On the Run: Izai Amorim
Life does not always bring you the end results that you hope for and some young people like our main character creates a plan that takes him into the underbelly of different communities, New York City in the 1990’s and proves that wealth and education have nothing to do with the end result when Pablo decides to teak on drug dealers, run from the police, commits acts of violence and even buys a plastic gun to scare his victims as he goes On the Run!
Pablo’s voice is heard as he creates his plans to take on different cities, victims and even justifies his actions. At times you begin to wonder why he is not caught and yet his thinking is quite out of the box at times. Hoping to find his friend Mad Dog to help him deal with his situations, you realize his rationale is not always as they say politically correct but in his world it is. Filled with dialogue that will make you laugh and encounters that he fumbled yet managed to justify it’s not everyday a man goes into the restroom and winds up having a confrontation with someone just trying to do his business. Dealing with people in different areas, stealing ATM cards, money and hijacking a woman, Pablo finds his way to a dilapidated warehouse apartment that he’s sharing with a supposedly connected to the mob landlady. What brought him to be on the run well he witnessed the killing of DEA agent and two Columbian drug dealers. Why is he the prime suspect or the only one? Not able to withstand getting arrested, proving he did not do it he decides to take the easy way out and escape. The Columbians and the Fed just might be hot on his trail but his young man who comes from Central America is quite unique and creative in his thinking and at times you wonder just how he manages to escape getting caught. Well educated yet having no money and hoping to find odd jobs to keep him afloat, he spends time hitchhiking cross country and dealing with a shooting inside a fast food restaurant, hijacks this woman and her car and listens to her preach about God, Jesus and his forgiveness hoping to make him repent. Reborn at last he will not become a victim and is determined to survive at all costs to himself or anyone else.
Hoping to find Mad Dog or AKA Douglas, a Jamaican drug dealer he met in college when at Columbia he hopes to create a network allowing him to go underground and get some type of job. When he finally does meet his friend he latches on to him, gets a job and becomes personal coach. Some of the dialogue sounds like street talk and Pablo and Douglas create their own empire loaded with drugs. One a drug lord you might say and other Pablo although hanging touch, well schooled yet money can’t make you street smart or understand how to live on the streets. The author then goes back in time and has Pablo explain his father’s rise to financial power, the political clout he has and the education he received in America. His father quite taken with America, his own feelings about Democracy and dealing with political figures you learn a lot of him and realize why Pablo felt he could not take him down, ask him for help chancing that anyone was monitoring his movements and then taking away all that he earned. Being from Central America, able to understand the mores of both countries and realizing that the education he earned and the degrees would open many doors, allow him to apply for jobs but how do you apply for one as a drug dealer. This book brings to light just how far a young educated college graduate will go to create a plan to survive: New identity, new social security number, new job, new driver’s license, new passport and new life but first how to obtain a new name. Identity take over is not new and those that are able to create accounts and get new credit cards using the names of deceased or stealing the social security numbers of those who might die in one state and were born in another, requires skill, someone to create the documents and a plan as to where to go next. Pablo just about how this figured out and then researching further decided Hong Kong would be where he might settle after the dust settles first. But, he needed to find Mad Dog and learns the ropes as a drug dealer and then the rest might fall into place.
The author flashes back to where it all began as Pablo meets RW and they found a lifelong bond. Even with parents that are racist and taught to fear black people, Pablo manages to form a bond with RW that will take them to the present where Pablo is fighting for survival and has yet to find Mad Dog and create his own niche. Columbia was his dream and he made it there but his mother would have him go somewhere in the Midwest but when the author shares along with Pablo the marble game then you understand the rationale and how he got his parents to agree. Marbles are my favorite too!
The next few chapters flashback to his college days, his parents relationships, his father’s influence and how RW helped him become friends with his soon to be new boss Mad Dog giving birth the rise of a drug dealer. The private investigators used to find him, the secret phone calls, the pager and the secure lines that he claimed they were but pay phones are anything but, led Pablo to create a new identity and life for himself On the Run. As he learns how to stay alive on the streets, using his Caveman image and then learning from RW how to survive and not get killed you get an education on how to live on the streets as Mad Dog molds Pablo into the image he wants everyone to see. Framed for murder and a drug deal the planner failed in one respect: Pablo is not dead.
How long will he survive? Will the police pick him up? How far does a friendship go? What is quite interesting is how Pablo is being trained in a new position titled Personal Self Motivational Trainer and that every step of the way you would think he was taking courses in how to deal with clients but in reality he was delivering drugs as a high priced delivery person yielding over 2500 dollars a month. Acting classes, proper attire and professional look he is ready to get started but first Mad Dog reminds him that all of this is due to fate and the luck that Winston was his roommate. Never looking back and not wondering if the Feds or Columbians would come after him, nowhere do we learn about the case that was brought against him.
The author allows Mad Dog to expand on his past, how he came to choose his vocation as a drug dealer, using many identities and trying to get Pablo to see how much alike they are and why having used nine different identities he might lose sight of his own. The author had to do some research into how to get driver’s licenses, a new social security number or even several, passports and birth certificates needed in case either one of them had to move quickly to another location. With the clients happy and now having at least 10 or more to deliver the product to each day, Pablo often takes refuge in his apartment and finds himself alone on the holidays just reading, eating, jogging and waiting for the next phone call to meet Mad Dog. His suggestion about therapy might not be so far fetched and the fact that he reminds him of why he is on the run should have been a reality check. Can you really hide from your past and live happily in the present? Book Three is quite different as the author relates information to Pablo about drug wars, deaths, turf wars and then he reads an article about the murder and two drug families that are after him. Things take on a different turn and he reads about more deaths and more murders and then realizes that you can hide just so far and maybe it is about to catch up with you. Added in we learn more about his clients like Joe and Pablo is called Birdy. The clients like working with him but the end result just might not be what he wants as he awaits more drugs, more envelopes and amasses a lot of money.
A complicated plot that deals with more than one area involving drug dealing as within the third and fourth books we begin to see Pablo’s world unravel when someone recognizes him. More drug deals, a customer fires him and Joe and Peter seem happy with his service and his client base increases as he and Mad Dog branch out. Offshore accounts, new identities, new driver’s licenses, passports, school records and just about every document that you can get to change who you are and be someone else. But, can he really fade away forever? Why do the nightmares keep coming and his father’s words haunting him?
Going into therapy with Paul awakened him and when Douglas/Mad Dog quits, leaving him with the business and alone Pablo has to make a life altering decision. Will he remain in the business? Will he change and start over one more time? Will he finally make a commitment and have someone in his life? The final book, Book Five is quite compelling as you learn his fate, understand his friend with Winston and how the one person that you would never expect to come to you aid just might give you back you life. An ending you won’t expect and the final epilogue will lead you to believe that Pablo has just started and might do another turn around because after a while you do not want to be ON THE RUN!
Hardnosed characters, strong research about drug cartels and their inner workings as Pablo takes us inside the world of PSMT or Personal Self-Motivation Trainers or in his case drug dealer too and we learn just how he amasses his fortune, what happens when he faces his family. Prejudice, wrongly accused, racism, fear, nightmares, loyalties, friendships, greed and power all take the spotlight as once again author Izai Amorim gives readers much to talk about in discussion groups. From drug deals to politics to 9/11 this book spans many decades and will keep you wondering what is next for Pablo!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine