Friday, October 26, 2012

Closet Full of Coke / Indra Sena

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Memoir

Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Biographical information is limited to the obvious, the book description. However, the book does have a page on Facebook and the author has a blog.


“Closet Full of Coke tells the story of how a New York suburban fifteen-year-old girl's savvy, grit, and wit helps turn the small-time drug business of Armando, a Colombian drug dealer, into a multi-million-dollar operation that puts them on the DEA's Wanted List.

This intimate diary gives readers a fast-paced glimpse of the couple’s speedy rise to riches, and their inevitable descent.”


A memoir such as this works on at least two levels. First, as a human-interest story. What motivates someone to make what, in retrospect, is a series of bad decisions? We see how easy it is for setbacks in life to send someone down the wrong path and that it is easy for a person to see the positives of taking a particular route while ignoring the negatives.

But Closet Full of Coke also works as a story to entertain or a means of escape from the real world, just as much as a novel. It has a novel like story arc, characters that fit the same patterns you might see in a novel, and if it hadn’t been made clear in the beginning that it was a true story, you could easily convince yourself that it was fiction with a first person point of view. I was trying to anticipate where the story would go, as I would with a novel, and found myself guessing based on how the fictional world works rather than the real world.

My only minor complaint is that this book cries out for an “afterword.” There is an author’s note that gives a brief update on one of the characters, but I would like to have known what happened to some of the others. At a minimum, in the twenty or thirty years since the events in the story happened, give us a summary of where the author ended up.


Adult language and situations

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues

Rating: **** Four stars


Indra Sena said...

Thanks for the review! My website has more info on the people in the book. I agree the book needs an afterword but I've yet to figure out how to summarize my life since those dark days. I might need to write another memoir... I call Closet Full of Coke "Memoir Noir" because the events I wrote about destroyed my life permanently. I have been feverishly seeking redemption these past thirty years and I have yet to find it, so let my story be a cautionary tale. ~ Indra

Debbianne said...

Sounds like a fascinating read---I will check it out! I like that it's not formulaic or about redemption. I have no judgmentality toward people making "dark" choices in life, as it's all part of the All-That-Is that makes the world diverse. It's all about the experience.

Thanks Big Al... and Indra.