Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

His Own Man by Edgard Telles Ribeiro

His Own Man

by Edgard Telles Ribeiro

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
131723,089 (3.5)None



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

I was hesitant to read His Own Man, having been burnt too many times with bad translation. I was happily surprised, delighted really, to find that the novel read really well in English; it is superbly translated, which indicates that a congratulations is in order for the translator (Kim Hastings), the publisher (Other Press) and the author (Edgard T. Ribeiro).

His Own Man is a political saga of Max (rather, M.A.X.) told from the point of view of one of his closest friends. With that said, it becomes clear very early on that Max is not the kind of man who has close friends. Very early on, the narrator tells us how he met Max and how, over the forty odd years of knowing Max, he has tried to put together the "puzzle" of Max, to understand Max's motives, his involvement in the political (and military) events that shaped generations in Latin America, his alliances, and most importantly, his feelings. When all of this is revealed or rather foreshadowed in the first 50 pages of the book, I wondered what else was there to know about Max. Yet, Ribeiro somehow weaves a story that is recounted by many who had business and personal dealings with Max, slowly revealing details and connections that make the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. The narrator runs an internal commentary of his perception of the conversations he has with Max and everyone else, trying to decipher the hidden meaning of every spoken word, every gesture, and even every drink consumed. As the narrator gets closer to the actual nature of Max's involvement in the events that led to the establishment of the dictatorships in Chile and Uruguay, and the bigger implications this had for the role Brazil had in shaping Latin American politics and history, and the even bigger political games at play by the Americans and the British, the tone of the book turns darker and tense, creating an atmosphere of anxious energy. What's perhaps surprising is that nothing comes as a huge surprise, yet what the narrator manages to uncover about these dark years in his own countries history is still shocking.

Highly recommended for anyone interested in American and British politics, and in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, and Cuba, and world history in general. This should be recommended reading for all high school kids in the power-wielding countries, so they do not naively ask "But why don't they like us?" when they grow up. A suggested fiction accompaniment to Stephen Kinzer's All the Shah's Men.

Thanks to Other Press and Goodreads First Reads for a copy of the book for review. ( )
  bluepigeon | Oct 6, 2014 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Marc?io 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.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.

Popular covers


Average: (3.5)
3 1
4 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 119,632,099 books! | Top bar: Always visible