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Extended Audio Sample Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World’s Greatest Outlaw Audiobook, by Mark Bowden Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,539 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Bowden Narrator: Mark Bowden Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2001 ISBN: 9780743518819
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On July 22, 1992, Colombian druglord Pablo Escobar walked out of the luxurious prison he built for himself and disappeared into the Colombian jungle. His audacious escape destroyed the nation’s tenuous ceasefire with its infamous narcos, and pushed it into open war with the Medellin Drug cartel.

Over the coming days and weeks, the United States launched a joint military and intelligence operation with the Colombian government, assembling a team of expert personnel and an arsenal of state-of-the-art weaponry and surveillance technology the likes of which the world had never seen. Their mission: to track down Pablo.

But this time, they knew it would not be enough to just capture Escobar. This time, they would have to finish the job. This time, they were going to kill him.

Killing Pablo is the inside story of the brutal rise and violent fall of Colombian cocaine cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar. Bowden’s gripping narrative sounds as if it were torn from the pages of a military technothriller. Action-packed and unputdownable, Killing Pablo is a tour de force of investigative journalism and a stark portrayal of rough justice in the real world.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A master of narrative journalism, [Bowden] employs the same techniques of reconstructing scenes and dialogue that made his Black Hawk Down gripping reading.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Compellingly detailed…Reads like a Clancyesque thriller; it’s fast-paced, full of page-turning intrigue, corruption, and thwarted pursuit.” 

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “The story of how the US Army Intelligence and Delta Force commandos helped Colombian police track down and kill Pablo Escobar is a compelling, almost Shakespearean tale.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Absolutely riveting…Bowden has a way of making modern nonfiction read like the best of novels.” 

    Denver Post

  • Winner of the 2001 Cornelius Ryan Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh Payne | 2/14/2014

    " solid non-fiction narrative that reads like a fiction book. informative, yet captivating... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott Thrift | 2/14/2014

    " Not bad except the author refers to Escobar as "Pablo" throughout. Which is weird. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alicia | 2/11/2014

    " Difficult to get in to, but well researched, dense, and informative. Picked up speed at the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Duke | 2/2/2014

    " I was disappointed. This book was highly rated on Amazon and elsewhere, but it crammed too much unnecessary detail into what should have been a fast paced story about a notorious narco on the run. At the very least, in the end, a government official concludes that the manhunt cost millions of dollars and resulted in many hundreds of people killed, and the end result was that another narco took over Pablo's territory, and his death did not disrupt the cocaine train one bit. Such is our war on drugs. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marc | 1/31/2014

    " Was a nice read, but it fell off after the first half or so. Writing style was not all that great... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Empire23 | 1/29/2014

    " Not to deal blow... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 1/23/2014

    " Good reading for my trip to Colombia in July of 2009. Strangely (or not), it made me want to visit Medellin, the city Pablo Escobar was from. I loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathanael | 1/20/2014

    " An unputdownable epic true story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amber DiCioccio | 1/18/2014

    " There were times I couldn't put the book down and then other times when I wanted to skip whole sections - too many details that didn't seem to add to the "story" as a whole. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron Siegel | 12/26/2013

    " Very interesting story. What's amazing about Pablo Escobar is that he was such a violent person, yet somehow you feel sympathy for the guy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 12/15/2013

    " Some very scary insight to the drug world. Power and money- seems to rule everything "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben | 12/6/2013

    " A fascinating look into narco-politics, U.S. Latin American policy, and how hubris can destroy one of the richest, most feared men in recent history. Written with the same tense clarity found in Blackhawk Down, Bowden crams an amazing amount of detail into a succinct, easily read text. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 12/6/2013

    " This is a very interesting book; it's absolutely amazing the way Pablo Escobar held the country of Colombia hostage for years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shonni | 11/18/2013

    " This was a fascinating true story about the hunt in Columbia for one of the worst criminals, drug smugglers of our time. It was interesting to see how the USA helped in the hunt and how inept most of the Columbians were. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janae Smith | 7/5/2013

    " Great book! Very entertaining and exciting considering it is non-fiction. I definitely recommend! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 chauncey | 5/3/2013

    " the author does a great job of describing how pablo escobar came to power and what the US goverment did to bring him down. a nice introduction to on how the war against drugs skews US foreign policy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gordon | 4/14/2013

    " Very good book that details the corruption and terror that Escobar inflicted on all of Columbia. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Markmywords | 3/21/2013

    " Want to know what it was really like during the Miami Vice days? This book goes behind-the-scenes of the drug cartels that ruled the air, land and sea under Pablo Escobar. Very interesting glimpse into the time and the brutality of the drug trade. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Inesa Petrenko | 8/25/2012

    " Awesome, even if you're not into criminalistics! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hamadyousaf | 7/8/2012

    " Good insight into the world of organised crime. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paola | 4/29/2012

    " I was in Medellin when Pablo Escobar was in power and although the city seemed to be very peaceful we heard from the people living there how judges and journalists were being murdered. Reading this book really brought the situation into perspective. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jojo | 11/18/2011

    " Ah, America. Create a king by buying his drugs and then kill him because you made him too powerful. I wonder if George Bush thought about how his son might have contributed to the problem through his own personal habits. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bologna_frog | 11/12/2011

    " the book you have to read before you visit Colombia. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley Sasnett | 10/25/2011

    " Excellent book. The material doesn't really allow for a linear timeline so it is a challenging read, but well worth it. I think I got a snapshot of not only Pablo Escobar but of the times "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/8/2011

    " Written like an action movie. Good fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thomas | 4/4/2011

    " Great story. Amazing how long he was able to evade the US government. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 3/24/2011

    " This is a compelling and authoritative history. Balanced and entertaining. I am grateful to my son, Joe, for recommending it to me - beginning eight years ago and persistently ever since. Don't wait eight years to read this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tasha | 3/10/2011

    " I thought this was really interesting and gave such insight into just how corrupt Columbia was/is. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gloria | 2/27/2011

    " Great documentary about the hunt of the most famous druglord. Reads like a novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 2/12/2011

    " Another solid book by Mark Bowden. Nice paced and interesting. I would give this book 3.5 stars if possible. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 1/20/2011

    " Some very scary insight to the drug world. Power and money- seems to rule everything "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Worth | 1/11/2011

    " Surprisingly dry and slow. Could have learned as much from Wikipedia. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 1/2/2011

    " The book is a biography of Pablo Escobar, Columbian drug lord, who evaded capture by Columbian and U.S. authorities for years despite extraordinary attempts to find him. Though Escobar was finally killed, the book paints a bleak picture of the war on drugs by attempting to remove the sources. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 12/27/2010

    " A pretty solid by-the-numbers tale of Pablo Escobar in Colombia. Funny in these stories, how authors detail their villains and heroes, though Bowden does a good job of pointing out the futility of it all in the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mr. Anderson | 12/24/2010

    " Great book that reads like a Fiction book, but its all true! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Luke | 12/18/2010

    " A great how to...as in, how to not try and catch the world's most powerful drug lord.
    It's like Clear and Present Danger meets...more Clear and Present Danger "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jon | 12/10/2010

    " Account of the US hunt for cocaine production executive Pablo Escobar and speculation on his death. "

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About the Author
Author Mark Bowden

Mark Bowden is the author of Road Work, Finders Keepers, Killing Pablo, Bringing the Heat, Doctor Dealer, and Black Hawk Down, which was nominated for a National Book Award. A number of his books have been made into movies, including Money for Nothing, Killing Pablo, and the blockbuster hit Black Hawk Down. He worked as a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer for twenty years and is currently a national correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He lives in the Philadelphia area.