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Silk Road: From the True-life Adventures of a Legendary Smuggler


James Holland Libri


"Silk Road" is an enhanced memoir of the exploits of James Respondek's quest to smuggle 200 kilos of hash out of Afghanistan. His dealing career started as a kid surfer on the beaches of Australia, selling five-dollar matchbooks of weed. He progressed to mega deals of hash, and then at 25, got the idea to fearlessly roll the dice on The Big Score. He partnered up with two fellow smugglers - Jack, an older, gay, hunchbacked, brilliant professor of classical lit, with a romantic view of the criminal life; and Grant, a handsome, charismatic childhood friend, now ex-con with a secret dark past, looking for redemption, yet bent on self destruction.The unlikely trio find a connection in Bombay, buy a Range Rover in London, and drive across Europe, Turkey, the Mid-East, Pakistan and on to Afghanistan to make the buy. Their adventure plunges them into the political turbulence of the late 1970's with Iran about to erupt in a revolution, India and Pakistan on the brink of war, and the Russians maneuvering into Afghanistan with American CIA "advisors" countering in the shadows. En route they encounter Turkish bandits, precariously deal with the Pakistan mafia, get detained by and involved with a stunning woman who is the first CIA female station chief, and have their enterprise complicated by a Eurasian call-girl indentured to a Paki underworld king pin. In the wild no-man's-land above the Khyber Pass they score from Kalashnikov toting hash growers. And then continue on with their 6,000-mile journey, finally pulling into Bombay in the Land Rover carrying a half-ton of hash secreted in fake petrol tanks. But getting the car on a barge back to Australia so they can sell the load is the least of their problems yet to come.
 
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