A brutally honest account of a life of extremes that began in a tough Boston neighborhood of immigrants in the 1960s, 37 Tons is a story of survival, addiction, wild successes and failures, and the attempt to make sense of it all.
Beginning in his teens, Victorson tries out pot dealing on the Boston Common, progressing to smuggling hash out of Amsterdam and broader operations in India and Nepal.
While working for a Colombian cartel and living the high life in Marin County, he orchestrates an operation that ultimately results in one of the biggest pot busts in this country to date.
David Victorson lives in Washington, D.C., and as a social activist he speaks about poverty, crime, addiction and prison. He developed, owned, and operated inpatient and outpatient healthcare programs in California, Delaware, Florida, and Ohio for both adult and adolescent dual diagnosis patients suffering from addiction and underlying psychiatric problems. Currentlyl he is a partner in CBD Streets promoting wellness products coming from the same product that put him in prison in 1978.
Huffington Post by Paul Krassner
The Seattle Times. September 14, 1980
The Seattle Times. October 12, 1978
The Seattle Times. April 20, 1978
The Seattle Times. December 8th, 1978
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A brutally honest account of a life of extremes that began in a tough Boston neighborhood of immigrants in the 1960s, 37 Tons is a story of survival, addiction, wild successes and failures, and the attempt to make sense of it all. Beginning in his teens, Victorson tries out pot dealing on the Boston Common, progressing to smuggling hash out of Amsterdam and broader operations in India and Nepal. While working for a Colombian cartel and living the high life in Marin County, he orchestrates an operation that ultimately results in one of the biggest pot busts in this country to date. “David Victorson has written a searingly honest book about his life that will both break your heart and give you hope. He takes an unflinching look at the circumstances and choices that fueled his life—from poverty to addiction, from kingpin to prison, from executive to self-destruction, from despair to redemption. Though the writing is raw, his voice is clear. He has lived a life of extremes. He's a survivor, sometimes surprisingly so, but his honest self-reflection makes his tale compelling. His memoir is powerful and unique. I recommend it without reservation.”
This book had me from the opening page. I lived through those crazy days, and even knew a few of the characters in David's story, so, for me, it even resonated more. Anyone who didn't experience the real 60's can’t even imagine what a profound moment in the history of the human spirit it really was. David speaks with a level of understanding and honesty that is unmatched and his journey has a lesson for anyone who takes the time to listen. Don't miss out on this great adventure.
I read 37 tons and flipped through the pages in a hurry. Enjoyed the candid perspective from the author, I found it refreshing to see such brutal honesty about great successes and significant challenges experience in Mr. Victor son’s life. You get the sense from the author that he lives for each day, takes calculated risks, and goes at it again the next day. I admire the approach. Would recommend to friends.
The author is transformed from a street-smart kid in South Boston, to a drug smuggler operating in Columbia, Nepal and India, to originating and spearheading a high quality private-treatment and substance-abuse program. This odyssey is told from a perspective of 31 years clean and sober, after being mandated to AA by his parole officer. The story is a powerful message of redemption. It is also a morality play about turning the 'war on drugs' into a national public health issue. Intense, brutally honest narrative, a page-turner.
37 tons is a pretty interesting book. Right away the cover pulls you in, with the mix and contrast of the cool blue and green to the super-hot red 37. After reading the first chapter you had no choice but to feel for the author. Not feel bad or pity the author but to actually feel, relate or even know where he's coming from.
I love the flow of the book; you start with his child hood, then to the roller coaster ride that led to where the title came from. The ride then slows down a bit, but it's still bumpy; where the author trying to adapt to "normal" life. In the end you can't help but feel you've just gotten out of the longest marathon of your life, but still ready for another jog. The title is a bit deceiving to me, it's referring to the record drug smuggle, but to me it feels like "37 Tons" is the weight of the world and life on the author and how he's surviving. The author really does leave himself wide open with what he shares in this book. This isn't a book about the drugs, and the fast life, but what addiction is, where it came from, how he deals with it and how anyone can become an addict.
Please check this book out, it will make you sit and reflect on everything you've done so far no matter the age, race or sex you are. I was lucky enough to have my copy signed, I'm going to push my luck and bother the author about his book anytime I see him.
Awesome book. What an incredible story! From a Boston ghetto to Nepal to Columbia to a lavish lifestyle in Marin County to prison, addiction, rehab and a lifestyle dedicated to helping others. There simply isn't another story out there like David's. It's inspiring, heartbreaking and raw. I gave this real life portrayal 5 stars. Looking forward to one day seeing this played out on the big screen!
A great read! 37 Tons is the ruthlessly honest account of an outrageous adventure and a life fully lived. It is two stories in one. Firstly, it is a journey of unimaginable excesses, risks, triumphs and failures, extreme highs and lows, addiction, recovery, resilience of character and survival. Secondly, it is about a deeply flawed and divine human being following his childhood code of ethics to insure survival and to make meaning out of his life.
I loved this book. The story blew my mind. It introduced me to a character that I would love to know. Its honesty and humanity touched my heart. It gave me hope.
A brash outlaw tells an engaging true crime story about himself that has a happy ending.
One great, enjoyable read! Well written thriller! David Victorson combines a real life saga with a strong moral compass to produce an excellent read.
I was literally unable to put it down. Victorson has an incredible skill for telling stories and setting the scene so it's as if you're really there. The stories make wider analyses about society, the way that class plays out before our eyes without most people thinking about its complexities. Even on the soccer field a dynamic between white and Hispanic, rich and poor, lays the basis for outcomes, a microcosm of the dynamics of wider conflicts in the world generally. A brave account of emotional and psychological state of mind.
Peter Bolton Journalist
“Beautifully told, & heartbreaking ... well done.”
“I just read every word and could not put it down!”