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mr-nice

During the mid 1980s Howard Marks had 43 aliases, 89 phone lines, and owned 25 companies throughout the world. Whether bars, recording studios, or offshore banks, all were money laundering vehicles serving the core activity: dope dealing. Marks began to deal small amounts of hashish while doing a postgraduate philosophy course at Oxford, but soon he was moving much largerDuring the mid 1980s Howard Marks had 43 aliases, 89 phone lines, and owned 25 companies throughout the world. Whether bars, recording studios, or offshore banks, all were money laundering vehicles serving the core activity: dope dealing. Marks began to deal small amounts of hashish while doing a postgraduate philosophy course at Oxford, but soon he was moving much larger quantities. At the height of his career he was smuggling consignments of up to 50 tons from Pakistan and Thailand to America and Canada and had contact with organizations as diverse as MI6, the CIA, the IRA, and the Mafia. This is his extraordinary story....

Title : mr nice
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 12511737
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 578 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

mr nice Reviews

  • Kinga
    2019-03-14 09:22

    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 interested 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.

  • jersey9000
    2019-03-19 06:09

    This is a tale of two books for me. The first half (and it's long, so it's quite the half) was very interesting, learning about how this guy set up his empire, all the wheeling and dealing, etc etc. I also enjoyed how he and I ended up at many of the same places (Palma, Patapong, etc), which might say a lot about me, hahaha. So, that was all well and good.It goes off the rails in the latter half, though, when he gets busted for smuggling. He gets so whiny and upset (calls the DEA evil and says they should all die- the people themselves who work for the DEA, the men on the ground. Not really Mr. Nice at this point) because he broke the law and was caught. That got pretty tiresome after awhile, especially when he started portraying murderers as heroes against the American empire (oh, by the way, all Americans do is watch TV and shoot guns at people and we deserve to be slaves).Also, what was up with his wife? This was a dude who was making millions of dollars by smuggling hundreds of TONS (Tons, mind you) of hashish and marijuana, and he'd been busted before, and they were living like kings, and he gets busted again and she acts like a victim. What did she think was happening when she was running around and spending all of that money? That it was falling from the sky? That it was all free? Of course the US Government thought she was in on it- otherwise she would have to be an idiot. Apparently she wrote a book, as well, and it would be interesting to see how she explains away how stupid their reaction to her imprisonment was.Last point. He blames America for taking his kids away from him (in fact, the book ends with him seeing his little boy for the first time in years) but when he was a free man, he was never home! His wife and kids are barely mentioned. If you add up his travel, he was gone for months at a time. Seriously, his kids are mentioned like ten times the whole book and this is a huge book. Furthermore, when they are mentioned it is almost always "And Judy flew out with the kids and spent the day shopping while I smoked 20 joints. The next day I went to Pakistan for three weeks". Somehow, though, the lack of these children (I didn't even know how many he had until the end of the book) was supposed to pull my heartstrings, I guess. But the first chunk of book was good- I would suggest putting it down three chapters before the end and walking away, because he goes from being a reasonably nice (if arrogant), mellow guy to a tiresome human being the second he actually has a consequence for his actions over the past twenty years. Reminds me of some of my students, haha.

  • Chris Steeden
    2019-03-12 08:19

    This was one of those "cool" books that I avoided like the plague but with the death of Marks and the cheap price on Amazon I gave it a go. Only 20 years later.Here is Mark's synopsis of his life:'...leave Wales, go to Oxford, get a degree in nuclear physics, become the world's biggest pot smuggler, spend nine years in the nick, write a bestseller, and finally get up on the stage to crack some jokes. It all just happened. I had no control.'It is not easy keeping up with the scams and the world travel but it is an entertaining ride. Marks does keep telling us that he is non-violent but that does not mean that the business he is in nobody gets hurt. I am sure they did and his morals are lax to say the least.If you want to read a book on why drugs should be legalised then I can recommend Chasing the Scream.

  • Andrea
    2019-03-15 05:05

    I don't know what streak of idle curiosity possessed me to read about the felonious escapades of 'legendary' (I'd never heard of him) smuggler Howard Marks. Probably the cover photo (what a nice guy, he has puppy dog eyes)and the blurbs, promising a 'frequently hilarious' and 'fascinating story [...] far stronger than fiction'. To be fair, the introduction and first chapters were promising. Then came the wall: page upon page of business as usual, from one successful dope deal to the next, filled with every minute detail possible, including weight of consignment, price and terms, point of entry, partners, contacts, flights, hotels, what he had for dinner that night, how many joints he smoked, etc. etc. etc.... He claims to have been more or less continually stoned or drunk through most of it, so I guess it's an exploit that he actually remembers each scam so clearly. Well, maybe he doesn't and is just filling in the blanks. Either way, it makes no difference. Like any international business, it all comes down to pricing products, making deals, dealing with the locals, and logistics. Not exactly riveting reading.

