"Guarani" takes place in Paraguay, a small, landlocked, backwater country struggling to catch up with its neighbors. It was the cultural center of Latin America during the 17th and 18th centuries. It claims to have been the first to build a railway, and one of the first to have an opera house. The main protagonist of this tale is Greg McIntyre, a petroleum geologist, who tries to escape his part in the Vietnam War by leaving the U.S. behind him. Another one is Iliana Amendula, Greg's secretary, who claims to be politically neutral, until three members of her family are murdered. A terrorist from Argentina, a crazy army captain, and a professor of botany move the story along to it's explosive end.