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Cosmic Banditos

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  1,307 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
Soon to be a major motion picture starring John Cusack!

Mr. Quark is a down-on-his luck pot-smuggler hiding out in the mountains of Colombia with his dog, High Pockets, and a small band of banditos led by the irascible Jose. Only months before, these three and their fearless associates were rolling in millions in cash and high-grade marijuana, eluding prosecution on “ridic

Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by NAL (first published 1981)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 27, 2007 Cameron rated it liked it
Good book most of the way through, but ends pretty weak. An odd mixture of De Bernieres, HS Thompson, and Pynchon, n'est pas?

What did I learn from this book?

1. Always carry a grenade in my chest pocket.
2. Keep an airplane on stand-by.
3. Don't allow friends to have firearms.
4. Never go up against a sicilian when death is on the line.

Okay #4 I learned elsewhere ... but it is still an important lesson.

Yasemin Şahin
Mar 17, 2016 Yasemin Şahin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yabancı-roman
Kuantum fiziğine merak salmış bir Bandito için hayata "felsefe" arayışı.
Olup biteni kozmik ve atomlar dünyasına göre yorumlayarak şaşırmaca oynamak ve oynatmak çabası.
Her şey olup bittikten sonra şaşıranın yazar mı, okur mu olduğu ikilemini yaşatan bir kitap.
E. C. Koch
Apr 25, 2014 E. C. Koch rated it really liked it
Recommended to E. C. by: R. J. Mark
Cosmic Banditos operates on two narrative levels. The first is a mercifully brief, neo-H. S. Thompson picaresque. It's light on story, and is burdened by an apparent eschewal of outlining or planning. That is, however, only the novel's most superficial layer, as the plot's mock-gonzo gambol through felony and underworld is belied by its deeply theoretical thesis.

It is, despite its length, a robust post-modern creation myth, where the anti-heroic Mr. Quark - Weisbecker's would-be prophet - seeks
Jan 02, 2008 Lavande rated it it was ok
This book came highly recommended but I found it, at most, mildly entertaining. I don't know...maybe I've just read too many books about white men using drugs, sex, philosophy and racial irreverence to stumble towards enlightenment. Plus -- sorry to be so sensitive -- I was not particularly amused by the Black character's runaway slave dialect or the prolific use of derogatory names for gays and Mexicans. Perhaps the slurs wouldn't have bothered me so much if the author had anything new or ...more
Danny Langford
Jun 01, 2009 Danny Langford rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any Hard Science Major, Professor, Developing Writer, and those not easily offended!
This is quite simply a under-read masterpiece. Boasting equal measures of Hunter s. Thompson full blown Gonzo, and Stephen R Hawking dialects on quantum mechanics and chaos theory. While quantum mechanics may not usually qualify as light reading, throw in about a hundred gallons of tequila, a south-of-the-boarder band of drug running banditos and you get the wildest ride and perhaps the best exploration of just how strange and chaotic the quantum realm of sub-atomic particles really is!

For many
Sean Daley
Feb 21, 2009 Sean Daley rated it it was amazing
so i read this in like 2 days (as it turns out, if i get the right position at work, i can read for like 5 hours a day provided i dont mind interuptions). as a straight contrabandista tale, it lags in overall plot arc when compared to "smokescreen" which in my oppinion is the penultimate smugglers tale. but this differs from smokescreen for a few reasons. this one is a work of fiction (making it by definition, less believable) and two it has a subplot line dealing with subatiomic physics. which ...more
Mar 26, 2016 yasar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Eğer bir Atomaltı Parçacığı ya da eşcinseli uyarırsanız, hareketleri daha telaşlı ve daha gelişigüzel olur."

şöylede bir saçmalık yazıyor o yüzden 3 yıldızı haketti:
"Bohr’un, Lorenz’in ve Planck’ın öğretileri çok geçmeden Freud’un, Jung’un ve Fromm’un saçmalıklarının yerini alacak. Bunda hiç şüphe yok."

"Kendi türünden biriyle oturup anıları hatırlamaya bayılmayan bir Contrabandista hiç tanımadım. Tuhaf bir şeyler yapmanın nedeni de bazen yarı yarıya buymuş gibi gelirdi. Daha sonra olanlar hakk
Jan 13, 2014 M. rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned-books
Sevgili arkadaşlar, eğer kitap zevkimiz sizinkiyle uyuşmuyorsa bu kitabı hemen okumalısınız. Çünkü o kadar absürd ki sonuna doğru her sayfadan bir cümle okuduğumu itiraf etmeliyim. Vakit ve nakit kaybı olmaktan başka bir şey değil. Zaten önsözünde yazar, kitabı isterseniz iade edip başka bişey alın, diyor. Bunu gerçekten düşünmedim değil.

