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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  16 reviews
2019 IndieReader Discovery Award Winner.

When twenty-something post-grad Nick Fillmore discovers that the zine he publishes is a front for drug profits, he begins a dangerous flirtation with an international heroin smuggling operation and in a matter of months finds himself on a fast ride that he doesn’t know how to get off of.

After a bag goes missing in an airport transit
Paperback, 290 pages
Published January 1st 2019 by iambic Books
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3.88  · 
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 ·  65 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Valerity (Val)

This was an interesting story about a twenty-something guy who is looking around for work after college. He finds this job where he starts out thinking he’s going to be editing a magazine when he leaves town and kisses his girlfriend goodbye. But the situation soon gets squirrely and turns out to really be about smuggling heroin.

Nicholas needs money badly since the rent is due, but he struggles with his conscience. It’s international drug smuggling after all. Plus there’s a lot of risk i
Glenn Russell

Smuggler - Nicholas Fillmore’s fiercely honest account of his crossing over from hanging out as a post-grad dharma bum in a New England college town to being a link in the chain within the underworld of international drug smuggling.

Before delving into more detail, let me make two things abundantly clear: Smuggler is a very well written book and Smuggler makes for a compelling read. I intended taking my time, finishing a few chapters a day over the course of a couple weeks, but once I started, I
Lynda Dickson
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ages 17+
Shelves: adult, nonfiction
Nicholas falls into the heroin smuggling business almost by accident, as it seems like a good way to make easy money quickly. So it begins, but things eventually start to fall apart. Good times are followed by increasing paranoia, friendships turn to rivalries, and romance is ruined by lies. Feeling that things are coming unstuck, Nicholas becomes more and more reckless, until his inevitable arrest. The second half of the book covers the time he spends behind bars, the array of interesting chara ...more
Alysa H.
The thing about non-celebrity memoirs is that they have to be either very well written, fascinating, or both in order to capture the reader's attention. Fortunately, this book -- for the most part -- is both.

I was somehow completely unaware until close to the end, when one of Fillmore's drug smuggling associates, here called "Temper," was revealed clearly to be Piper Kerman, that this book was in any way related to Orange Is the New Black. I just thought that Fillmore's story of smuggling in the
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nicholas Fillmore tells his life story about being a drug smuggler for a African drug lord. You can sense through it all his own understanding that he was doing wrong but did not know how to get out of what he was doing. This book is sort of a spin off of the book Piper wrote that created the series Orange is the New Black. For me as I read the story I had mixed feelings about what was happening to Nicholas. I like that he found his redemption so to speak but I struggled with that fact he was mo ...more
Robert Dergosits
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading SMUGGLER by Nicholas Fillmore! It was a page turner with suspense, adventure, and interesting characters. I appreciated this memoir as a literary piece of writing. The vocabulary and descriptions were creative and colorful. It is clear to me that Fillmore is a skilled writer, painting a picture for the reader. Throughout the book, the reader is taken on a wild ride of difficult choices both ethically and emotionally and perhaps on an introspection of ones own self. I ...more
Joyce Alla
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Nicholas Fillmore’s memoir, The Smuggler, is a captivating read. Even though we know what’s going to happen to Fillmore, we go along for the wild ride. As readers, we’re simultaneously frustrated by Fillmore’s bad choices and also sympathetic to his situation – which is a testament to the author’s retrospective honesty and self-awareness. Fillmore captures characters and relationships vividly while escorting us around the globe, on drunken binges, to languish in dumpy hotel rooms and then into t ...more
Zachary Goode
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Filmore weaves a hypnotic tale of drugs, crime, prison, and existential angst against a backdrop of poetic Cape Cod nostalgia and international intrigue. An instant classic.
Susan Doran
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair..."

From Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, but also perhaps equally applicable to this tale of two Nicholases.

In SMUGGLER, a work of literary autobiographical reportage, we're entreated to join Nicholas in his bifu
May 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
Rating: It was OK

Smuggler is the first full-length work by Nicholas Fillmore, a gritty crime memoir which recounts his experiences of becoming a drugs smuggler as well as his time in prison paying his dues to society, and then his subsequent release several years later.

I truly wanted to write a raving review for Smuggler as I had so much fun interviewing the author and learning about his colourful story, unfortunately I really struggled getting through this memoir for stylistic reasons.

As you wo
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Talk about torn feelings about a book. I thought I had found something, and then it was gone.

I loved Part 1 of the book. About how he became a smuggler and describing all the stuff he had to go through. I was thinking I found someone at HST's level, even maybe a Tom Robbins. Thoughts of The Rum Diary and Another Roadside Attraction careened through my brain. Really, really enjoyed it.

So I was anxious to read Part 2. Let down. Minor, but a let down nonetheless. The story still had me, but the sar
Kate Vale
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
I don’t usually read memoirs because the first one I read couldn’t hold my interest. Smuggler does not suffer from that problem. Although the first few chapters seemed to move slowly as the author gets caught up in becoming a drug carrier, the rest of the story swiftly barrels along. I was completely captured in those prison scenes as I became another “cellie” of the author.

Fears that Fillmore might regress and end up back in prison raised my anxiety when he forgot an appointment, but relief fol
Chris Tolland
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was hooked from the first chapter! I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the creative and skillful writing. This memoir was interesting and intense as it journeyed into the mind of a smuggler and a young man finding his way in this life. The story was divided into two parts which helped me better understand the writer's experience. The first painted a clear picture into Fillmore's initiation and rise into the world of smuggling. He shared personal experiences, thoughts, and struggles. The other ...more
Mike Gunderloy
The story of a literary magazine publisher turned heroin smuggler. I didn't quite stop reading it, but I was pretty close. There is a story hidden in here somewhere, but there's a bunch of pretentious stream-of-consciousness blabbing wrapped around it.
Laurie Giantini
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably more than I wanted to know

Very detailed story of how college students end up smuggling drugs and the consequences thereof. Intriguing story, well written book

Bettina Stammen
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a riveting account of Nick’s slide into the world of drug smuggling from what sounds like a solid middle class upbringing. It seems the draw beyond fast cash must be living on the edge of danger. I for one was at the edge of my seat...Well written and engrossing.
David  Blaby
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Jul 14, 2019
Carolyn Allen
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Aug 11, 2019
Rick Dumais
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Aug 13, 2019
Don Robins
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Lisa Stanhope
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E. Mary
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Jul 25, 2019
Bruce Stuchbery
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Jul 06, 2019
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Meet author Nicholas Fillmore ~ ask him about Smuggler 1 3 Jan 25, 2019 10:41AM  
Nicholas Fillmore is the author of Smuggler, a 2019 IndieReader Discovery Award winner. Smuggler recounts Fillmore's involvement in a heroin importation conspiracy (the inciting incidents behind OITNB), available at

Fillmore attended the graduate writing program at U. New Hampshire, was a finalist for the Juniper Prize in poetry and co-founded and published SQUiD mag
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