Marching Powder by Rusty Young

Marching Powder

By Rusty Young

  • Release Date: 2007-11-10
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 976 Ratings
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The true story of an English drug-smuggler, a notorious Bolivian prison and enough cocaine to cover the Andes ...

"A unique window on a bizarre and corrupt world" Publishers Weekly

"Travel literature of a very special and captivating kind" Booklist

Rusty Young, a twenty-something Australian law graduate, was backpacking in South America when he heard about Thomas McFadden, an English drug trafficker who ran tours inside Bolivia's notorious San Pedro prison. When Rusty met Thomas, they formed a surprising yet instant friendship and then became partners in an attempt to record Thomas's experiences in the jail. The result is one of the most compelling prison stories of all time.

Marching Powder is a shocking, sometimes darkly comic account of life in San Pedro. In this bizarre prison, inmates are expected to buy their cells from real estate agents. Others run shops and restaurants, and women and children live with imprisoned family members. Violence and crime are never far away, and the jail contains some of Bolivia's busiest cocaine laboratories. In San Pedro, cocaine makes life bearable - even the prison cat is addicted to crack.

Yet amid, the corruption, brutality and the daily struggle for survival, Marching Powder is also the tale of an unlikely friendship, forged in the oddest of circumstances, between a drug smuggler and a lawyer. It is the story of one of the strangest places on earth, where horror is leavened by humour and where cruelty lives side by side with compassion.


  • Never finished a book

    By Taraghjk
    I hated reading and always found myself drifting off into other thoughts while reading the words on a book page. Until I read Marching Powder; this story sucked me in the pages and kept me wanting more. The story of Thomas and his life in the Bolivian prison had a hooked. A must read!
  • Good read, sometimes a lot of details and sometimes not

    By JoboKiller
    I enjoyed the book. There are parts were it is very descriptive and you can imagine everything that's is been told to us. But sometimes, the author just skim through other sections. I thought the ending could have had more details.
  • Great read

    By dan_mcauley_1985
    Couldn't put it down !
  • Fantastic

    By Proesmans
    This is the first book I ever finished. I loved the story, how it's written. Great reading, can only recommend it!
  • Shy or not shy

    By Jakukumecrazy
    Take the plunge into the deep world of Bolivia, where Thomas stories will engage you. Don't be shy give it a try.
  • Amazing Book

    By Azeroth123456789
    That was an incredible, eye opening book. Probably one of the best books I've read!
  • Marching Powder

    By Joshjoshjosh111
    This book is simply amazing
  • Wow!

    By ayrush
    Extremely interesting read, put the whole book down in about 3 days. Nuff said!

    By iloveyou jb
    This it's an absolute great read I couldn't put it down, I enjoyed it so much I was so Interested to see what his life is like now an I got in contact with rusty an that lead to emailing Thomas an a regular bases, He has two children a boy who he named rusty an a daughter he lives with his family on a chicken farm.
  • This book was amazing!!

    By Joshua_scott
    A must read, I couldn't put it down!!