the end when he is making his last deal, just to make some good money to retire with and go to California with his daughter, he should not get busted by the cops. I would have enjoyed the ending better if it would have had George Jung, the main character, in a big beautiful house in California with his daughter. Instead the ending is George in a prison.
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.