Kathleen's Reviews > The Accountant's Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellín Cartel

The Accountant's Story by Roberto Escobar
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's review
May 23, 09

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bookshelves: history, non-fiction, political, read-in-2009
Read in May, 2009

I was not yet ten years old when Pablo Escobar was killed/ possibly killed himself as his brother suggests in this book, so the story of the Medellin cartel is not one that I was very familiar with prior to this book. It occupies that strange space in time--too long ago for me to know it as news, too recent for me to have learned it as history. That said, even I can tell that this is a very biased account, written by the brother of the Colombian drug lord in question.

Still, Pablo Escobar is an extremely intriguing character. He was the greatest philanthropist the Colombian people ever knew and a violent cocaine trafficker. The disconnect there is fascinating, and the story is a good one. Cinderlad's humble origin as a broke peasant son of a teacher and a farmer give way and he grows up to be proclaimed one of the ten richest men in the world by Forbes magazine. The opulence that Roberto Escobar describes in this book at the height of his brother's power is truly amazing. Apparently, Colombia has a problem even today as to what the government should do with the many large zoo animals that Pablo imported for his open-to-the-public menagerie.

As an organizational note, it is obvious that this is the story of an Accountant and not, say, a writer. The story is told in bits and pieces, not at all chronologically, and with tangential transitions if that. I enjoyed reading it, but it could have stood for a bit more editing.

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