In the near future, at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Mexicos idealistic president has dared to vote against the U.S. occupation of Colombia and Washingtons refusal to pay OPEC prices for oil. Retaliation is swift. Concocting a glitch in a Florida satellite, Americas president cuts Mexicos communications systems no phones, faxes, or e-mails and plunges the country into an administrative nightmare of colossal proportions.
Now, despite the motto that a Mexican politician never puts anything in writing, people have no choice but to communicate through letters, which Fuentes crafts with a keen understanding of mans motives and desires. As the blizzard of activity grows more and more complex, political adversaries come out to prey. The ineffectual president, his scheming cabinet secretary, a thuggish and ruthless police chief, and an unscrupulous, sensual kingmaker are just a few of the fascinating characters maneuvering and jockeying for position to achieve the power they all so desperately crave.
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"Readers with even a smidgeon of familiarity with Mexico's unkempt political traditions will wallow in this caustic indictment." - PW.
"The detailed (often redundant) exchanges of letters are anything but realistic. Still, in a gratifying return to form, Fuentes handles the hoary old convention with impressive finesse. A nerve-grating cautionary tale, and one of his best books." - Kirkus.
"A novel that is truly a tour de force." - Booklist.
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This was first published in Spain in 2002. Carlos Fuentes is the author of more than twenty books, including This I Believe, The Death of Artemio Cruz, and The Old Gringo.
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