Sunday, 27 March 2011

FEILING, Tom, The Candy Machine: How Cocaine Took over the World

Helga Puigdomènech Sanjuán, 2° Bachillerato EFL

This book tells the history of cocaine, from its beginnings until the 21st century. Going through the lifestyle of the American natives, the arrival of the European people and the discovery of the different drugs (coca, coffee, chocolate, etc), it tells about all the medical experimentation by doctors in Europe. It also includes chemists' reports of self-experimentation; legal problems; the firsts banning laws; the contraband by the different mafias and governments and finally the importance of the drugs nowadays, because not just the smugglers take benefit from it. There's a lot that is hidden away from public knowledge. It also explains the environmental consequences of the human decisions when modifying nature to produce big hectares of plantations, industrial constructions, etc.

Finally, the author comments about how he has written it, what he thinks and his conclusion about drug manipulation, distribution and consumerism around the world.

I've enjoyed every word of this book, not just because it has been a challenge to my English level from the first page, but because this kind of book informs you about a lot of things that you could never imagine they are that way: many controversial documents and newspapers columns that have gone through our hands and we didn't notice their importance, political deals and agreements that don't seem what they really are, and more surprising facts that make you think about the world where we are living.

The book has a very interesting vocabulary and grammar, maybe a bit difficult for some learners but if you like the subject you will get a grasp of the book quickly.

I would recommend this book to those restless minds who want to know a bit more about the reality that's been camouflaged between the presidents’ speeches and televisions news. However, this book needs to be read with a critical mind so it is appropriate for young adults.

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