Samantha'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
Aug 24, 09

bookshelves: true-crime
Read in August, 2009

This book is the story of Pablo Escobar, Medellin drug cartel leader, as told by his brother, Roberto, who served as Pablo's chief accountant.

Overall, I was disappointed by this book. The biggest problem I had with it was the wandering narrative. It was written as I suspected it was told: as a story recounted regardless of the chronological occurrence of events. The retelling followed a rough timeline, beginning with Pablo's exploits in the smuggling business (which he was involved in prior to the drug business) and ending with the events after his death. But in between, the story was largely unfocused, skipping from 1986 to 1990 to the early 80s and back again.

Another thing that irritated me was the way Pablo Escobar was portrayed as a martyr, the guy who sacrificed everything in order to free Colombian criminals from the spectre of extradition. As if living in a luxurious prison of his own design where lavish parties were thrown and beautiful women were shipped in daily was such a hardship.

Granted, Pablo was chased by the government, the police, the DEA, and Los Pepes, but I have a hard time feeling sorry for a man who willingly and knowingly killed hundreds of people for his own purposes. And I'm not talking about drugs. In his fight with the government and the Cali drug cartel, he had many people assassinated and killed innocent people in the streets with bombs his people planted. All because he didn't want to be extradited to the US and forced to serve a life sentence in an American (and less luxurious) prison.

But oh, yeah...he was just defending himself. Cry me a river.

All in all, I found this book more irritating than eye opening. And maybe Pablo and his family were credited with crimes they weren't responsible for, but he wasn't a hero by any means. No matter how many soccer fields he built.

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