Taken as a whole, [ZeroZeroZero] is an angry rebuke to all those—traffickers and politicians alike—who perpetuate the violence….By reminding readers of the senseless suffering wrought by the cocaine trade, this book makes a powerful case for a new approach.”
In articulating [his] cri de coeur, [Saviano] has developed a literary style that switches from vivid descriptions of human depravity to a philosophical consideration of the meaning of violence in the modern world. Indeed, when he revisits his work on Naples — the city where he was brought up and from which he is now excluded — his reflections soar into the realm of the poetic. But for me, most important of all is the hope Saviano gives to countless victims of criminal violence by standing up to its perpetrators, especially those from his home country.
Booklist (starred review):
“With keen observation and deep probing, Saviano is an anthropologist and philosopher as much as a journalist. This is an epic account of how the modern cocaine trafficking business came to be and how widespread, how impenetrable, and how intertwined with international commerce and politics—and our everyday lives—it is.”
“This revealing new book, with a strong focus on Mexico’s cartels, surges with fast-moving prose detailing the lives of drug lords and pushers, the inner workings of their violent world, and how their lucrative business (between $25 billion and $50 billion annually) affects all our lives…. Saviano describes the complexities of money laundering, how world banks help make it possible, and the many ways in which drugs are smuggled: in paintings, handcrafted doors, frozen fish, and more. Throughout, the author provides vivid stories of the lives of well-known drug bosses and their minions. Saviano says he can no longer look at a beach or a map without seeing cocaine, and many will share that view after reading this dark, relentless, hyperreal report.”