Mr. Untouchable Mr. Untouchable , the notorious heroin kingpin Leroy "Nicky" Barnes' tale, packs all the wallop of a Jay-Z album: juicy details of the drug trade… Mr. Untouchable Mr. Untouchable , the notorious heroin kingpin Leroy "Nicky" Barnes' tale, packs all the wallop of a Jay-Z album: juicy details of the drug trade… 2007-03-06 Memoir Nonfiction
Book Review

Mr. Untouchable (2007)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Mar 06, 2007; Writers: Leroy Barnes, Tom Folsom; Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction

Mr. Untouchable, the notorious heroin kingpin Leroy ''Nicky'' Barnes' tale, packs all the wallop of a Jay-Z album: juicy details of the drug trade wrapped up in breezy wit. And since his rise to power occurs mostly in pre-crack-era New York City, Barnes pushes the perception that building a ''continuing criminal enterprise'' is not only lucrative but somewhat romantic. However, that mystique dissipates after a life sentence puts him behind bars for more than 20 years; he spends a lot of time seeking revenge on former cohorts. His final redemption — parole in 1998 for helping authorities make nearly 50 indictments — is less satisfying than the book's main gist: Crime really doesn't pay.

Originally posted Mar 02, 2007 Published in issue #924 Mar 09, 2007 Order article reprints
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