Monday, July 3, 2017

Monday Reviews: American Kingpin (The True Story)

American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the
Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road
Written by Nick Bilton
Published May 2nd 2017 by Portfolio
Genres: Non-fiction, Crime, Cyber Crime, History, Biography
Page: 354
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review by: Tina


True story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire and almost got away with it.

In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market: the Silk Road, a clandestine Web site hosted on the Dark Web where anyone could trade anything--drugs, hacking software, forged passports, counterfeit cash, poisons--free of the government's watchful eye.

The Silk Road quickly ballooned into $1.2 billion enterprise, and Ross embraced his new role as kingpin. He enlisted a loyal crew of allies in high and low places, all as addicted to the danger and thrill of running an illegal marketplace as their customers were to the heroin they sold. Through his network he got wind of the target on his back and took drastic steps to protect himself--including ordering a hit on a former employee. As Ross made plans to disappear forever, the Feds raced against the clock to catch a man they weren't sure even existed, searching for a needle in the haystack of the global Internet.


Reading a non-fiction novel was not a 2017 goal of mine. I happen upon the title when going through an email list of recommended readings I received from audible. 

What luck! It's captivating. Engrossing. Thrilling. It is almost like reading a real life story of Heisenburg! What a way to start the month of July!

Unbeknownst to Ross Ulbricht, the creator of a small startup website known as the Silk Road, he became the Kingpin on the dark web. With no tech background and self taught, he rises up from one fail dream to another and became the web persona, the infamous Dread Pirate Roberts.

I can't fathom all the events that occur as true; they are just too out of character for Ross. But let me say, I became completely immersed in the world of cyberdom. The experience is eye opening and shocking. Exhilarating fantastic read!

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