Bana hiçbir şey katmadı. Hüzünlendirmedi. Güldürmedi. Bomboş bir kitap. Nesini abarttıklarını anlamadım. Kuantumla da uzaktan yakından ilgisi yok.
Marcus Eaton
Jan 22, 2014 Marcus Eaton rated it it was amazing
I read this as a weird teenager and found it to be the funniest book I ever remember reading. The craziness of the story - a drug-runner in hiding who goes on a journey of knowledge to understand the meaning of the universe through quantum physics, just nuts.

Stupidly I lent the book to a friend and never saw it again. I would definitely re-read
Alp Arslan
Bırakın kuantum fiziğini Newton fiziğini dahi ancak ÖSS seviyesinde bilen biri olan bendeniz dahi keyif aldı bu kitaptan. Bir de göndermeleri anlasaydım... Yeraltı edebiyatı yönündense bir hayli tatmin ediciydi. Velhasıl kötü bir fizikçi ve ortalamanın altında bir yeraltı okuru olan beni bile memnun ettiğine göre bu ikisine birden merak duyanların kesinlikle kaçırmaması gerek.
Mar 18, 2014 Adrian rated it it was amazing
If someone loans you this book, steal it and leave the country. I searched for this for years and now have an autographed copy. One of The Best. Ever.
Ayrıntı Yayınları’nın yeraltı edebiyatı serisinin favori parçalarından.
Ken Selvia
I think I have to be in the right kind of Hunter S. Thompson mood for this kind of book. Wasn't this week.
Ray Campbell
Aug 09, 2013 Ray Campbell rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
I finished "In Search of Captain Zero" earlier this week. I really, really enjoyed it, picked this up immediately and read it quickly. Very, very silly. I almost set it down when it appeared to be a stoned ramble without the substance of "Captain Zero", but I stayed with it and am glad. The book is a comedy of drug smugglers, banditos and aub-atomic particles. The preface doesn't really do the book any favors, but stay with it and you'll have a good long laugh.

"In Search of Captain Zero" is a su
Scott Cooley
Aug 19, 2016 Scott Cooley rated it it was amazing
Adventure that would be a great movie someday, but it may take several parts or volumes to cover all this content, depending on things and stuff. A very exiting read if you are in your 20s after having had some exposure to some faction of a bohemian lifestyle. Also, it helps if your girlfriend recommends it to you because she read it after her older brother recommended it to her, especially if she's learned enough from her older brothers' mistakes to avoid them herself, yet still finds them ...more
Michael Herrman
Apr 27, 2012 Michael Herrman rated it really liked it
This is a yarn. It's over the top, but if this story had pretended to be anything more than a philosophical suppository giving spirit and form to a rudimentary course in quantum theory, if it had tried to take itself seriously, it would have been mediocre at best.

Sure, I smiled, even laughed a few times, and yeah, I kept turning pages to see where he was going with the madness, but it was the point at which he arrived at the point before he set out for the point that was never really there that
Jack Allen
Mar 15, 2016 Jack Allen rated it it was amazing
I bought and read this book when it came out in 86 and I loved it!! I got married in 88 and told my wife she had to read it but I couldn't find my copy, then about 2 months later I saw a copy for sale at TG&Y (remember them?) any way it was on the bargain rack for a buck! I of course bought it and reread it then the wife read it (she loved it) and we put it up then a few years later I decided I wanted to read it again and I couldn't find it. My wife said she would just buy another copy on ...more
Jason Allen Amelio
Nov 10, 2013 Jason Allen Amelio rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I don't know what to say about this book.

Quantum physics and gun running...I mean come on.

A friend of mine passed me this book in the late 90's and it blew my freaking mind. As the internet became a thing we found out just how rare the book was. He had stolen his copy from the library (the way I am sure a large number of people ended up owning this book before the re release).

Once it came out again a few years later I was quick to buy a copy of my own and found even more to love the second time
Sep 07, 2015 Noah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Funny, gonzo, insane, totally ridiculous, completely implausible, laugh-out-loud...

The wild claims of the author, especially with regard to what's based in reality and what isn't, really add to the dizzying pace and insanity of this cult classic.

