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Summary

His name was Antonio, but they would call him Nem. From the infamous favela of Rocinha in Rio, he was a hardworking young father forced to make a decision that would turn his world upside down.

Nemesis is the story of an ordinary man who became the king of the largest slum in Rio, the head of a drug cartel and perhaps Brazil’s most wanted criminal. A man who tried to bring welfare and justice to a playground of gang culture and destitution while everyone around him drew guns and partied. It’s a captivating tale of gold hunters and evangelical pastors, bent police and rich-kid addicts, quixotic politicians and drug lords with maths degrees.

Spanning rainforests and high-security prisons, filthy slums and glittering shopping malls, this is also the story of how change came to Brazil. Of a country’s journey into the global spotlight and the battle for the beautiful but damned city of Rio as it struggles to break free from a tangled web of corruption, violence, drugs and poverty. With Nem at its centre, locked in a fight for his country’s future.

©2015 Misha Glenny (P)2015 Random House AudioBooks

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The life of a gangster

Would you consider the audio edition of Nemesis to be better than the print version?

Yes! Although initially I did find Glenny's cockney accents put on the gangsters a bit irritating. This is supposed to be Brazil, not the East End! Anyway that minor criticism aside, I found the narration very clear and well read throughout.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I'm not sure I actually had a favourite character exactly. I didn't find myself completing warming to Nem, the main charachter. He is after all a drug trafficker and a womaniser, but what does shine through about him is that he is/was an exceptional leader.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Although it ended sadly, I enjoyed the part about Nem's pet monkey and how the monkey would sit on Nem's shoulder and had a little hat!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was moved especially by the beginning when you see a young newly married man struggling to afford to pay for the health care of his sick daughter, living in a slum, and not sure where to turn. The point where a man named Antonio begins his journey from respectable citizen to Don of the Hill was quite emotive, what would any of us do in such a situation?

Any additional comments?

This is an interesting book. I felt at times like I was actually there in Rocinha, the favela Nem was don of. Misha Glenny's descriptions of the place are very good. It is a very candid history of a place and a leader. It doesn't shout the praises of Nem nor point out all that is bad about him. It is very balanced and fair account in that regard. However, I didn't find myself being blown away by this book, or shocked in anyway. It is what it is, the story of a gangster in a slum in Rio De Janeiro. Sometimes I felt a bit bored with the pointless violence and drug pushing, however, sometimes it felt as entertaining as if I where watching a hollywood action movie! I am also now a bit more aware of the colourful history of Brazilian politics, which I suppose I can count as another positive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great Audiobook!<br />

Very knowledgeable and informative. A lot of facts names and probably easier to listen to than read! Misha's Portuguese pronunciations were great although the slightly bizarre English voices when in character we could've done without. Was 'unputdownable' at times.