  • Mohammed Morsi
    2019-03-10 08:14

    What do I think of this book?It's excellent. It's actually amazing. Hence the 5 stars.Yes, the editing of it wasn't the best and there are some technicalities that don't really work but the story itself and the man himself, may Allah have mercy upon his soul, was a goodhearted rebel with a good understanding and sound insight into what is daily imposed on us, the system of opportunity which requires more abilities to master than what we are taught in school.It's hard to bring forth the world that Howard Marks moved in because even if was Tolstoy himself, it's a world that describes to the smallest detail still wouldn't make any sense to a person working the treadmill, one day after the other. But it's there. And the insight that Howard Marks brings out with humour and punch is worthwhile reading. It's a shame this book didn't get more attention but anyone who is tagged by the established system in our world, we are imposed not to care about. Whether you are a dope smuggler or not doesn't really matter. It's our blindness in judgement that makes us not see that some people are just not born to smile when told to go and fight for their country. Howard Marks was one of them. This is his story. If read without judgement there is also a story that should touch us all. Highly recommended, followed by a minute of silence for Howard Marks and good hashish;)

  • Bookhuw
    2019-02-28 10:16

    For a man who likes to mention his famed charisma and Oxford-education at a rate of about once every seven pages (over about five hundred pages) it is startling just how dull and shallow Marks has managed to make this book. Entirely episodic, and almost entirely devoid of opinion or emotion, Marks cranks out page after page of needless detail, and it all starts to become a monotone. Marks completely fails to portray himself as being on any sort of moral crusade or being some sort of folk hero, and makes it quite clear he is really only on an arrogant and blinkered pursuit of cash and status. A self indulgent pseud, Marks expects admiration for all his daring dos, but doesn't fulfill his side of the bargain in this book.

  • Amy
    2019-03-19 05:02

    Many years ago I was a volunteer with St John Ambulance (sja) and we would provide first aid cover at many events including the local theater. One evening I received a call asking if I was free and could get to the local theater asap as no-one had turned up. I rang a friend who was also in sja and asked her to get ready and come as well. We had no idea what the show was we were about to see.Well the show was Mr Nice Live!!! That night was a real eye opener to me. Mr Nice was talking about his life and everything that had happened in it, all about his Cannabis and other drug smuggling exploits, sometimes getting away with it and others getting caught, plus he did a general question and answer sessions at the end. (The theater was green by the end of the night and smelt very funky as Mr Nice was smoking lots of "very long cigarettes"!!!)I enjoyed the show despite it not being something I would normally go to, and afterwards I bought his book. I started reading the book straight away and didn't want to put it down. I did have to re-read 2 or 3 times to make sense of it, and after each re-read more of what I had read previously made sense.The book goes into much more detail than he had in the live show, explaining about how he lived, the people he met and how they were involved, the places he went to, where he was a wanted man, the countries where he was not allowed, all of his "other known names" and so on.It is written in a very open personal way, his vivid descriptions of some of the events give you a real feel of what his life must have been like. Sometimes fun and others not so, as not knowing what was around the corner. He takes you on a tour of the world and introduces you to a wide variety of people.If you enjoy reading true stories and are not easily shocked this is worth a read.

  • Amanda
    2019-03-25 09:15

    The cover states " he was Britain's most wanted man. He has just spent seven years in America's toughest penitentiary. You'll like him" Well, i didn't. He is an intelligent stoner who wants to be mega famous. He name drops and makes exaggerated claims. His wife was distraught when she got arrested, yet was happy spending the money. Boring boring boring. Get a proper life!

  • Eric T. Voigt
    2019-03-12 03:26

    Bicycle Day Review! This guy had almost too many adventures. I would have to put the book down and rest because his antics were overwhelming and unceasing. If Howard wasn't going to stop I had to make up for the slack.

  • Dekks
    2019-02-28 01:58

    Very enjoyable book and some of the tales of Mark's exploits had me in stitches, as well as finding it genuinely interesting the way he and his associates dodged custom agents and other law enforcement agencies for so long.Towards the end of the book I got a little tired of Mark's bluster, reading the book you can see that he is genuinely charming and witty and I am sure many people have great fondness for him, but theres only so many times you can essentially read 'And I walked into a room and by the end of the night was everyones best friend and they all loved me' (A slight over exaggeration but not by much!) before finding the shtick tiring. It spoils the narration as its so over the top sometimes that you find yourself questioning just how much people really did like him instead of just enjoying the stories.I also got a bit annoyed at his indignation of the American prison system, I am sure it was terrible conditions but he was, regardless of your views on whether weed should be legalized or not, a major international drug smuggler/dealer. He was hardly going to be put up in the Ritz! And one can't help but think if you can't do the time then don't do the crime...It's a shame because leaving the moral/legal questions behind, it was a greatly entertaining book, but his bitterness over his time in prison seems really at odds with the easy going Mr Nice character that he likes to portray and reveals bit of a darker side of him that spoiled the book for me.

  • Andrew
    2019-03-05 05:12

    I read this many years ago and remember being mildly disappointed, as I had high hopes. I'd seen Marks interviewed on TV and read various newspaper articles on him; in all of which he cam across as a charismatic, chancer, with an interesting background. A highly intelligent working class lad from the Welsh Valleys who had won a scholarship to an Oxbridge University who went on to lead one of the World's largest Hash smuggling rings. I was looking forward to reading the book. Unfortunately the book failed to deliver, it was a 100 pages too long and the writing style ground me down to the point I struggled to finish it; it was dull! If Marks is to be believed the international drug smuggling game is like a Boy's Own adventure.True crime is one one of my guilty pleasures and I will be the first to admit that the majority of it's self glorifying shit (but I do love it so); this certainly falls into that category!

  • Neale Rigg
    2019-03-20 10:07

    The problem with updating Goodreads after a two-year absence is that I can't recall the titles of the books I've read, let alone the content. Read this in a holiday cottage in Scotland, while I was meant to be bonding with the family. Salient points: unassuming, well-read teacher gets in with bad lot. Becomes major player in hashish smuggling trade. Felonious japes ensue. Gets caught, goes to jail. Sees error of ways, writes book. Crime doesn't pay! Says H'ard, probably writing from the veranda of his massive house.

  • Andy Carrington
    2019-03-08 07:19

    Blaze that shit and pass it around.

  • Nigel Patience
    2019-02-27 06:26

    Cracking good story, well told.

  • Richard
    2019-03-11 07:07

    amusing briefly but to be honest the guy is a bit of a muppet

  • Gergana Chipinska
    2019-03-21 03:19

    Proof of the fact that Oxford prepares its students for real life. Howard Marks really had f....g high IQ. Respect.

  • Mike
    2019-02-25 07:10

    Panie Marks jesteś moim bohaterem i nawet jeśli ktoś pomagał ci to pisać to i tak zmieniłeś moje podejście do życia. Wiszę ci skręta!

  • Dasianae griffiths
    2019-03-19 06:24

    Nice

  • Dane Cobain
    2019-02-26 07:17

    Mr. Nice is the incredible true story of Howard Marks, the famous Welsh dope-smuggler from the the 1980s who had forty-three aliases, eighty-nine phone lines and who owned twenty-five companies throughout the world.He smuggled a serious amount of weed – up to thirty tonnes, according to the book’s blurb, and he had contacts all over the place, most famously with the IRA although he also knew people at MI6, the CIA and the Mafia.Sounds like Mr. Nice ain’t so nice, right? Wrong! See, it turns out that Howard Marks is actually a charming guy, and he’s not the sort of drug pusher who would break your legs or burn down your parents’ house while they were asleep in it. He’s just a charming Welshman who doesn’t agree with the law, and so he worked around it.It’s actually quite a sad story, and it’s told candidly so that you can come to your own conclusions about whether the law was just or not. Personally, I think it could’ve been fairer, but maybe you’ll disagree. Either way, you can’t deny that it’s a rollercoaster ride along the way – so much has happened in Marks’ life that he could quite easily have written a follow-up to this with all of the stuff that he left out.And it’s interesting to hear about some of his plans and schemes, like when they hid weed in the amplifiers of touring musicians to exploit a loophole in the laws and processes at customs. Of course, he gets his comeuppance in the end, spending seven years of a twenty-five year sentence at Terre Haute Penitentiary in Indiana, one of America’s toughest prisons.The fact that he was a Brit who got imprisoned America is like an extra touch of irony, because the British police force would’ve loved to have laid hands on him, too. In fact, his eventual arrest causes all kinds of questions to come up, and he’s as much of a political prisoner as anything else. It’s kind of impressive how many governments he managed to annoy, really.But deep down, Howard Marks just comes across a generally nice guy, a guy who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to try and do it. I wouldn’t recommend following him in his chosen career path, but if you bump into him at a pub then be sure to buy him a pint.Unfortunately, you haven’t got long left to do that – at the time of writing, Marks has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and he’s trying to live out his days by changing the world for the better. An admirable goal for the man who kept Britain stoned for most of a decade.

