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The Last Narco: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo, the World's Most Wanted Drug Lord Paperback – August 23, 2011


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The Last Narco: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo, the World's Most Wanted Drug Lord + El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency + El Sicario: The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802145485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802145482
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


“All of Mexico is El Chapo country. His rise parallels that of Pablo Escobar.” —Newsweek

“Malcolm Beith’s book is a virtual nonstop chase.” —Albuquerque Journal

The Last Narco is a brave and terrific headlong journalistic trek into the dangerous, and immensely relevant, terrain of drug trafficking in Mexico, and the life and times of its foremost practitioner.” —Sam Quinones, author of True Tales from Another Mexico

The Last Narco gracefully captures the heroic struggle of those who dare to stand up to the cartels, and the ways those cartels have tragically corrupted every aspect of Mexican law enforcement.” —Laura Bickford, producer, Traffic

“Malcolm Beith slaps our faces with our ignorance. We barely know Mexico, and understand even less of its major industry, drugs. In The Last Narco, he gives us a look into a place our government either denies or lies about. This time you can run, but you can’t hide.” —Charles Bowden, author of Murder City

“No ‘war on terror’ was ever as terrifying as the ferocious wars of the drug lords in Mexico. In The Last Narco, Malcolm Beith courageously takes us to the front lines in the heart of the Mexican badlands—and also right on the border of the United States. This is a threat to homeland security that is too often ignored by the press and public, and this is the book that brings it all into focus. A must read.” —Christopher Dickey, author of Securing the City: Inside America’s Best Counterterror Force—the NYPD

“Malcolm Beith risked life and limb to tell the inside story of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán Loera, Mexico’s notorious drug capo. A novelist could not have presented a more intriguing or compelling tale of corruption, intimidation, murder, blood feuds, life-and-death negotiations, and the entrepreneurial skill of a near-mythic figure whom Forbes Magazine named one of the world’s richest men. Beith’s superb book corroborates the cliché that fact is stranger than fiction.” —George W. Grayson, professor of government at the College of William & Mary and the author of Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State?

“He is the last of the Mohicans. All of the other big cartels have been decapitated. That is why they want him so badly.” —Jorge Chabat, Mexico City Law Enforcement Expert

“A virtual nonstop chase.” —Trading Markets

About the Author

Malcolm Beith, a writer based in Mexico City, has covered the drug war for Newsweek and has contributed to Foreign Policy, World Politics Review, and Jane's Intelligence Weekly.

John Allen Nelson's critically acclaimed roles on television's 24 and Vanished are among the highlights of his twenty-five-plus years as an actor, screenwriter, and film producer. As a narrator, he won an AudioFile Earphones Award for his reading of Zoo Story by Thomas French. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

Malcolm Beith is a 36-year-old freelance journalist and the author of The Last Narco, a book about the Mexican drug war, which is being published in seven languages worldwide. He has written for Newsweek (with whom he was an editor from 2000 to 2007) Slate.com, Foreign Policy, The Sunday Times, Jane's Intelligence Weekly, FDI magazine, The Sun, World Politics Review, Soldier of Fortune, The News (Mexico City) High Times and Nogales International.

Beith has provided commentary on the drug war for CNN, NPR, the BBC, The New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, AOL News, CTV (Canada), Xinhua (China), El Universal and Reforma (Mexico) and several other publications and major news outlets.

Beith can be reached for requests for commentary/talks on the Mexican drug war at mbeithpublic@gmail.com or through his U.S. publisher, Grove Atlantic (http://www.groveatlantic.com/) or UK publisher, Penguin. (http://www.penguin.co.uk)

Some reviews of The Last Narco:
"The Last Narco gracefully captures the heroic struggle of those who dare to stand up to the cartels, and the ways those cartels have tragically corrupted every aspect of Mexican law enforcement." - Laura Bickford, producer, Traffic

"Brave and honest... as reliable a guide as you are likely to get to the cross-currents of the drug war."
- The Economist

"An excellent look at [Mexico's] monstrous cartels... [Beith] is a journalist first: his opinions are, for the most part, kept to himself. [He] tracks Guzmán's career - his loves, his rivals, his victims - from the early days... Beith's book ends with an open ellipsis, as El Chapo remains on the run. The only real fault is the title, because the chance that El Chapo is indeed 'the last narco' seems little more than wishful thinking." - London Literary Review

"A virtual nonstop chase." -- The Albuquerque Journal

"The Last Narco is a brave and terrific headlong journalistic trek into the dangerous, and immensely relevant, terrain of drug trafficking in Mexico, and the life and times of its foremost practitioner."
- Sam Quinones, author of True Tales from Another Mexico

"Malcolm Beith slaps our faces with our ignorance. We barely know Mexico, and understand even less of its major industry, drugs. In The Last Narco, he gives us a look into a place our government either denies or lies about. This time you can run, but you can't hide." - Charles Bowden, author of Murder City

"No 'war on terror' was ever as terrifying as the ferocious wars of the drug lords in Mexico. In The Last Narco, Malcolm Beith courageously takes us to the front lines in the heart of the Mexican badlands--and also right on the border of the United States. This is a threat to homeland security that is too often ignored by the press and public, and this is the book that brings it all into focus. A must read." - Christopher Dickey, author of Securing the City: Inside America's Best Counterterror Force--the NYPD

"Malcolm Beith risked life and limb to tell the inside story of Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán Loera... A novelist could not have presented a more intriguing or compelling tale of corruption, intimidation, murder, blood feuds, life-and-death negotiations, and the entrepreneurial skill of a near-mythic figure... Beith's superb book corroborates the cliché that fact is stranger than fiction." - George W. Grayson, professor of government at the College of William & Mary and the author of Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State?

