Book Review: The Mastermind by David Unger
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / April 4, 2016

About: The Mastermind by David Unger is a novel about corruption and its toll on Guatemala. Mr. Unger, Guatemalan, writes in English but was still awarded Guatemala’s Miguel Ángel Asturias National Prize in Literature for lifetime achievement in 2014. 320 pages Publisher: Akashic Books (March 14, 2016) ASIN: B01C6D0KFS My rat­ing for The Mastermind — 4 Buy The Mastermind from Amazon.com* Thoughts: My initial issue with The Mastermind by David Unger is that I did not like the protagonist, Guillermo Rosensweig., Mr. Rosensweig is a jerk, a bad father, bad husband, bad business partner and even cheats on the woman he cheats with. But he is a good and successful lawyer. The novel, though, kept my interest by describing the corruption in Guatemala and how it affects many people throughout society. Having lived in New Jersey for most of my life I know how corruption in institutions has a way to become legalized and even moralized (not that I’m comparing the level of corruption) by community and political leaders. This novel is certainly engaging and interesting even though it takes almost half the book to build up, and the corruption is only secondary to the protagonist’s interest in leaving his wife for his…

Literary Hoaxes
Latest Posts / April 1, 2016

Instead of my usual “Fun Facts Friday” post, I thought that for April Fools I might list some of my favorite historical literary hoaxes. In 1794, William Henry Ireland faked a mortgage deed supposedly signed by William Shakespeare. Ireland claimed to have more artifacts (letters, receipts and contracts) but was soon discovered to be a fake, especially after a supposedly new play was performed. Ireland did become a London celebrity for a while. Author Clifford Irving claimed reclusive billionaire Howard Hues hired him to write a biography, claiming Hues was a fan. McGraw-Hill jumped at the opportunity and the writing began. Mr. Irving would have gotten away with the “biography”, but Howard Hues broke his long media silence in 1972 to denounce Irving. After 17 months in Jail Irving wrote a book about the affair titled The Hoax which was later made into a movie. After the death of American hero Davy Corkett an autobiography was published Col. Crockett’s Exploits and Adventures in Texas, written by himself. The book became a best seller but later discovered to be hoax written by newspaper editor and lawyer n Richard Penn Smith who compiled the information from resources both real and fiction filling in the rest from his own imagination….

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