crews, gangs, etc

book review | The Looting Machine by Tom Burgis

tom burgis looting machine cleptocracyAuthor: Tom Burgis
Title: The Looting Machine
Series: –
Genre: Nonfiction; Economics
Pages: 352
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

The Looting Machine by Tom Burgis is not the first book on brutal kleptocracy that I’ve read this year. But just like “McMafia” by Misha Glenny, it is very important. We do need to educate ourselves on this. For it’s not just by the plastic bag or straw that we add to horrors, to actual crime. But we do have the power, we literally have it all, as consumers. For diamond industry is already whining of millenials ruining their business…

About the Book: Do you know where crude oil comes from? Do you know how it gets extracted in strong countries, and how it’s extracted in places like Africa? And do you know what billions upon billions of dollars worth of export does to an underdeveloped country that has no manufactured good, and relies solely on it? Are you thinking of Emirates? Well, I have bad news for you then.

Juggernaut companies tear places like Africa apart for precious metals, stones, and oil. They force people out into shacks in unlivable places, and then, leaving them no choice, employ them in their cogs of brutal, bloody gang wars, corrupt kleptocracy governments, and condemn them to die. Be it by another faction butchering everyone to make turf for themselves, or by common colds that they couldn’t cure, or just outright starvation.

After the loot has been taken, it is shipped to a better industrialized, but still pitifully cheap country, where raw materials are turned into things. And it’s from there that we get our straws, our phones, our toys, and our jewelry. Blood, by then, is cleaned off.

My Opinion: Books like this are extremely important. We do need to educate ourselves, especially seeing that we actually can. And it is not to say that we should feel guilty over using the laptops and phones. It is so we’re more aware, wiser, and make better decisions the next time we need to get new ones. We need to be aware. It is from our awareness that the change can be made. As long as we put in that little bit of effort. That is not to say we’ll stop the juggernauts, that’s unlikely until there’s literally nothing more to dig out of places like Africa. But we can support people who are fair to others, we can support companies that don’t import from what we, our countries, deemed too big of a hell to allow happen around us.

It’s a good book. Well written, and while maybe not fully worth the 5 out of 5 I will give it, but I think the thought behind it matters greatly.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, crews, gangs, etc, Historical Books, mafia, murder | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson | Millennium 3

the girl who kicked teh hornets nest stieg larssonAuthor: Stieg Larsson
Title: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest
Series: Millennium 3
Genre: Thriller; Crime
Pages: 563
Rate: 5-5 | Goodreads

And so with The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson I’ve finished the Millennium trilogy. It was dark, gritty, and very interesting.

About the Book: Lisbeth Salander has survived her own death and funeral. And now will have to spend a lot of time in hospital confinement, with doors locked and all access to the outside world – cut. Healing and hoping that the bullet to the head didn’t damage her brain permanently.

In the meantime Mikael Blomkvist is gathering together an army, ready to take down the criminal organization that thought themselves to be important men of the government, power. With the help of his sister, his friends, he’s building a case that’ll set Lisbeth free, and put everyone who ever hurt her behind bars, at last. But the criminals in question have no intention of going down, at least not that easily. They’re doing everything they can to discredit everyone speaking against them, falsify evidence, and make evidence disappear, sometimes together with the witnesses. It’s now a matter of who will outwit whom.

My Opinion: At some points the book was so awfully dark that I was left to wonder why are characters experiencing it lack reaction. But then, as I’ve read on, and every string connected tying together to make one big picture, I realized it was the whole point. This is a tale of people broken, but not dead. People hurt, but not giving up. This is a tale of very brutal fight where you make a very conscious choice to live, survive, and tell the damned tale. And it is very well written, truly.

I think I will go ahead and rewatch all the movies. Maybe I’ll even have it in me to review them, we’ll see. But for now I give this book a 5 out of 5, and the whole trilogy gets the same too.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, crews, gangs, etc, Crime Books, Detective Books, murder, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

book review | In The Dark by Mark Billingham

mark billingham in the dark book coverAuthor: Mark Billingham
Title: In The Dark
Series: –
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Pages: 384
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

I keep seeking those good, good crime books. In the Dark by Mark Billingham is not one of those. But it did remind me why I believe that life’s too short to quit a book because it didn’t pick up for a while. The very end of it, and it’s not the first book to do so, has fixed so very much that it made it worth it.

About the Book: A cop driving at night. A gang with a crew member in need to prove himself. Secrets, lies, cover-ups, and victims.

Paul’s widow Helen, an officer herself, now lonely and expecting, can’t help herself but dig deeper into her husband’s life. It turns out he had way more secrets than she suspected. And much darker ones too. Bit by bit they’re making her see what seemed to be a random gang attack to be something entirely else.

My Opinion: The ending is emotionally brutal to the reader. It was dark, unexpected, hard, but so, so good. Story is very slow to pick up, the pace is horrible. Some dialogues were jagged, characters often turned out to be two dimensional, shallow, not to mention completely random unnecessary scenes. I was about to give this book a poor rating, but then it ended like that, and blew me away. See, as a reader you see a little more than Helen. You see the people around her, who she meets, who she talks to. And whom she starts to sympathize with. And it’s bloody beautiful.