"[The Last Narco] doesn't leave out one key moment in the life of this criminal." - Excelsior (Mexican newspaper)

"A startling account of a desperate problem boiling on and spilling over the border." - Kirkus Reviews

"Constantly gripping... its tales of cat-and-mouse games with authority provide eye-popping anecdotes on almost every page. It's like Scarface but really, really depressing - what's not to like?" - Word Magazine, UK



Customer Reviews

El Chapo is a very intriguing person.
Catherine Bengtson
The book would have been better off without the last two "filler" chapters, one a Postscript and the other detailing the author's sources for every chapter.
Sandford
There is so much info in this book, I learned so much.
David Whalen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Peterson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Desiring to learn about the drug wars in Mexico, I bought this book somewhat as a blind shot in the dark. Like most blind shots in the dark, it missed the mark.

THE LAST NARCO refers to Joaquin Guzman Loera, a/k/a El Chapo. (Actually, the title seems to be somewhat misleading; while Chapo may be the last operating "El Jefe de jefes" ("Boss of bosses") still at large, if "narco" is given its common meaning of someone associated with the drug trade, clearly there are tens of thousands of narcos, with the number growing daily.) "Forbes" Magazine has listed Chapo both as one of the richest people in the world and one of the most powerful. Chapo is the book's centerpiece, around which Malcolm Beith, a British journalist, reports on the rampant drug trafficking, the narcos, the corruption, and the murder and mayhem over the last quarter century in Mexico.

By and large, the book is anecdotal. From time to time Beith wanders into the realms of analysis and policy, but never in sustained fashion or with particular enlightenment. What, one might wonder, has been the role of the United States? Beith mentions, more or less in passing, its role as the overriding market demand for the drugs coming out of and through Mexico (Ross Perot's sucking sound heading the opposite direction). From several of his anecdotes, one might speculate that U.S. intervention at both the levels of law enforcement and national diplomacy has affected - perhaps for good or perhaps for ill - Mexico's handling of its drug problem, but the matter is not really discussed. Beith also mentions, again without in-depth discussion, that the U.S. is the major supplier (perhaps as high as 90%) of the firearms used by Mexico's drug cartels and their sicarios (killers).
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Daire O'Reilly on May 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To be honest I don't know what happens to El Chapo, as after numerous attempts to continue the journey in Malcom Beith's book, I simply can't imagine that its a fate worse than willingly being bludgeoned by the author. This is a spectacularly bad book with neither a consistent narrative nor any real effort to structure any semblance of a story line. To simply call it lazy journalism would do a disservice to lazy journalists the world over. This book instead is an ambitious and aggressive realization of the butchery of language and the successful marketing of half-assery in the pursuit of what is undoubtedly a compelling subject. Lets all hope that El Chapo is not a man of letters as I imagine even greater umbrage may be taken.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MommyMel on April 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've been following what it's happening in Mexico with all the violence and the struggles for power, and this was the 1st book I read about it. I must say that it was very entertaining and I learned quite a lot about the history of "narcotrafico" and El Chapo Guzman. I enjoyed this book, and it inspired me to keep reading other books about this topic.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Karm on October 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great read. Hard to believe what is going on so close to us. We all know about the drug war but you never really hear or read about the details. If you've ever had an interest in drug cartels this is the book for you.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Miguel A. Andrade on September 30, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book, partly because even tough I live in Mexico, the web of names is just endless, PGR, AFI, different ranks in the mafia, so basically I finally understood all the relationships. Of course all the comments, and events that the author describes on his book are very familiar in Mexico, so anyone from Mexico, would easily identify this from the news and have his own opinion on the matter.

Even tough the author is (in my opinion) sometimes impartial, he did a lot of emphasis on the network of corruption in Mexico because the drug is moved from Colombia to the states. If so, how come he never questioned the integrity of the USA, because all those TONS for cocaine and mariguana, that cross in San Diego, Nogales, El Paso, etc... are not magically appearing on New York, Boston, etc... are they?

I do recommend this book, is a pretty good lecture, and it helps to better understand that underworld.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sandford on December 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Having read most of the good smuggling books at Amazon like Blow, Smuggler's Blues, Weed Man, 21st Century Pirate, The Accountant I was hoping for a similar ride with the Last Narco. No such luck. I found the book to be like a history lesson. Rather than focusing on el Chapo Guzman Loera the author was all over the map with news clippings and tid-bits about every low life Mexican smuggler that ever existed. There was very little meat in this literary meal. I certainly do not feel that I know much more than I already knew about el Chapo. The book would have been better off without the last two "filler" chapters, one a Postscript and the other detailing the author's sources for every chapter. All and all I found this book boring with a capital B.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul M. Morgan on December 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
So yes, "The Last Narco" has incredibly interesting content, but I think this book was typed while the writer was blindfolded. The book is riddled with 5th grade writing errors and blantant blunders. For example, in the first chapter a sentence is repeated; the words "farther" is often confused and mixed with up with the word "further"; and the editor/writer forgot to write in little words, such as "the" and "but" or "him", and ends up making awkwardly sounding sentences throughout the entire book.
I started marking the errors, but they became way, way too numerous. However, El Chapo is a BALLER and almost as pimp as Escobar. Read the book and laugh at the errors, it's a quick read and worth the couple of days it takes to get through this simple book.
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