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4.37  ·  Rating details ·  571 ratings  ·  72 reviews
In Colombia you have to pick a side. Or one will be picked for you . . .

All Pedro Gutiérrez cares about is fishing, playing pool and his girlfriend Camila’s promise to sleep with him on his sixteenth birthday. But his life is ripped apart when Guerrilla soldiers callously execute his father in front of him, and he and his mother are banished from their farm.

Swearing vengea
Paperback, 689 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Bantam
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  • Colombiano by Rusty Young
    Release date: Apr 01, 2019
    Win an autographed ARC of this riveting fact-meets-fiction account of child soldiers and drug wars in Colombia by the author of the international bloc ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 1 copy available, 1272 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 26 - Feb 24, 2019

    Countries available: U.S. and Canada

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    4.37  · 
    Rating details
     ·  571 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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    Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    12/2 - Second 500+ page book in a row and, fortunately, second utilising short chapters to keep the reader reading. Short, sharp, snappy chapters created the constant internal refrain of 'just one more chapter, it's only another three pages', which is how I ended up reading till nearly four this morning in my determination to finish the last 180 pages in one final session.

    This was a fascinating story of child soldiers and the two sides of a war being fought for control of the remote villages of
    QBD  Books
    Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    Rusty Young, the author of the true crime book Marching Powder: A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South America's Strangest Jail is back with this fantastic novel of revenge, betrayal and redemption.

    Young draws upon his real-life experiences in Colombia to weave together tragedy and triumph in this fact-meets-fiction novel of political violence and drug cartels, focusing on the use of children-soldiers as cannon-fodder, and where they end up. You really get involved with the characters, p
    Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: true-stories
    An amazing story, hard to tell what was fiction and what part was real. Glad after reading it there was some sort of silver lining.
    Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
    COLOMBIANO is one of those huge (689 pages huge) sweeping saga styled novels that has enough story to fill those pages, although this is raw, gut-wrenching, frequently shocking stuff. Especially if you know there are aspects of somebody's true story built into a fictional telling.

    Not for the light-hearted, or weak of arm if you're going to be reading a paperback / hardback copy COLOMBIANO starts out with an author prologue which is well worth reading as it tells the background to the story, then
    Halyna Koscharsky
    Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    From the beginning, Colombiano pulls you in and keeps you engrossed through events that are horrific, against a background which is complex and disturbing, with characters which are very believable – because all this madness really took place. Young Pedro, not yet sixteen, becomes an illegal paramilitary, a child soldier, after being forced to witness the execution of his innocent father during Colombia’s civil war. Seen through Pedro’s young eyes, the torture, killing and ruthlessness around hi ...more
    John Cooke
    Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    Cocaine is a powerful currency and in Colombia it fuelled a vicious war between left and right terrorist cells with children at the front line.

    Rusty Young, author of the extraordinary book Marching Powder set within the walls of Bolvia's San Pedro Prison, spent almost eight years with Colombia's anti-kidnapping unit and Colombiano captures the stories of the child soldiers he met in this time.

    It's a work of fiction, but melds together the many very real stories he heard straight from the mouth
    Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    This is a book, I normally would have not picked up from the shelves if it wasn't for the recommendation from a person I completely trust with all recommendation, and boy am I glad I listened to her. With emotional and riveting writing Rusty Young blends fact and fiction into a heart-wrenching story of child soldiers fighting a four decade long war in Columbia. Knowing next to nothing about this subject, this book opened by eyes and showed me the true horrors of child soldiers, a subject I had o ...more
    Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    Wow What a book
    Or should I say, not really pleased about it, it stopped me from sleeping for several night, reading it until i realised dawn was there.
    From the first page to the last I was deeply in the story. Rusty's first book was great. This one is sensational. When I first looked at the book, seeing it's thickness I doubted that I would read it until the last page, but it was so interesting that it was easy to read. You had not only a good story as in a good fiction book, but at the same tim
    John Purcell
    Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    For those who love losing themselves in a big fat novel, Colombiano, is a good choice. The perfect holiday read, at times unbearably raw and shocking, but also thrilling and fast paced and well researched. Rusty Young knows his stuff.

