American Desperado

  • by Jon Roberts, Evan Wright
  • Narrated by Christina Rooney, Erik Davies, Johnathan McClain, Kimberley Farr, Kirby Heyborne, Mark Bramhall, Mark Deakins, Steve Kramer
  • 16 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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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- Rhys

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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- Benjamin101

Book Details

  • Release Date: 15-11-2011
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks