You ought to read “I Am the Market”

As long as I’m writing about decent music on a weekly basis, I figure I ought to do the same for good books. Let’s kick it off today with I Am the Market, a book by Italian journalist Luca Rastello that I recently read and thoroughly enjoyed.

Subtitled “How to Smuggle Cocaine by the Ton and Live Happily,” I Am the Market is essentially an account of one anonymous smuggler’s lengthy career in the drug trade, as told to Rastello himself. The writing is witty and personable, and the subject matter is treated with a demystifying candor. Myths are shattered, perspectives are altered, and although the drug trade isn’t generally rationalized or defended, it’s humanized in a certain sense.

Fans of Gomorrah, for example, are bound to take a lot away from I Am the Market. It’s hardly a “how to” manual, despite its wry title, and it certainly doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the trade. But it does offer a new perspective on a highly mythologized economy, and in that respect alone it’s worth a read.

Posted in You Ought to Read