NPR’s Talk of the Nation
"Brian O'Dea tried marijuana in college and saw dollar signs. A born salesman, he began dealing to fellow college students in the early 1970s. By the early 1980s, he had built a $100 million a year smuggling operation, and a cocaine addiction. His narcotics racket took him around the world to places such as Bogota, Columbia and Montego Bay, Jamaica. O'Dea had some successful multimillion dollar deals, but more often than not, rip-offs, double-crosses, getting wasted and waiting characterized the operations. High is Brian O'Dea's memoir of dealing drugs, doing time, and seeking redemption."
"Brian O’Dea tells all: The book includes excerpts from his prison diary, scenes from him work as a drug counselor, and a clear-eyed reckoning of his intoxicated multinational adventures."
“…a look into the seamy life of drug smuggling.”
“Blistering memoir by a once-notorious drug smuggler and addict…an unusually revealing account of a criminal’s rise and fall.”
Philadelphia City paper
"Nowadays Brian O'Dea is on the up-and-up, gainfully employed as a film and TV producer in Toronto, but back in the '80s he operated a $100 million-a-year, 120-man trafficking business (the largest marijuana haul in U.S. history), and picked up a nasty cocaine habit along the way."
"In this wistful but honest look at a life subsumed by drugs, now-reformed smuggler O'Dea (a Canadian film producer) pulls back the curtain on the machinations and motivations of a hugely successful, outrageously addicted 1980s drug trafficker whose redemption came too late to save him from prison...Throughout his life's many ups and downs, however, O’Dea remains a charming, relatable narrator you can’t help but root for."
“[High] is refreshingly unapologetic, about as far away from inspirational autobiography as you can get. It’s the story of a man who made it big and paid the consequences, told in a straightforward style that contrasts O’Dea’s regimented life as a prison inmate with his exciting, risk-driven years as an international criminal. He’s a good, writer, too, nicely capturing the atmosphere of his two worlds and their inhabitants. The book is hardly an endorsement of the lifestyle of a drug smuggler, but, as with movies like Scarface, the intoxicating allure of money and power is made perfectly clear.”
Brian O’Dea is now gainfully employed as a film and television producer in Toronto, where he lives with his wife and son. He also regularly speaks about his own experiences to young people struggling with addictions. High won the 2007 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction Crime and it is currently being adapted into a feature film.See all Editorial Reviews
I cannot believe I wasted good money on this audiobook. The only thing worse than Odea's sob story about another doper who got caught then blames it on being molested by a priest... Read morePublished 1 month ago by 1st LT W.P. GHILARDUCCI
This book starts out very poorly written, but you get a sense that this guy started writing in prison, and you are reading a collection of journal entries so you let it slide. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Josh the Long
O'Dea really captures the time period and the art of drug smuggling. From start to finish this book has energy and is alive. Very hard to put down. Read morePublished 14 months ago by goNYgoNYgo
I've read quite a few non-fiction accounts of smugglers/drug dealers. This was one of the least interesting. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Tawn
im a huge fan of books about smuggling and drugs. ive read most of the true crime in that genre and love most all of it. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Peter Pan
Took me awhile to get into it as it is slow at the beginning. Brian led a very interesting life. Was not a fan that this novel was not wrote in chronological order.Published on August 27, 2013 by Dustin Mowe
Having lived in Bangkok in the 1980s and having staggered happily down Patpong Road more than a few times, I was familiar with the druggie's favorite hangout, the incredible... Read morePublished on April 19, 2013 by Skyjumper
My husband said it was a "great book, easy read " He read it over the weekend, couldn't put it down!Published on April 9, 2013 by Tammie