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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.
“Fascinating. . . . Possesses all the drama and emotional resonance of García Márquez’s most powerful fiction.” —The New York Times
“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 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