In this award-winning novel, acclaimed Brazilian writer Edgard Telles Ribeiro illuminates a dark corner of his country’s history.
Marcilio Andrade Xavier is a charismatic young diplomat whose intelligence is matched only by his ambition. During the military dictatorship of 1964–1985, Max’s artful manoeuvring — political and personal — assures him a meteoric career as democracies topple throughout South America. Yet Max remains an enigma to his colleagues, his friends, and even his wife, who know few details of his involvement with oppressive regimes, let alone the CIA and MI6.
Amid embassy machinations, glittering parties, dire acts, and revealing intimate encounters, one of Max’s younger colleagues starts piecing together who Max really is, and at what cost he has purchased his dazzling career.
A political thriller of the highest order, His Own Man is a chilling anatomy of power, ambition, and betrayal.
'A rare and remarkable find ... not just a taut, sharp political novel, but one that is thoroughly informed by insights ... The command of detail, which means soaking each scene for every ounce of texture and meaning, is striking.'
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'[A] sparkling work of fiction ... just crackles with wit, well-tooled phrases and astute observations about power and those who wield it.'
Troy Lennon, Daily Telegraph
'This tale of international intrigue shows how malleable concepts of left and right, and right and wrong, can be during extended periods of political unrest and military repression . . . Nuanced and psychologically incisive.'
'This novel … confirms the author's definitive place among the major novelists of the Portuguese language.'
O Estado de São Paulo
‘A penetrating exploration of the [political] stage’s wings, where government, the military, and business leaders played their hands — with the press and the opposition silenced — and not merely in Brazil.’
'Central [to the novel] is the figure of Marcílio Andrade Xavier, perhaps the most masterfully conceived portrait of a diplomat in our literature since Counselor Aires, from [the eponymous novel by] Machado de Assis.’
O Valor Economico
Praise for I Would Have Loved Him if I Had Not Killed Him: '[Ribeiro's] language is impeccable and imbued with a grace that's impossible to resist.'
'Offers a fascinating look at South American politics and revolution while simultaneously anatomizing a man without a soul.'
'[A] page-turning pleasure that scrutinises Latin American history and politics ... those seeking to understand Brazil's past and present should look to Telles Ribiero.'
Kevin Rabalais, The Monthly
'[A] complex tale of espionage and betrayal [and] a quality offering from a master storyteller'
Maureen Eppen, West Australian
'Telles Ribeiro's protagonist also joins the roster of the most unforgettable characters in modern fiction.'
Laura Restrepo, Alfaguara Prize author of Delirium