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Mirror Maze - A Norwegian Man's True Story of Five Years in Mexican Prisons [Kindle Edition]

Lisa Walker , Vivi Arnesen , Tom Brungar
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Tom Brungar grew up in a comfortable Norwegian environment. He became a ski champion for the Norwegian King’s Ski team. He was destined to have the perfect life… with the perfect wife… and the perfect corporate job. But, the pressure of his perfect world… led him to drug abuse… and to a secret life where he was forced to be an international drug courier… captured and imprisoned in Mexico… Tom suffered five years of torture inhumane treatment… and extortion plots… But with the help of psychologist Adriana… he survived to tell his story. This is an incredible account of amazing survival, courage, triumph, overcoming obstacles from the power of the light within and the ability to make the best of situations against all odds.

This account is multi-faceted, intertwining Tom’s personal, philosophical and spiritual revelations on a foundation of socio-political issues. It also displays the disregard for the international treaty of human rights regarding torture. All variations and levels of addiction issues are addressed in this story as well. The title signifies the “Mirror” he sees himself in and the “Maze” he travels through to arrive at the exit. In a world seemingly without hope, Tom achieves the impossible via amazing perseverance, strength, faith, meditation, self-therapy and transformation of awareness. His good heart, honesty, intelligence, strong ethics, talents and ability to quickly learn the culture and language helps him befriend fellow prisoners and amuse his captors. He also meets and falls in love with Adriana, the prison psychologist, who with the help of the Norwegian embassy obtains his release.

The movie by Michael Z. Gordon of Americana Films based on this book is coming soon !

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vivi Arnesen earned a Gymnasium degree in Norway. Tom Brungar earned a business degree from Colorado Alpine College. Lisa Walker earned a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from CSUSB.

Product Details

  • File Size: 204 KB
  • Print Length: 174 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace; 1 edition (June 10, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003T0H5H4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #611,111 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Man's Survival Story in a Hostile World August 15, 2010
The reader gains a good deal from Norwegian Tom Brungar's example of strength and perseverance in world seemingly without hope. Caught in the maze of the grotesquely brutal Mexican penal system, Brungar lives through a long and torturous nightmare, only partly of is own making. As he passes through a series of horrendous prisons, he slowly transforms from the role of bystander in his own drug-fueled life to a sober man of compassion, a patient survivor, a man now capable of accepting love in his life. Tom's love for Adriana ultimately leads to his rescue and redemption. Author Lisa Nicole Walker deftly fulfills the late Mr. Brungar's goal to share his harrowing, cautionary story with the whole world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to believe it's nonfiction October 15, 2010
Tom started out as a successful Norwegian businessman. Stress and other factors led him deeper and deeper into a spiral of drugs and alcohol. This path led him to be arrested at a Mexico City airport. Tom spent several years living in the nightmare that was the Mexican prison system. This book is his story.

It's always difficult to review a book that's so near and dear to the person who's written it. You can't really just review the book. You have to review the life that's painted between the pages as well.

I started out reading this thinking of Tom as the typical businessman who gets sucked into drugs and alcohol. We've all heard the story. Things really start changing as Tom spends time in the prison system. The treatment he receives is absolutely appalling. Through letters that Tom personally wrote, we get a glimpse into a different life than most of us can even imagine. No words can do justice to the terror that he lived. Regardless of any crime he may have committed, the punishment was far more than he deserved. It's far more than anyone deserved. This book isn't so much about the punishments and horrors as it is Tom's personal journey. We find him doing everything he can to survive and pursuing a spiritual journey amidst these horrors he's presented with.

This is a heartfelt and compelling book. It's easy to pick up and difficult to put down. For me, it was a difficult read because I had to keep reminding myself that this isn't fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story about Drugs and a Mexican Prison Experience November 21, 2010
By Esme
<[...]>The Mirror Maze</a> is a phenomenal story. I received the book about a month ago. I remember coming home for lunch and finding it in the mailbox. I must confess that upon ripping open the envelope I went upstairs, lay down in bed and finished the book in one sitting. Shhh!!!, do not tell the boss-it was a weekday.

There is something to be said about a book that you read in one sitting. Tom's story is one that I am sure has been lived many times before, business man, becomes addicted to a substance and ruins his life. It is hard for me to tell you what made this book so good. I like that you learnt about Tom's life. How had a scholarship to university in Colorado, became a successful business man and slowly started throwing it all away as work pressures and the easy temptation of alcohol and drugs became the easy route.

Tom does not make excuses for his behavior and actions. His story of pain and suffering in a Mexican prison is heartbreaking. While incarcerated Tom suffered abuses that no-one should ever have to endure no matter what their crime is. In addition to his story, the book also has a compilation of letters written by Tom. Author Lisa Walker's mother is Tom's cousin. For her the story is one that was very dear to here.

When you are finished with the book, you will feel that you know Tom and his story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In Prison for Five Years in Mexico October 25, 2010
The Mirror Maze is the account of Tom Brunger's oppressive ordeal in Mexican prisons after he was caught smuggling cocaine. Tom was a cousin of Lisa Nicole Walker's mother. When Lisa was young, she experienced the phone calls and updates from Tom in Mexico. Lisa's mother sent him money to meet the demands of prison administrators. In his letters, Tom conveyed his spiritual faith. His survival of the hardships that confronted him became something momentous for him to consider.

A harrowing education began for Tom after he chose to seek "a new materialistic happiness to base my life and future on." He started using cocaine and became a drug courier. Tom recalled, "Once in a while, the thought that I was on the wrong path occurred, however, it was conveniently pushed away . . . The Mirror Maze had become my home and prison."
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5.0 out of 5 stars true story September 23, 2010
I love books written from true story perspectives, they somehow make everything that much more palatable. A Norwegian man and five years in a Mexican prison -ouch!
This is very incredible and I think anyone interested in true stories, prisons, mexico, or norwegians would be interested in this novel. Can he walk the fine line he needs to in order to succeed?

This book is hard to put down once you get into it, wanting to know 'what happens!'

Painfully honest, heart-breaking, poignant, this is a book worth a read.

Review by Ami Blackwelder
Hot Gossip Hot Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful read, recommended December 4, 2010
Addiction can lead you down many dark paths. "The Mirror Maze: A Norwegian Man's True Story of Five Years in Mexican Prisons During the 1980s" is a memoir of Tom Brungar, a Norwegian man who finds his drug problem dragging him into the Mexican drug cartel and is caught smuggling cocaine to California. Stuck in the cruel prison system, he sees Mexico as corrupt throughout and through his long journey, he escapes. He warns against the dangers of drug use and other choices of his life, making "The Mirror Maze" a powerful read, recommended.
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More About the Author

About the Authors: Vivi earned a Gymnasium degree in Norway. Tom earned a business degree from Colorado Alpine College. Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts degree in social sciences.

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