  • Anika Rothingham
    2019-03-05 04:07

    How does a normal guy becomes an international marijuana dealer, a member of the M16, CIA, and the mafia with 43 different aliases? If you read the back of this book and chapter one, you think there's really something to this story. Being an educated Oxford man, you'd expect Marks to know how to write a decent story. Wrong. He doesn't write in incomplete sentences or anything like that, but that's about the best I can say about this book. It is a trite, emotionless account of his drug dealings and some boring personal affairs. He might as well begin each sentence with "and then I did this..." Every time you think he's leading into something interesting because of the wealth of details (ooh, this character must play an interesting role in rest of the story...), the story-line drops off into nothing. Marks is also a shameless name-dropper, which unfortunately adds no spice to the book. ("Then Roman Polanski walked into the bar. Then he walked out.")The only saving grace of this book are the first chapter and the last five. The rest is crap. At the beginning and end, you get the only emotion from Marks: his anger at the unfair judicial system. His account of the time spent in prison, trying to fight the system, was quite interesting to me. You learn about prison conditions, treatments, and behind the scenes legal bullshit that will disgust you. While I think we should be educated about prison conditions and the incredible ridiculousness that goes into sentence bartering and court cases in general, there are probably better books for the job.

  • Cwn_annwn_13
    2019-03-07 05:59

    Marks was born and raised in Wales and became an Oxford academic. A combination of Marks being a hippy type and random circumstances led to becoming one of the worlds biggest hashish and Marijuna smugglers in the 1970s and 80s. He was recruited by MI6 through his Oxford connections after they found out he was smuggling Hash into Ireland with the help of a high ranking member of the IRA. They wanted Marks to spy on the IRA, although Marks knowledge of their inner workings did not go beyond their Hash smuggling. MI6 was perfectly willing to turn a blind eye to his Hashish smuggling.Marks has the Welsh gift for being able to tell a good story. He globetrots to exotic locales, wheels and deals with everything from diplomats to mafiosos to political activists. To his credit he never got involved in hard drugs (or at least so he claims) and only the fruits of the sacred Cannabis plant. Marks got busted a few times and ended up getting extradited to the United States and serving time in one of the worst prisons in America. I'm not sure I trust Marks or his story as I could throw him or it. Especially with his MI6 connections. Plus my street level radar makes me sense this guy is major con artist. That being said I have a feeling that the real truth of this story is probably more far out than the partial truth that makes it into this book. Overall an entertaining read to take with a grain of salt.

  • LS
    2019-03-15 09:06

    This is the best autobiography I have read since _Story of My Life_ by Casanova. Marks reports his observations from his international travels on just the things that interest me. The contradictions he brings up are very funny and often thought provoking. At first I found his tendency for name dropping annoying, then I realized he was a Leo so it was unavoidable. The plus side of Leo is that the delivery of the vernacular in the conversations is phenomenal. Amazingly, for an autobiography, there are no repeats and no tiresome me-me-me focus. Somehow Marks manages to tell his tale without sounding self-centered or apologetic. Sure he made lots of money, mainly because many people value what they want viz. recreational drugs, music, and sports, more than what they need. So drug dealers, top musicians, and top sports stars make way more money than teachers, emergency responders, and public transportation drivers. Nonetheless, even before the era of high body counts in drug smuggling, Marks certainly earned his pay keeping up with the logistics of each of his deals and continually optimizing his mix of money laundering activities. To appease those who believe in the illegality of his career choice, the narrative is book-ended between his jail sentence, which he magnificently relates with equanimity.

