2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
David Victorson is a drug addict. He is also a convicted felon, guilty of attempting to smuggle into America one of the largest ever shipments of marijuana. The book opens with David handcuffed to a bed in a Bolivian prison. The following pages see David reflect on the circumstances that have led him to such a low point in his life. His thoughts drift back to his childhood, for example, when he learned to fight for himself. He then considers how, after college, he felt cheated out of money as the result of a poor commercial deal. Consequently, David starts to sell drugs as a way to earn money. He also starts to use drugs. David ends up working for a Colombian cartel until, inevitably, the law catches up with him. The rest of the book records David's efforts to wean himself off drugs and earn a living through legitimate means.
37 Tons by David Victorson shines a light on the reality of life as an international drug smuggler. On more than one occasion, David loses himself to the insanity of drugs; it is not a pleasant sight.
Disappointingly, David describes the women in his life solely in terms of their sexuality. In fairness to the author, he is aware that he finds it hard to relate to people generally. Indeed, he is a self-confessed loner. It should be no surprise, therefore, that a dog is his favourite companion throughout much of the book. The author's descriptions of women do, however, remain a little jarring.
The author varies his writing style to suit the mood. At moments of heightened tension, for example, we see David's thoughts as a stream of consciousness. There are other times when we witness events as if we are looking at the scene through a window - reflecting David's own sense of disengagement from the experience. At one point, David goes as far as to describe his alienation from society as feeling like he is an inhabitant of Mars.
I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. David clearly recognises that the choices he makes have consequences. It is a shame, therefore, that the book feels a little too self-valedictory. The author gives an impression that his misfortunes are almost entirely due to unfair treatment at the hands of society. Some of the anecdotes are interesting by nature of the fact that not many readers will have had experience of drug smuggling. Unfortunately, the book reads a bit too much like a diary that simply chronicles events; there is insufficient depth of insight or descriptive detail.
This story will appeal to readers who enjoy a lively autobiography. Equally, anyone who is interested in stories about the drugs underworld will also enjoy this book.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like Julie Green's review? Post a comment saying so!