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In many countries, 000 flour is the finest on the market. It is hard to find, but it is soft, light, almost impalpable like the purest, highest qualitygrade of cocaine. ZeroZeroZero is also the title of RobertoSaviano s unforgettable, internationally bestsellingexploration of the inner workings of the globalcocaine trade its rules and armies, and the truedepth of its reach into the world economy and, byextension, its grasp on us all.
Gomorrah, Saviano s explosive account of theNeapolitan mob, the Camorra, was a worldwidepublishing sensation. It struck such a nerve withthe Camorra that Saviano has had to live undertwenty-four-hour police protection for morethan eight years. During this time he has cometo know law enforcement agencies and officialsaround the world. With their cooperation, Savianohas broadened his perspective to take in the entireglobal corporate entity that is the drug trade andthe complex money-laundering operations thatallow it to function, often with the complicity ofthe world s biggest banks.
The result is a truly harrowing andgroundbreaking synthesis of intimate literarynarrative and geopolitical analysis of one of themost powerful dark forces in our economy.Saviano tracks the shift in the cocaine trade s axis ofpower, from Colombia to Mexico, and relates howthe Latin American cartels and gangs have forgedalliances, first with the Italian crime syndicates, then with the Russians, Africans, and others. Onthe one hand, he charts a remarkable increase insophistication as these criminal entities diversifyinto many other products and markets. On theother, he reveals the astonishing increase in theseverity of violence as they have fought to protectand extend their power.
Saviano is a writer and journalist of rarecourage and a thinker of impressive intellectualdepth, able to see the connections between farflungphenomena and bind them into a singleepic story. Most drug-war narratives feel safelyremoved from our own lives; Saviano's offersno such comfort. As heart racing as it is heady, ZeroZeroZero is a fusion of disparate genres intoa brilliant new form that can rightly be calledSavianoesque."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-05-18
- Reviewer: Staff
Following 2006’s Gomorrah, reporter Saviano returns with another blistering crime exposé, this time delivering a wide-ranging and disturbing look at international cocaine trafficking. To give a sense of the amount of money involved in the cocaine trade, reporter Saviano notes, “there are two kinds of wealthy people: those who count their money and those who weigh it.” With the U.S.’s War on Drugs greatly overshadowed by the War on Terror, many readers will be surprised at how active and violent drug trafficking remains. Saviano is particularly apt at making complex facts accessible; for example, to illustrate his point that “no market in the world brings in more revenue than the cocaine market,” he compares the return on investment of the narcotic with that of Apple stock. Strong stomachs are needed for graphic descriptions of the horrific violence the cartels inflict on those who dare to cross them. His eventual and surprising conclusion—that cocaine legalization is the only reasonable solution to the problem of trafficking—will generate controversy. (July)