Don Cheadle's Bookshelf
By Rusty Young and Thomas McFadden
This is the story of Thomas McFadden, a drug smuggler who gets caught in Bolivia and spends four years and eight months in San Pedro Prison in La Paz. It's an Alice-through-the-looking-glass story, because the prison is a microcosm of a city: It has stores, restaurants, real estate deals (you have to buy your own cell, for instance). In the late nineties, tourists could visit the facility and stay the night. Everything that happens outside the four walls of San Pedro takes place inside, yet the consequences are much more grave and much more brutal than in the outside world. I first heard about the book at a party. A guy walking by with a tray of hors d'oeuvres said, "Hey, have you read Marching Powder? You should get involved—they're making it into a movie. It's at Paramount." I never saw him again, but we're producing the movie now.