Tuesday, September 19, 2017

American Kingpin

American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road should have been a boring book: A naive, nerdy guy starts a website that sells illegal goods, and the authorities seek him out and put him in jail. But it was one of the best books I've read in a long time.

I don't think the content is that amazing. However, what I think is amazing is how the author told the story. This work of non-fiction read like fantastic fiction, thanks to Bilton's talent.

The reader learns all about Ross Ulbricht, the entrepreneur behind "The Amazon of Drugs/Guns" and the chase by law enforcement that eventually led to his capture.

If this had been a work of fiction, I'd be critical of the most unbelievable parts of the story. How was there no credible competition for the website? How can law enforcement be portrayed as so siloed...surely there is better information sharing between departments? Even though Ulbricht had informants within law enforcement, why on earth would his hideout from authorities have been *in the United States*?!

But these all really happened, and contributed to a fantastic book. I highly recommend American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road.


Unknown said...

Thanks Saj. Just downloaded from audible. Love this kind of stuff!

Unknown said...

Really enjoyed this book! If you liked this one, you might also like Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick.

Saj Karsan said...

Thanks, I'll check it out!