Yeah, it’s one of those books. Makes you sad and happy at the same time. As a reader – you’re satisfied with how it happened. But as a human being you’re probably sad. I give it a shaky little 4 out of 5.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: Other Fiction, crews, gangs, etc, murder, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

book review | McMafia by Misha Glenny

mcmafia misha glenny book cover underworld criminal organized crimeAuthor: Misha Glenny
Title: McMafia
Series: –
Genre: True Crime, Nonfiction
Pages: 398
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

I love reading sensible literature on organized crime, where author doesn’t choose a side, and, due to moral obligations, doesn’t try to paint one or another side a deeper shade of one color. One of such well balanced books is McMafia by Misha Glenny, who has a very healthy view on this all.

About the Book: This book goes through a variety of organized, global crime, its underground industries and their origins. From the times of economy downfalls through, say, the fall of soviet union, or the breaking of Berlin wall, to today. And all across the world.

Crime takes many forms and shapes. And so do reasons for it. Be it extreme poverty and thus a need to make a buck for bread by stealing or selling, or selling the stolen. Or be it flaws in law, criminalization of something you require. It could be medication your country deemed illegal. Or it could be part of your lifestyle: from illegal caviar, to illegal counterfeits. And many more, including drug cartels, mafia, mafiozos of Russia, yakuza, hackers, crackers, and so on. And you know what’s the worst of it? We too are a part of it.

My Opinion: This is a very smoothly written book, with sensible steps from one topic, to another. Each one of those is explained in depths, with origins of criminal organization at hand, how it came to be, to what it does, how it does it, and why it does it, if applies. To actual governments, and law: how they’re handling it, if handling it at all. As for our involvement, well, that’s true. And it’s scary. From materials required to, say, build our laptops, where a company doesn’t ask about the origins of this metal, or that dye. To scam emails, engineered web pages, and our inability to take precautions while on that enticing world wide web.

This is a very worthy read that I would highly recommend to anyone. I give it a 5 out of 5, for many, many reasons.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, Books: NonFiction, crews, gangs, etc, mafia, True Crime Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

mafia | “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo | Mario Puzo’s Mafia 1

2Author: Mario Puzo
Title: The Godfather
Series: Mario Puzo’s Mafia 1
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Pages: 448
Rate: 5/5 | Goodreads

It’s long overdue that I read these books. Recently I got real determined to not only physically clean out my book shelves, but read it up too. So I planned a month, and so I’ve read it. I’ve learned I don’t really read books I otherwise wanted, if I don’t have it pre-planned. There’s always something else, seemingly more suitable…

About: This is a tale of a family. For family is the most important. Especially one that lives under an omerta, a law of silence. But this said family doesn’t have to be blood. All you need to do is ask for help, and then accept Vito Corleone as your Godfather. From then on, you’re part of the family, and expected to behave as such, as a friend, a brother, a child. Everyone’s accepted equally, with a smile, a kind word. And at times, people are laid to their graves with the same kind smiles. For family indeed is the most important. And this is also a tale of cold vengeance so well weaved that Count of Monte Cristo would be proud. No one’s above Corleones family. No one.

Mine: Holy smokes. The quality of this book, of the writing, it’s unbelievable. You read of family, families within it, branches, gangs, generations of people, and even tales of origins. And yet it’s no effort at all to follow it all, to understand. And the story is great too, the plot, the thriller. You see what happened. You’re even told why it was done, how, by whom, how it was handled after. But only at the very end you’re told the truth behind it, and it all then makes so much more sense. It becomes clear that the damn don Vito Corleone was a genius.

This is a great book. I should not have left it to gather dust for so long. But hey, better later than never. 5 out of 5, and hopefully I’ll pick up the next one soon enough.

Categories: 5-5, Books: Crime, crews, gangs, etc, Crime Books, mafia, Thriller Books | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

crime | “Crew” by Tijan | Crew 1

4Author: Tijan
Title: Crew
Series: Crew 1
Genre: Crime, Young Adult
Pages: 500
Rate: 4/5 | Goodreads

Ah. Here’s a book I would’ve loved ten years ago. Even now I thought it was pretty good. Author seems to specialize in these romances of young criminals. The only thing not up my alley was their age. Dunno, I’m almost thirty, high-school seniors just don’t cut it.

About: Bren lost everyone she loved. Her mother died of cancer. Her father drank himself until he landed in prison. Her brother lived his life until he got her guardianship trust upon him. To fill in the void Bren joined the meanest and baddest Wolf Crew. This town is all about the crews, and the gangs. There’s a very clear line between “normals” and “crew“. Everyone did their own thing, operated their own ship, and lived their own lives. Up until someone got fed up with all these dangerous and armed kids. Reforms began. Improved security, special programs, new pressure. Many lost their minds in this new bright spotlight they were put to. Masks fell, some fell with them, others rose out of their ashes. Things are about to change, and change hard.

Mine: Even though romance was better than in most books due to characters being equal counterparts in the Crew and society, I still skimmed over it. I understand we’ve all been high-school teenagers and have loved and done things, but bloody hell, I’m having easier time to process them beating each other up to a pulp than confess eternal love to one another. Another thing, due to the distinct line between normal people and crew people, it felt like reading a fan-fic about werewolf packs. You need to remind yourself these are just humans now and again. Other than that, it was pretty great. Well written, and Bren was interesting too. I knew people like her. Heck, I am still friends with a person like her. It felt familiar, and I liked that little connection.

I really didn’t want to read this book. The annotation is horrible, cheesy. But I decided to read it anyway, and so I can give it a 4 out of 5. For it was really not bad at all. Might be worth looking into Tijan’s bibliography after all.

Categories: 4-5, Books: Crime, Books: Everything, crews, gangs, etc | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.