Herb Trader

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Woodstock Mountain Press, 2009 - True Crime - 334 pages
In 1998, U.S. Agents orchestrated a mission to alter the national election in Cambodia. To secure this victory, one of the biggest marijuana smugglers in the world was drawn into the mission, only for it to go awry when things got personal. Given the authority to alter the election, a pair of Green Beret twins used deception and betrayal for their own gain. The U.S. finds itself at a loss and in a desperate last attempt, they make a sacrificial lamb out of Max, a reefer smuggler from Woodstock. In spite of their efforts to kill him, Max survived and is now exposing the truth in his new book. This riveting true story tells of corruption and treachery at the highest level.HERB TRADER exposes how secure top level government agencies were infiltrated and used by diabolical, self-serving criminals

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This book is so bad. This author’s style of writing is “First I did this. Then I did this. Then I did another thing. And here’s some dialogue where it sounds like I was conversing with a primitive robot.” For a while, I gave the book the benefit of the doubt and thought that with a talented ghostwriter and a good editor, maybe it could have had the potential to not be terrible. By the time I got to the end, though, I’d given up on even that. This book is just flat-out boring with bad pacing and flat characters. It’s extremely repetitive too. Oh, a boat full of drugs sank and somebody raised the price of marijuana? Oh and it just happened two more times? How insightful!
In hindsight, it makes perfect sense that this book was self-published (Woodstock Mountain Press is just this book) because no professional would associate their company with this drivel. I guess the fine people at Woodstock Mountain Press don’t know about ghostwriters and have possibly never read another book or had education that exceeded the third grade.
Everything about this book feels fake, minus the bits that read like ads for sex tourism to Thailand - those are just gross. Overall, the author’s motivations are so badly articulated that the reader has no sense of connection to him. I especially hate how the author tries and fails to endear himself to his audience. It’s like Torsone realized that he couldn’t just write “hey everybody, I’m a great guy,” so instead everybody he interacts with says “hey, you’re a great guy”to him. Ugh. Even worse is how every couple of pages he throws in an “oh btw, I missed my kids and want to provide for them even though I never followed through.” The author can say it as many times as he wants but his actions don’t back it up one iota. He develops a major victim complex at the end of the book too. Apparently it’s surprising to him that career criminals can double-cross someone. You know, since he’s such an honorable guy and it’s fine to smuggle massive amount of illegal material, abandon his family, and participate in an exploitative sex trade. But cooperate with the DEA? He would never! Until he does.
I don’t want or expect the Torsone to be perfect and well behaved. That’s not why anyone buys a book about drug smuggling. I just want him to be earnest and not a shallow hypocrite. For example, Anthony Bourdain can write about a period of his life when he was an addled drug addict and remain sympathetic. The reader can accept Bourdain’s flaws and failures because he’s able (perhaps with the help of a ghostwriter!) to articulate them in a mature and coherent way. Meanwhile, Torsone writes with all the maturity of a lazy 12 year old.
I’m extremely disappointed that I wasted 9.99 on this garbage. I only hope that the proceeds can go to buying this guy a thesaurus.


Chapter 1
Chapter 3
Chapter 5
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chapter 29
Chapter 30

Chapter 18
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 31
Chapter 34
Chapter 37

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