Mr. Nice: An Autobiography
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
What an extraordinary fellow Howard Marks is. His autobiography takes him from his South Wales childhood and Oxford University education through his life dealing marijuana and the enormous mythology that accrued around what the tabloids called "the English Toff Drugs King of the World". This book is called Mr Nice after one of the many aliases Marks's life as a merchant of pot obliged him to assume, but it describes him perfectly too: the epitome of British niceness, the nicest international criminal you could hope to meet. It's not hard to see why this has become a cult book--Marks is a brilliant version of a mate down the pub, telling you the gobsmacking stories of his many adventured life. The writing is direct and the narrative will detain you as comprehensively as Marks himself was detained for seven years at Terre Haut Penitentiary, Indiana. He was released the same day as Mike Tyson. "I had," he observes mildly, "been continuously in prison for the last six-and-a-half years for transporting beneficial herbs from one place to another, while he had done three years for rape." Truly there is no justice; but there are eye-popping adventures, hilarious touches and a thorough-going wisdom in this excellent book.
H. Marks? I am wanting to buy second-hand paper-mill machinery from closed-down factories in Great Britain. Paper-mill business will be really wonderful business here in Pakistan.’ ‘I’ll have a look when I get back to London. Let me know exactly what you want. Do you need anything else from England?’ ‘Yes, information about good schools in Great Britain for my children.’ ‘I’d be glad to, Malik. I’m not staying here long. I need to get to Hong Kong. I’ll give your BCCI man $500,000. I’ll find
letting me receive calls while sampling their wares. Pavan’s, a Thai restaurant in Santa Ponsa, would be ideal for incoming calls from Bangkok. The Taj Mahal in Magaluf was perfect for calls from Pakistan. I could receive calls at the tennis club. I could receive calls at Bob’s Restaurante La Vileta. I could receive calls at numerous people’s houses. It was all just a matter of timing: being there when the phone rang. It worked fine. Geoffrey Kenion brought over a couple of hundred thousand
speakers dotted around the walls. All and sundry were welcome to visit my quarters and bring their friends, records, alcohol, and supplies of marijuana and hashish. The rooms rapidly became the location of a non-stop party, with music continually blaring and dense clouds of marijuana smoke clouding out of the door and windows. I dropped out completely from all college activities and would rarely venture out of my room other than to eat lunch at George’s workers’ café in the market or dinner at
undergraduates. First-year students were too meek to set the trends, and third-year students were apt to become distracted by Finals. During 1968, the trend was definitely one of revolutionary activity. One topic on which I agreed completely with the revolutionary students was that of racial equality. The Right Honourable Enoch Powell, MP, was giving an anti-immigration speech at Oxford Town Hall, and I participated in what turned out to be quite a violent demonstration. A few fellow participants
made the best. I’d brought over a little hash, and we had a smoke. I drove back to the Shannon Shamrock and checked in as Stephen McCarthy. My mother had seriously thought of christening me Stephen, and my ancestor Patrick Marks used the surname McCarthy. I hadn’t yet graduated to using only false names that have absolutely no connection to one’s past. These were early days. I had dozed off for a few minutes when the phone rang. It was Jim. ‘Come down right away, H’ard. Since when do antique