The author makes a point about theoretical physics under the guise of drug-addled partying and hijinks. Cosmic Banditos is, if you really think about it, a much more accessible (and much less impressed with itself) Dancing Woo Li Masters in its explorati
Nov 28, 2013 Downward rated it really liked it
weisbecker's book reads like fear & loathing in las vegas as written by douglas adams: a serious inquiry into quantum physics (and many of its branches, each with their own hand in the novel's meager plot) made palatable through the outlaw story and absurdist humor that acts as its engine. it's light on story, but it's loveable and somehow incredibly honest in its interests and its depictions and illustrations of those interests. ultimately the conclusion our narrator (and weisbecker come ...more
Apr 30, 2011 Leah rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I loved Weisbecker's first book In Search Of Captain Zero. This book is quite different being a work of fiction, but many of the stories in this book were inspired by his adventures around the world in his first book. This is very difficult to describe, but basically it's about a group of banditos and drug lords who mug this family and stumble upon books about reality and the universe. The banditos read these books and send letters to the guy who owned them, harassing his family...oh forget ...more
Jun 14, 2010 Colin rated it really liked it
I described this book to a friend as Hunter S. Thompson plus Quantum Physics and I stand by that. This was a really surprising book from the cover: I expected it to be some strange sci-fi romp with a Wild West theme, like Douglas Adams's version of the Alamo. Instead, it's the story of a drug runner lying low in Colombia who comes across a text on quantum mechanics that changes his worldview. It's funny, doesn't take itself too seriously, interesting, and full of puns and comedy. I immediately ...more
Feb 24, 2012 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My brother in law recommended this book, and I had high hopes for it. At first I was enchanted by the meta-fiction, but halfway through the book I began to feel that it was old, cliche, and it wasn't even about quantum physics. The whole book just relied on references to quantum physics to lend an air of intellectual respectability to the inanity of the plot. I felt like the hijinks of the plot were supposed to make up for the flaws in the construction of the novel.. Basically, I got bored by ...more
Brady Hammond
May 25, 2016 Brady Hammond rated it it was amazing
You might not think it would be possible to combine subatomic particle theory, banditos, and drug running into a coherent novel, and you may be right, but it is humorous and entertaining beyond belief. A short 1-2 day read that I cannot recommend enough. Oh, and it is semi-autobiographical. Yes, the author, in his past, was dealing with South American banditos, drug running, and hallucinating about being able to actually see subatomic particles with his naked eye. Nothing like first-person ...more
Dec 23, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cult_books
The Goodreads description starts: "Soon to be a major motion picture starring John Cusack!" I see no evidence that that's going to happen.

I'm trying to clear a backlog of books on my TBR list and this one has been there for years. No regrets about not having got to it sooner, although it does have its "laugh out loud" moments. The best way to describe it is that it's kind of a "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" of the 1980s. It has a strong Hunter Thompson vibe to it. It could have been called Gon
May 16, 2008 Evan rated it really liked it
The back-story of the author's disappearance and the book's cult following made book that much more interesting to read. Nothing i can really relate to, but very well written and humorous and and enjoyably quick read. I quite enjoyed it. Not the best book and not the book for everyone, but i can certainly see how it gained the cult following it has. I would definitely read it again on a lark or pass it off to friends i think would appreciate its outrageousness.
Jul 12, 2014 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: novel
Mantengo le quattro stelle, e' un'opera molto divertente e piu' profonda di quanto non appaia a prima vista. Le rocambolesche avventure del protagonista e dei suoi amici Bandidos sono davvero esilaranti. Il dialogo del protagonista con il lettore (attraverso il metodo del cd. "metaromanzo") offre ironici e interessanti spunti di riflessione. I difetti? Un po' sbilanciato in alcuni passaggi, per questo non gli ho dato cinque stelle. Lo consiglio!
Gürcan Öztürk
Sep 10, 2013 Gürcan Öztürk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kozmik Haydutlar hava, kara, deniz dinlemeden kıtalar arası seyahat eden uçarı bir macera. Haydutların her durağı ise apayrı bir felsefe. Kendince varlık nedenlerini arayan bir grup amaçsızın amaçlı hale dönen yaşamlarından 194 sayfalık bir izlek.
Çok kültürlü dokusu, kutuplaşan dünyaya yönelttiği ince hicvi, çılgınlıkta sınır tanımayan karakterleri ve boğmadan anlatmaya çalıştıkları ile okuyanın yanına kar kalacak bir kitap Kozmik Haydutlar.
Oct 01, 2007 Bill rated it really liked it
When people ask me for book suggestions, this book is on my short list of easy suggestions. I continually am amazed that it's not more well known, as this book seems perfect to be a cult hit. Hilarious and well enough written to be a quick read, I've yet to find someone who didn't enjoy it after I gave it to them (I think I've gone through about 3 copies despite having only read it once, just because I let people borrow it so often.)
Angela Beske
May 03, 2016 Angela Beske rated it really liked it
I read this book when it first came out and loved it. But I also loved "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and books like that. When I re-read it 30 years later I was not very thrilled by it - in the beginning. But once I got into it I really enjoyed it again! His footnotes remind me of Terry Pratchett. It helps if you have heard about Quantum Physics - but it is really not necessary :)
Btw: the introduction by the Author is definitely worth reading!
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