Mr Nice

Mr Nice

Paperback

By (author) Howard Marks

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 560 pages
  • Dimensions: 127mm x 198mm x 33mm | 295g
  • Publication date: 7 October 1997
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0749395699
  • ISBN 13: 9780749395698
  • Illustrations note: facsimiles, portraits
  • Sales rank: 25,108

Product description

During the mid 1980s Howard Marks had forty three aliases, eighty nine phone lines and owned twenty five companies throughout the world. At the height of his career he was smuggling consignments of up to thirty tons of marijuanna, and had contact with organisations as diverse as MI6, the CIA, the IRA and the Mafia. Following a worldwide operation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, he was busted and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison at the Terre Haute Penitentiary, Indiana. He was released in April 1995 after serving seven years of his sentence. Told with humour, charm and candour, Mr Nice is his own extraordinary story.

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Author information

During the mid-1980s Howard Marks had forty-three aliases, eighty-nine phone lines and owned twenty-five companies trading throughout the world. At the height of his career he was smuggling consignments of up to thirty tons of marijuana, and had contact with organisations as diverse as MI6, the CIA, the IRA and the Mafia. Following a worldwide operation by the Drugs Enforcement Agency, he was busted and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison at Terre Haute Penitentiary, Indiana. He was released in April 1995 after serving seven years of his sentence.

Review quote

"Frequently hilarious, occasionally sad, and often surreal" GQ "A man who makes Peter Pan look like a geriatric with sleeping sickness" Loaded "A folk legend... Howard Marks has huge charisma. He sounds like Richard Burton and looks like a Rolling Stone" Daily Mail "A racy yarn with plenty of globe trotting colour" -- Christopher Hirst The Independent "Marks weaves a fascinating story spiced with brilliant detail, far stronger than fiction" FHM Magazine

Editorial reviews

An easygoing international drug smuggler tells his life story. Marks spent most of his life looking for a good scam and a good time. As a child, he got out of a school by faking illness; as a student at Oxford, he used his considerable intelligence to cheat on tests and soon became a fixture of the nascent mid-'60s drug scene. Graduation found him "temporarily straight," but that state soon ended when a dealer friend was jailed and Marks stepped into the breach to sell hashish in London. He moved on to ferrying drugs and currency across European borders for others, and soon enough was arranging his own import/export deals with characters such as "Lebanese Sam," his man in Beirut, and maverick Irishman Jim McCann, who fixed things at the Shannon airport. Marks traveled the world (Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Thailand for business; Spain and Italy for pleasure) with tons of marijuana and hashish and millions of dollars following in his wake-stuffed behind auto paneling, hidden in yachts, sealed in smell-proof containers for air travel. Meanwhile, Marks collected multiple identities, passports, and bank accounts, as well as a handful of legitimate business operations, although, he reports, "I enjoyed being a smuggler most of all." In his personal life, Marks kept things simple: after a failed starter marriage, he soon settled down with his second wife and had three children. Following the progression of Marks's business rapidly becomes overwhelming, but his story, published in England in 1996, is book-ended by a single point: prison. Hunted by the DEA, Marks was finally busted in Spain in the late '80s and served a number of years in the pen before being shipped back to England. A tale that beggars belief, told in a most amiable, if long-winded, way. (Kirkus Reviews)