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A Thousand Pounds of Dynamite

Auteur(s): Adam Higginbotham
Narrateur(s): Adam Higginbotham
Durée: 2 h et 19 min

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Description

The bomb appeared early one morning in an upstairs office of Harvey’s Wagon Wheel Casino near Lake Tahoe, an enigmatic box covered in a bewildering array of switches. A neatly typed letter explained that the box contained 1,000 pounds of dynamite. It was the largest improvised explosive device in American history - and its creator promised to explain how to remove it safely if the casino delivered $3 million by helicopter to a remote landing site in the mountains. "Do not try to move, disarm, or enter the bomb," the letter warned. "It will explode."

The bomb maker was one Janos "Big John" Birges, a Hungarian political refugee who had worked his way up from nothing to become a successful entrepreneur in Fresno, California - only to see his life unraveled in middle age by divorce, cancer, and gambling debts. By 1980, he owed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Harvey’s. And he had roped his two teenage sons - who were as eager to please their father as they were terrified of him - into a plot to get the money back.

But the bomb he planted in the casino that August wasn’t just an extortion scheme. It was a brilliant feat of engineering - an intricate and deadly puzzle that Birges hoped would prove once and for all just how badly the world had underestimated him. In A Thousand Pounds of Dynamite, Adam Higginbotham draws from interviews with federal agents and Birges’ co-conspirators - as well as never-before-released FBI records - to tell the story of the race to stop one of history’s most bizarre extortion plots. By turns action-packed and darkly hilarious, A Thousand Pounds of Dynamite is an engrossing tale of genius at its most deranged.

©2014 Adam Higginbotham, The Atavist (P)2014 Adam Higginbotham, The Atavist

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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Red Plammer
  • 2016-10-24

Great

Great book; I think I heard about it on Sword and Scale (to bad that host is a money-grabbing douchebag), and it reminded me of it from when I was a kid. Don't usually like authors reading their own work, but I definitely enjoyed this.

2 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ray928
  • 2020-02-01

OK

This is a pretty good true story. I enjoyed it, but certainly would not list it among the best books I've listened to.

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Condo of Many Colors
  • 2019-12-04

More a short story than book length, but good.

Interesting, entertaining, and well written. However, it is more of a short story or novella than book length.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-04-07

Entertaining, 1980 story bad guy story

this is worth the listen!

I had recently graduated college and was a big reader at the time so I must have read about it - but for the life of me cannot remember. while their was a lot of strange stuff going on at the time - this is among the strangest