Mr. Nice: An Autobiography
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What an extraordinary fellow Howard Marks is. His autobiography takes him from his South Wales childhood and Oxford University education through his life dealing marijuana and the enormous mythology that accrued around what the tabloids called "the English Toff Drugs King of the World". This book is called Mr Nice after one of the many aliases Marks's life as a merchant of pot obliged him to assume, but it describes him perfectly too: the epitome of British niceness, the nicest international criminal you could hope to meet. It's not hard to see why this has become a cult book--Marks is a brilliant version of a mate down the pub, telling you the gobsmacking stories of his many adventured life. The writing is direct and the narrative will detain you as comprehensively as Marks himself was detained for seven years at Terre Haut Penitentiary, Indiana. He was released the same day as Mike Tyson. "I had," he observes mildly, "been continuously in prison for the last six-and-a-half years for transporting beneficial herbs from one place to another, while he had done three years for rape." Truly there is no justice; but there are eye-popping adventures, hilarious touches and a thorough-going wisdom in this excellent book.
were delighted. The grounding was lifted. Astonishingly, Albert was also over the moon about my results: his best friend was a combination of Elvis and Einstein. The good times began again. My new-found freedom coincided with the opening in Kenfig Hill of Van’s Teen and Twenty Club. Visiting bands would play at least once a week, and more often than not, I was invited to sing a few numbers. I had a very small repertoire (What’d I Say, Blue Suede Shoes, and That’s All Right Mama), but it always
It was a golden rule. I had to get out of town. Instructing Malik to hold everything until I got back, I took the next flight out. It was Alitalia, and it went to Rome. I called Ernie. He had no idea what had happened to Bill. He would try to find out. There was no answer from Mickey Williams’s number. I rang some other numbers. Judy and the children were in Mallorca house-hunting. I caught an Iberia flight from Rome to Palma. Judy had found a cheap, beautiful old house in La Vileta, a village
‘Gerry, there’s nothing here: no bars, no hookers, no night-spots, nowhere you can smoke hash in public. Everything is illegal.’ ‘You’re kidding. I thought this was where it all happened. Don’t you have a massage parlour here or something?’ ‘That’s in Bangkok. We could go there if you like.’ ‘Bangkok. That’s it. That’s full of hookers, right? Yeah, let’s go there when Ron’s seen the load. What kind of girls are they in Bangkok?’ ‘Quit it, you guys, let’s get on with what we’re meant to be
gent, but even he was noticeably shocked at my outrageous, dishevelled, unkempt, long-haired, dirty appearance. He was also slightly disconcerted by the ever-increasing crowds of curious and intrigued Hamburgers who were staring fixedly at the degenerate specimen of humanity I presented. The possible reception that we both might encounter at his parents’ home was filling Mac with understandable apprehension. We sat down for a few beers and his fears gradually lifted. He felt confident that after
enquiries but claiming he had done so through his Kilburn investigation unit), so Graham was not answering the phone. His wife, Mandy, dutifully informed Jim every time he rang that Graham was in Kabul. While I was at Graham’s, Mohammed Durrani phoned. The consignment had left Kabul for Frankfurt, where it would be placed on an Aer Lingus flight to Shannon, and one of Durrani’s men had arrived in London with the air waybill. Graham and I went to a flat in Knightsbridge to pick it up. We examined