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Mastermind (Paperback) (David Unger)
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"Evoking both Kafka and Conrad, Unger's character study of a broken man in a culture broken by a ravenous corporation makes compelling reading."Booklist, onThe Price of Escape
"The Price of Escape is a supremely well-crafted emotional and historical tale."Francisco Goldman, author ofThe Art of Political Murder
By all appearances, Guillermo Rosensweig is the epitome of success. He is a member of the Guatemalan elite, runs a successful law practice, has a wife and kids and a string of gorgeous lovers. Then one day he crosses paths with Maryam, a Lebanese beauty with whom he falls desperately in love . . . to the point that when he loses her, he sees no other option than to orchestrate his own death.
The Mastermind is based on the bizarre real-life story of Rodrigo Rosenberg, a Guatemalan attorney who, in 2009, planned his own assassination after leaving behind a video accusing Guatemalan president Álvaro Colom of his murder. (In April 2011, the New Yorker published an article by David Grann about Rosenberg which has been optioned by Matt Damon for his directorial debut.) This is a fascinating depiction of modern-day Guatemala and the corrupt, criminal, and threatening reality that permeates its society.
Guatemalan-born novelist David Unger was awarded his country's Miguel Ángel Asturias National Prize in Literature for 2014, despite writing exclusively in English. He is the author of the novelsThe Price of Escape and Life in the ****** Tropics. His short stories and essays have appeared inWords Without Borders, Guernica, KGBBarLit, and Playboy Mexico. He has translated fourteen books from Spanish into English. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.