    As the millions of fans of Marching Powder already know, Rusty tells a bloody good story. Colombiano is his passion project. His major work. This is the book his fans have been waiting for.
    Vicky Jones
    Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    Best book I have read in years. Don't let the size put you won't be able to put it down!
    Dom McDermott
    Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    What an incredible book! Well done Rusty on writing another amazing book.
    Written in fiction, Young is able to paint a picture of the life of a young Colombian seeking revenge on the unprecedented events that occur. Pedro, the young Colombian, is the perfect example of a normal child who enjoys fishing with his father, riding his bike, going to school and working on his fathers farm, however, his life is turned upside down.

    In addition, you become heavily emotionally invested in this book from t
    Astrid McCrank
    Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    At first the size of Colombiano was daunting but after reading the first few chapters I found myself engrossed in the story. The plot twists and turns had me anxiously turning the pages to see what was coming next. Although long, I never found it boring. I was sad the story wasn't longer when I did reach the end.
    Colombiano is a well written, easy read. I found it hard to distinguish between the fact and fiction as the story comes across as fact, as it is very well researched. I thoroughly enjoye
    Di McK
    Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    Loved Rusty's earlier book Marching Powder - Colombiano has exceeded any expectations I may have had when purchasing his latest epic. Fluent, captivating, brutal. Could not put this book down until the last chapter. A must-read!
    Di McKenzie
    Interior Designer Mosman NSW
    Søren Jensen
    Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    It truely was my lucky day, when a fellow traveller handed me a copy of Colombiano. We had just been discussing Rusty Youngs, first master piece, Marching Powder, and he told me that this second book is even more tough and scary... And he wasn't lying at all.
    This book is based on interviews of former child-soldiers, who had joined the paramilitary army in the Colombian Guerilla wars. It mainly tells the story about a young boy, Pedro, whose father is killed by the guerillas, for which he decide
    Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
    A very solid crime drama thriller set in Colombia. Great action, well plotted and decent characters, although Im probably in the minority where I found it all just a little cliched. The dialogue was pretty standard and the plot yes good, was predictable. I feel like he was better suited to his non fiction style writing and investigating. Not a bad book by any means just better in this genre and style. Winslow does it much better but then again he's much more experienced writer. The chapters were ...more
    Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
    What was it like in Columbia when the drug wars were in full swing? This Australian journalist wrote a best selling non-fiction book, Marching Powder, about a famous and very different prison in Columbia and then took 10 years to write this fictional account based on the stories young men told his when he worked in Columbia. At the recent Melbourne Writers Festival he said writing fiction was much harder. That's why it took 10 years. It is a racing read about a young Autodefensas recruit who is ...more
    Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Wow! I try to save 5 Stars for books I'll remember 15 years later as some of the best of the best.
    This is an epic story that transported me to another world. When I'm staying up too late reading multiple times per week and also not wanting it to end, these are both signs of a great book. The characters were flawed in a human way and you were there with them the whole way.
    Marie Doyle
    Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
    This sucked me in from the first few pages. Raw, emotional and a fascinating insight into the sad reality of child soldiers and drug trafficking in Colombia. Don’t be put off by the size of this book, it’s an amazing story.
    Jeff Harris
    Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    I am a huge fan of Rusty Young's first book, 'Marching Powder' and have read it 3 or 4 times over the years. There was no question I was going to read his next book, although I was worried about how he would do on a fictional work (and also about the size - it's almost 700 pages). Well, I shouldn't have worried. 'Colombiano' is just as absorbing, though in a different way. Although Marching Powder was a one-off incredible true story, 'Colombiano' is also based on true events and I think it is mu ...more
    Karin Pearson
    Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    To be honest I borrowed this from our local library not sure if I would read it - but was hooked from the first few pages. A long book but short chapters made it a page turner. Wow bloody brilliant! I loved it! Recommended if you are ok with the strong violence/war/drug themes.
    Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: fiction
    I really enjoyed this book, the second of his that I have read. It was a very easy book to read, very long but when I was finished I still wanted more. Recommended read.
    Kim Parish
    Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    5 Star plus. All I can say is Rusty Young didn’t disappoint. Marching Powder was one of My all time favourites and this matches.
    Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
    The author spent 8 years in Colombia working with an anti-kidnapping unit and this sweeping novel is the result of interviews he conducted with a former child soldier. It’s a work of fiction but based on the very real stories of youth who left their rural communities to fight on either side of the terrorist wars, which, fuelled by cocaine, ripped the country apart, making it one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Told through the eyes of teenaged Pedro, who bears witness to the senseless exe ...more
    Andrew McMillen
    Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
    Written as fiction but based on extensive interviews with former child soldiers who fought in Colombia, Rusty Young's second book is an absorbing account of a 15 year-old boy's transition from careless teenager to a hardened warrior seeking revenge for his father's murder. His first book, 2003's 'Marching Powder', told the story of a British drug trafficker who spent years inside a Bolivian prison, and was a vivid evocation of a strange life behind bars. 'Colombiano' is a slow-burner told in nin ...more
    Kieron Attenborough
    Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    We are the victims, and in some cases, the hostages of our environment. We have received our indoctrinations, carry our grievances, and for the unfortunate ones, opportunistic and charismatic recruiters wait in the wings, ready to sign us up for "the cause". For many in Colombia, "the cause" is the only way out of a life of dire poverty and societal decay; the only way to avenge your enemies or secure family honour.

