Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio

An investigation into the tumultuous social, political, and economic landscape of modern-day Brazil.

By Misha Glenny Read by Zach Villa Nonfiction / Political Science / True Crime English, Unabridged 9h 19m Sell Sheet Also available on
Format Release Date List Price Your Price ISBN
8 Audio CDs February 23, 2016 $49.99 $39.99 9781520000299 Add to Cart
1 MP3 CDs February 23, 2016 $29.99 $19.99 9781520000329 Add to Cart
							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.  It's a gripping tale of gold-hunters and evangelical pastors, bent police and  rich-kid addicts, quixotic politicians and drug lords with math  degrees. Traversing through rain forests 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.

“Fearlessly reported with impressive detail….Mr. Glenny doesn’t preach or moralize. He shows that law enforcement in Rio is as problematic as the criminals, and in doing so, he paints what seems to be a true picture. This is a balanced book in the best sense.” - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Incredible…. an epic, painstakingly detailed story about the rise of a favela kid to king of an empire…. what Glenny does so well is explain the context for Rio’s drug world, and the battle to contain and (to use the word local officials concerned about Rio’s global image employ) “pacify” it. What emerges is not just a study of one man and how he came to control a cartel, but a portrait of a city bursting with new arrivals from poorer parts of Brazil, unfortunates who wind up clustered in shantytowns that lack adequate water, electricity and, crucially, economic opportunity…. Without glorifying Nem or trying too hard to justify his bitterly violent enterprise, Glenny humanizes a kind of person we tend to see drawn as a two-dimensional character. And he shows how the fortunes of Rio — to say nothing of its reputation on the world stage — are tied to its ability to do well by its poorest and most marginalized citizens.” - The Seattle Times

“A balanced, but ultimately sympathetic, biography of the leader of a relatively small local drug cartel. Nem’s personal story anchors more profound reportage about Brazil’s parallel economic and political systems—specifically, Rocinha’s existence as a largely autonomous urban community and what happens when the government attempts to destroy, substantially reduce, or otherwise encroach on that autonomy.” - New York Journal of Books

“His name is Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes. But you can call him Nemesis, everyone else does, and he was the don of Rocinha, the largest of Rio’s slums, known as favelas. He is also the protagonist of Misha Glenny’s fine book, the grim, elucidating Nemesis: One Man and the Battle for Rio…. For all the tale’s vileness, it is very skillfully told and a very strong piece of journalism.” - The Christian Science Monitor

“In 1999, with no criminal background, Antonio Francisco Bonfim Lopes was a typical resident of Rocinha, trying to figure out how to survive and support his family in one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favelas. Less than six years later he was known as Nem, in charge of the large criminal organization unofficially ruling over Rocinha. The story of Nem acts as the glue for this title, in which journalist Glenny successfully explores the history of Rio de Janeiro, focusing on the violence, drug trade, politics, police forces, and related corruption within Rio’s favelas since the 1960s….Glenny employs a writing style that both keeps the story moving and the reader wanting more.” - Library Journal