  • Jemma
    2019-02-25 09:01

    Generally speaking I'm not a fan of non-fiction, preferring fictional works designed to provoke thought, debate and emotion. Saying that, I did enjoy Mr Nice; perhaps because Howard Marks' is so interesting it almost read like a fictional account. It was a very easy book to read and I found myself getting through big chunks at a time (perhaps not as fast as I'd have liked due to being super busy recently). There's a great cast of characters and I enjoyed Marks' tone of voice, particularly the way he wrote dialogue between himself and characters with regional accents. My one criticism would be that about two thirds of the way through I began to get a bit bored reading about dope deal after dope deal, but the change of scenery when he landed in jail recaptured my interest. All in all it was an enjoyable read, especially when every so often my inner monologue would slip into a comedy Welsh accent.

  • Kalma Piponius
    2019-03-11 07:09

    I read this book some years ago, and as I remember, it was very interesting story. When I began reading I didn't know anything about "Mr Nice" except what the back page said. But after reading this, I was overwhelmed by the adventures Mark had had. I must admit that I didn't view his telling in any critical way at all, but was simply amused about how he managed to keep his extraordinary bussiness going for so long. The end of the book was a bit dissapointing, but only in that manner that Mark got finally busted and was treated in a bad way in U.S. prison system (what a surprise!). But even from that he got out pretty easy, compared to what he was sentenced in the first place. All in all, this is kind of boys adventure book, centered around hashish smoking and big time smuggling bussiness. Fun book.

  • Stuart
    2019-03-08 06:15

    Howard Marks is one of a select few who have lived lives that us lesser mortals can only dream of and he really is rather nice. He started his journey as a Maths prodigy from a small Welsh village, attended Oxford university but later became Britain's most wanted man. During his various court appearences he provided evidence that he simulatenously worked for both the IRA and MI5, was prosecuted for smuggling more dope than anybody in history, had contacts with the mafia and finaly sentenced to 25 years in prison in the US without ever commiting an act of violence upon another human being. This is undoubtedly the best biography I have read! Told with humour, compassion and charm....you really must meet Mr.Nice. (ps the story about smuggling dope around the US in Pink Floyds speakers without their knowledge is worth the price of the book alone!!)

  • Michiel Verhaeghe
    2019-02-28 02:14

    During the mid 1980s Howard Marks had 43 aliases, 89 phone lines, and owned 25 companies 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 Drug Enforcing Agency, he was busted an 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. Told with humour, charm and condour, Mr Nice is his own extraordinary story. He was Britain's most wantend men. He has just spent seven years in america's toughest penitentiary. You'll like him.

  • Paul
    2019-02-24 04:05

    Firstly it should be said that I disagree with Howard Marks when he says cannabis is a "beneficial herb".Although this book is at times exciting and educational, on the whole I can't say I was left with a good impression of Marks. I think he's a smug prick. Mostly on account of the fact that he blames everyone (Spanish Government, American Government, DEA, a specific DEA dude, Spanish judges, etc..) for the imprisonment of his wife, but never himself for smuggling tons of dope. And whether or not pot should be legal is irrelevant because in actuality, if you break the law, you go to jail. If you're one of those "hurray for cannabis" people though, this book is for you.

  • Travis Kendall
    2019-03-06 10:04

    Reading this book it is hard to tell the truth from the fiction. It is deffinetely an interesting book from a man who (claims) to have had adventure all over the globe. Some of the stories he tells are quite funny and you may have trouble putting this book down. One thing, I just didn't come away liking Howard Marks or feeling any sympathy for him. Half of the time he's bragging about his illegal activities and how he outsmarted the law on several continents, and the other he's whining because he got caught. An interesting if not very sympathetic character. Still, would reccomend it to most people.

  • Neil Dyer
    2019-03-14 09:00

    Thought this would be an interesting read through the eyes of a "nice" criminal with no regrets (I suspect). However I was wrong. The book is so repetitive and with the names and details of every person that has ever crossed paths (or swords) with Howard Marks, it just became boring. I didn't make it to the end as I gave up after the fourth or fifth time of reading about a similar consignment being transported to/from one place to another. I normally persevere to the end of a book, but felt I wouldn't gain any further insight into the world and mind of a not actually particularly nice person after all.

  • John Penn
    2019-02-26 03:03

    Well I found this book to have it all. The way it is written imposes Marks' eccentric whit and charm on the reader from the first page. Mr Marks is a genius, from Oxford graduate to UK's biggest hash smuggler. He takes you into his world of lavish living and the way it all comes crashing down around him. Through his jovial style of writing the moment he talks about breaking the law and getting caught you feel like he is an unlucky good guy. A truly wonderful read and one of the best autobiographies I have ever read. Full marks to Mr. Marks!!