American Kingpin

  • by Nick Bilton
  • Narrated by Will Damron
  • 12 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of American Kingpin by Nick Bilton, read by Will Damron.
From New York Times best-selling author Nick Bilton comes a true-life thriller about the rise and fall of Ross Ulbricht, aka the Dread Pirate Roberts, the founder of the online black market Silk Road.
In 2011, Ulbricht, a 26-year-old libertarian idealist and former Boy Scout, launched 'a website where people could buy anything anonymously, with no trail whatsoever that could lead back to them'. He called it Silk Road, opened for business on the Dark Web, and christened himself the Dread Pirate Roberts (after the Princess Bride character). The site grew at a tremendous pace, quickly becoming a $1.2 billion enterprise where you could buy or sell drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, guns, grenades, and poisons.
The Silk Road soon caught the attention of the feds, who embarked on an epic two-year manhunt for the site's proprietor. Ulbricht, in the meantime, struggled to maintain control of his double life and his marketplace, which he originally started to prove that legalising drugs could make society safer. He gradually abandoned his libertarian ideals to rule Silk Road with increasingly authoritarian force. At one point he engaged the services of hired hitmen to take out employees he felt had wronged him. Soon some of the federal agents who were supposed to be hunting for Ulbricht were lured into the dark world and switched sides to join him.
This is a true-life thriller about ambition gone awry, spurred on by the defining clash of our time: the new world of libertarian-leaning, anonymous, decentralised web advocates and the old world of government control, order and the rule of law. Bilton's dazzling rendering and gift for narrative make for an endlessly fascinating drama.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A real life Breaking Bad

Wow, what and incredible story. I was not familiar with the story before reading this book, but was completely hooked from page 1. This is crying out to be made into a movie.

Can’t recommend highly enough.
Read full review

- Christopher

Great listen

What made the experience of listening to American Kingpin the most enjoyable?

I knew the story but this brought all the pieces together very well along with a lot of additional personal insights I hadn't heard before.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

This guy must shake his head multiple times per day at some of his decisions and what led him to be found and caught.

Read full review

- Alan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 22-06-2017
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House UK