Books I’ve read: The Triple Agent, El Narco, Jacked and I am Zlatan

Been reading a lot on planes, while also playing videogames on flights. So here’s some books I’ve read during April.

El Narco (by Ioan Grillo)

Writing in a bit too British tabloidy way, Ioan Grillo’s book is still an superb insight into the whole narco-culture in Mexico and just how the state is really failing. The drug business is so deeply embedded into some parts of Mexico that songs are made of drug runner heroes and really, killings are part of everyday life, which is pretty sick. Sure, it isn’t everywhere in Mexico, but its’ part of the country’s culture and politics which makes very scary – the the police, military and justice system definitely is. Drug lords kill at will – families, enemies/friendlies doesnt really matter, politicians, military, police…it’s crazy what is going on there. The book gives a good insight into why this is happening and where it’s all going. Definitely an interesting read. I’ve read a few books on the topic and I’d still rank Grillo’s book right up there.

The Triple Agent

I’ve been reading a lot about US operations in Afghanistan and that whole area in general. The Triple Agent tells the real story of an Al-qaeda mole Humam Khalil al-Balawi who CIA thought had turned to work for them. Of course it was too good to be true and it was: the person in question blew himself up at an US base in Khost killing several CIA and military people with him. It’s an really interesting read, well-researched and gives an idea just how…much of this is a game to Americans and how badly they want to beat the “bad guys”, while they simply are doing more and more damage while doing it.

I’d really recommend reading Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State (Dana Priest, William Arkin), which details the incredible amount of money US is pouring into spying and just how many goverment contractors are getting ultrarich by spying on their own. It really makes for staggering reading when you consider just how little money is going into really important things like: US school system, infrastructure and healthcare.

I do believe in the goverment’s power to protect it’s people and not needing to tell everything, I absolutely do, but certainly now that in the last 20 years everything has become so deregulated in the US, t’s a very scary police-state type of future with little common sense prevailing.

Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto

I’ve been planning to write a book about Rockstar for a few years now, but David Kushner beat me to it. It’s a must read for fans of Rockstar Games like me, but as Rockstar did not co-operate in the creation of this book, there’s no official interviews from the Houser brothers, nor Terry Donovan who were the nucleus of Rockstar. Still, there’s comments from these guys from other interviews over theyears and Kushner is able to give some insight into the secretive company. I was disappointed how much time Kushner spends on Hot Coffee, but the epic arrogance and and sort of “Fuck’em, they dont understand us” (which I do  like) mentality of Rockstar really came to haunt them. Many within in the company disagreed how things were handled and they were right.

I am Zlatan

The English-language version has a lot of spelling mistakes, but it’s a good read. Zlatan’s very arrogant, make’s no bones about it, but that’s what makes this football book so much more interesting than the boring ass drivel of the likes of Gerrard, Carragher etc books.

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