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Machiavelli's Boss Boris

Machiavelli's Boss Boris

by Grigori Gerenstein
Publication Date: 30/12/2013
Russian tycoon Boris Kievsky is not mad but he is afraid of what money and power can do to his grip on reality. When pressures of work and marriage become unsupportable, he escapes into the fictional world of Renaissance, where he befriends Niccolo Machiavelli and commits heroic deeds to win the favor of the most brilliant women of the age. In this fantasy world Boris hires Machiavelli as his business adviser because Machiavelli has the knack of making moral dilemmas seem less of a nuisance. Machiavelli also assists Boris in his amorous conquests. Be it Donna Benvenida Abravanel, wife to the King of the Jews and banker to emperors and Popes, or the ravishing Isabella d'Este, Marchesa of Mantua, they are all an image of the ideal woman that Boris, like any other man, has imprinted somewhere deep in his being. Back in reality Boris and his best friend, business partner and chess companion Igor Beschestny are trying to outsmart each other, steal from each other, destroy each other and generally prove who is the better man.
Then, when his business threatens to collapse, Boris orders the kidnap of the mistress of the only man who can save his business in order to force the man to do what Boris needs. Months later circumstances bring Boris and this woman together. Larisa is the spitting image of Benvenida and Isabella, Boris' ideal woman, the woman of his dreams. He becomes obsessed with her. In order to win her love he is prepared to lose everything he has, money, power, social position. Like Tamino in The Magic Flute, Boris goes through trials to prove that his love is true. And he almost wins through, except that his best friend, business partner and chess companion Igor Beschestny senses Boris' vulnerability and sees his chance to triumph in their ego contest.
Contemporary fiction
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