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Publisher's Summary

American Desperado is possibly the most jaw-dropping, event-filled, adrenaline-soaked criminal autobiography ever written. Like a real-life Scarface Jon was born into the upper levels of the Gambino crime family and witnessed his first murder at age seven. He became a one-man juvenile crime wave before joining an assassination squad in Vietnam. He returned to New York at age 20 to become one of the city's top nightclub promoters, then journeyed to Miami where he became the de facto transportation chief of the Medellin Cartel, and along with a tech-wizard partner, created some of the most sophisticated smuggling technologies ever. With a hulking 6'6" bodyguard always at his side, and a rural fortress protected by mortars, tear-gas cannons, and a gold-fanged attack dog, Roberts was brutally effective at what he did. To law enforcement, he was known as the "Bearded Gringo," a spectre they could never touch. To United States senators and CIA officials, he was "the guy who can get things done". He eventually formed a clandestine alliance with the US government and in the end found personal late-life redemption.
©2011 Jon Roberts and Evan Wright (P)2011 Random House AudioGo LTD
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By James Prendergast on 11-03-16

gripping and gritty real-life crime

Very well presented, with multiple actors voicing the protagonist and other supporting players. The format is mostly in the first person as a memoir, with the occasional authors note and press 'clippings' interspersed.

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By peter on 10-04-13

Top Notch

Where does American Desperado rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The best

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

good

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was just in amazement at how it all worked

Any additional comments?

Incredible story, Incredible life. really good listen, I loved it. this story is no holds bar account of a serious bad boy!!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Rhys on 04-13-15

Great listen

Was a great story which I thoroughly enjoyed listening to.

Was broadly three parts, growing up the son of someone high up in the Mafia, being a soldier in Vietnam and finally his life as a smuggler.

All were told from a different angle which made the story more interesting, for example the war veteran was not from the "look at me I'm such a macho hero", but actually told of how the U.S. Government depended on people like him who would do "dark" things to the enemy, even though as he puts it they went too far on a number of occasions.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Benjamin101 on 12-12-14

I was captivated after the first line!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely recommend this audiobook to a friend. It was incredibly fast paced and extremely interesting. Jon Roberts was also very fun and this comes out quite a lot throughout the book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of American Desperado?

When Jon was serving as a soldier in Vietnam.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

They help make the book more three dimensional. I've never listened to an audiobook with so many narrators before and it really worked well. It helped define the different characters when at points, it would have been quite easy to get them mixed up. It also made it seem like each different character was expressing their own view point on the story.

Any additional comments?

If you're looking for your next 'fix', this is definitely it. I was thoroughly gutted when it finished.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Matthew Worrall on 10-11-15

really good book but a little gruesome in parts

Really interesting book to listen to. It moves effortlessly through the very different stages of his life, with just the right level of detail to keep you coming back to hear what's next. Strangely likeable character due to his frankness, almost remorse and occasional humorous comment.Yet equally easy to dislike due to his extremely violent, inhumane approach to managing any given problem. I definitely recommend listening to this book but note it's probably not for the squeamish or faint of heart... This book would make a great movie!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Nick on 06-03-17

loved it

all the ways they evaded the FBI are really interesting and you get a really good insight into how evil this guy really was some of the stories are pretty brutal but all in all this was a pretty damn good book it will have you interested right to the end

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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