    Although fictional, it's apparent the author has an intricate and erudite knowled
    Olivia Taylor
    Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
    Engrossing, thrilling and ultimately uplifting read about a young man who sets out on a quest for 'justice' in Colombia. It was a very authentic depiction of how the civil war in Colombia affects a small group of teenagers, who are forced to grow up quickly and make adult decisions. The story is multi-faceted and includes some strong female characters and various subplots. It's partly about how the narrator, Pedro, tries to track down his father's killers one by one, but also about how his actio ...more
    Kass Hall
    Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    I got this book in 2017 at the Melbourne Writers Festival after listening to Rusty Young speak there. I loved his first book “Marching Powder” having bought it the day it hit shelves (quite by accident on my part). However, at nearly 700 pages I wasn’t game to dive into something I wasn’t sure was my kind of book.

    How wrong I was!! I bit the bullet and the only reason it took me so long to finish was life getting busy beyond my control. That said, this weekend I’ve read close to 300 pages because
    Dani Vee
    Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    An epic read which you actually finish really quickly because of the short sharp chapters. Detailing the life of Pedro a child soldier in a war no one can win, his experiences are often disturbing and horrifying and we must keep reminding ourselves that this character is a child thrown into this violent world.

    Part-fiction, part-reality written from Rusty Young's extensive research into child soldiers in Colombia, this novel was ten years in the making. The torture scenes were real life events an
    Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Recommends it for: Marching Powder
    Well that was a freakin’ journey and a half.

    Once again, Rusty Young's ability to retell another humans story has floored me.

    I was so enthralled in reading this bad boy it had me lookin’ all sorts of crazy during my commute, including but not limited to the following;
    - The almost crying face
    - Random outbursts quickly followed up by a clearing of the throat
    - The surprised possum caught in lights face
    - Over the top and audible sighs

    If you loved Marching Powder, this story is on an equal-level pla
    Jess Carlisle
    Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Despite it's length, this book was an easy and enjoyable read with its short chapters and compelling plot. Set in Colombia during the civil war, young Pedro's father is executed before his eyes at the whim of the Guerilla. Pedro's insatiable desire for revenge drives him to join the Autodefensas as a child soldier, where he learns more than just to kill. Based on true events, Pedro's story is representative of many, and this page-turner grips the reader in the war between loyalty, justice, and s ...more
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    Rusty Young (born 1975) is the Australian-born author of the international bestseller Marching Powder, the true story of an English drug smuggler in Bolivia’s notorious San Pedro Prison and the bestselling novel, Colombiano, a fact-meets-fiction revenge thriller about a Colombian boy who sets out to avenge his father’s death.

    Rusty grew up in Sydney, and studied Finance and Law at the University of
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