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News of a Kidnapping (Vintage International)by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Synopses & Reviews
This astonishing book by the Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez chronicles the 1990 kidnappings of ten Colombian men and women — all but one a journalist — by the Medellin drug boss Pablo Escobar. The carefully orchestrated abductions were Escobar's attempt to extort from the government its assurance that he, and other narcotics traffickers, would not be extradited to the United States if they were to surrender.
From the highest corridors of government to the domain of the ruthless drug cartels, we watch the unfolding of a bizarre drama replete with fascinating characters: Cesar Gaviria, the nation's cool and secretive president; Diana Turbay, a famous television journalist and magazine editor; three indomitable women who are imprisoned for miserable months in a small room with a light perpetually on; an eighty-two-year-old priest with a mission to bring the regime and the cartel to the negotiating table; and Escobar himself, the legendary drug baron who changes his bodyguards daily and maintains a private zoo with giraffes and hippos from Africa.
All of this takes place in a country where presidential candidates and cabinet officers are routinely assassinated; where police go into the Medellin slums to murder boys they think may be working for Escobar; but where brave and honest citizens are trying desperately to make democracy survive.
An international best-seller, News of a Kidnapping combines journalistic tenacity with the breathtaking language and perception that distinguish the writings of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It draws us into a world that, like some phantasmagorical setting in a great Garcia Marquez novel, we can scarcely believe exists — but that continually shocks us with its cold, hard reality.
"A powerful story....In a series of telling strokes, shifting subtly from one perspective to another, García Márquez conveys the madness of the hostages' imprisonment, the despair, the anger, the false hope, the resignation." San Francisco Chronicle
"Brilliant....Deeply affecting....A story rich in characters who are both heroic and contradictory." The Wall Street Journal
"A potent mixture of the newshound's well-documented detail and the novelist's tragic vision." Chicago Tribune
"A complex situation but just the sort of human snakepit that Garcia Marquez finds a home in." Booklist
In 1990, fearing extradition to the United States, Pablo Escobar - head of the Medellín drug cartel - kidnapped ten notable Colombians to use as bargaining chips. With the eye of a poet, García Márquez describes the survivors perilous ordeal and the bizarre drama of the negotiations for their release. He also depicts the keening ache of Colombia after nearly forty years of rebel uprisings, right-wing death squads, currency collapse and narco-democracy. With cinematic intensity, breathtaking language and journalistic rigor, García Márquez evokes the sickness that inflicts his beloved country and how it penetrates every strata of society, from the lowliest peasant to the President himself.
About the Author
Gabriel García Márquez was born in Aracataca, Colombia, in 1928. He attended the University of Bogotá and later worked as a reporter for the Colombian newspaper El Espectador and as a foreign correspondent in Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Caracas, and New York. He is the author of many novels and collections of stories--including No One Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Autumn of the Patriarch, Innocent Eréndira and Other Stories, In Evil Hour, Leaf Storm and Other Stories, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Love in the Time of Cholera, The General in His Labyrinth, Strange Pilgrims, and Of Love and Other Demons. García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. He lives in Mexico City and Bogotá.
Edith Grossman is the award-winning translator of major works by many of Latin America's most important writers, including Gabriel García Márquez and Alvaro Mutis. Born in Philadelphia, she attended the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at Berkeley before receiving her Ph.D. from New York University. Ms. Grossman is the author of The Antipoetry of Nicanor Parra and of many articles and book reviews. She lives in New York City.
From the Hardcover edition.
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