Nicholas's Reviews > Snowblind: A Brief Career in the Cocaine Trade

Snowblind by Robert Sabbag
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's review
Jun 02, 10

liked it
bookshelves: biography-memoir, business
Read in June, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Nice book on the early coke trade. 'Bad guy' walks free at the end.

The dude is a mid-level trafficker. Decidedly not the story of some cocaine kingpin. Just a smart slacker.

Some funny dialog and narration.


"The party went out of control somewhere in the early hours before dawn, and the steps he had taken in the beginning to minimize his losses were eventually undermined by the immutable laws of chemistry - his mind, simply, had turned to soup. He was up against the law of averages with a head full of coke. The smart money pulled out, and the odds mounted steadily. By sunrise, Swan was beaten by the spread."

"We are on the threshold of human interchange here, speech, verbal commerce along the barren avenues of Quaalude City. Communication at this level, although sophisticated in its own way, can best be described as haphazard. It is a kind of space-age remodeling of traditional counterintelligence techniques - scrambled messages, predistorted transmissions, sympathetically programmed transceivers - a kind of mojo cryptography which contains no universal cipher and is efficient only when two people are doing the same kind of dope."

"The sun was on the horizon and all seven were bobbing in the surf when in the distance an intruder appeared. A jogger. He approached, moving at an even pace along the waterline, his face flushed, his breathing steady, his body drenched with sweat and glory, radiating that all-American, infinite faith in the cardiovascular benefits of discomfort."

"[Cocaine:]'s synthetic relatives are benzocaine and procaine, the latter marketed under the trade name Novocain."

"Because the government knows nothing about drugs, it does not know that there are good reasons for not doing cocaine."

"Federal agents, those subsidized by the American taxpayer, will customarily wait for a bust before talking to such people. Rather than walk up to someone obviously headed for trouble - where they might flash a badge and say, 'Get smart, kid, it's not going to work' - they will, as a matter of policy, allow him to risk his life with the local heavies, get a few snorts of pure, and walk into jail at the airport back home. Why prevent smuggling when you can punish it - isn't that what jails are for?"

"Swan's awakening was rude and abrupt. He opened his eyes and found himself looking down the throat of a beast disguised as the American Dream."
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