Howard Marks was Britain's most wanted man, apparently. He was one of the world's top drug smugglers. But I missed all that because I was busy playing toys in communist Poland at the time. And my favourite drug was cough syrup.
So I got to know Howard Marks through Howard Marks' own words. His story was fascinating and the writing was surprisingly good (for an autobiography). He was at the top, he was at the bottom. He has been to the world's most luxury hotels and toughest prisons. He met financial elite, politicians, celebrities, spies, and criminals of all backgrounds and nationalities.
As nice as Marks tried to present himself I couldn't help thinking that he was rather egocentric. In the first part of his autobiography he boasts about his expensive lifestyle and travels. He brags about fooling the system with ease through his well thought out scams. When he gets busted, though, all of a sudden it's "woe is me". We now have to be sorry and symphatize. His arguement is that weed should be legal and no one should be jailed for selling it. I concur. However, if weed was legal Howard Marks would've never been interesting in trading it. It would've been just as boring as his on the side wine business. He was not a rebel with a cause. He just liked the thrill and the money. His final conclusion isn't: 'crime is bad because it is bad' but 'crime is bad because you can go to prison'. Which is why Howard Marks now makes money writing best selling books, being a celebrity or even (according to his website) renting out the apartment where he wrote 'Mr Nice' for only £500 per week per 4 people.
All of us should look and learn. 'Mr Nice' apart from being a very entertaining story is a textbook on how to always land on your feet thanks to being brazen.
As a footnote I would like to mention that even if half of what Marks says about American DEA and its judicial system is true, then the US should start its fight for freedom and democracy on its own yard. But what's new.