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Posted April 23, 2008
Oh those who do not believe in love.....
This was a fabulous read. It gives a wonderful flavour of the Latin mind. Our literature is surreal....fanciful and comic. We do believe that saints could come to life. The writing is excellent and eloquent. I felt as if I was in Bahia, running barefoot, dipping my toes in the water.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 27, 2005
the visionary african-brazilian culture
jorge amado is a very popular novelist and also a religious man who always insert in his writings his passion and knowledge about the african-brazilian culture followed by the 'candomble' religion,which is very strong in bahia northeast of brazil.though some of americans find rather complicated to understand names and meanings of some words due to some language barrier,you can not deny to be fascinated and intrigued throughout the book ,you start to create characters and travel to places that you never thought existed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 20, 2003
Jorge Amado's novel begins on a promising note. A statue of Saint Barbara of the Thunder is delivered to the Brazilian port of Bahia for an exhibit at the Museum of Sacred Art. But at the dock, the statue comes to life and disappears into the crowd to right a series of wrongs. In particular, Saint Barbara, a.k.a. Yansan in the pantheon of Afro-Brazilian spirits, will come to the aid of young Manela in her war of wills with her prudish Aunt Adalgisa. Unfortunately, what might have been a delightful fable of South American magic realism is overwhelmed by too much name-dropping, a bundle of distracting side plots and characters, and extremely poor pacing. Amado seems torn between writing, in his own words, 'a chronicle of customs and manners' of Bahia and creating a coherent narrative. Tedious lists of poets, politicians, priests, painters, professors, prostitutes, and police will cause the reader's eyes to glaze over. Whole chapters could have been omitted. Amado's gossipy style, while charming at first, begins to chafe after the first 75 pages. Awkward transitions breed confusion. For example, when Manela is set free from a convent by sympathetic family members, friends, and a group of experts in a foot-fighting martial art called capoeria, we have to wait almost until the end of the book to discover where she and all these other people went. And we never find out exactly what happened to an armada that arrives from Santo Amaro to repossess the statue. The author would have done better sticking to the Saint Barbara-Manela-Adalgisa plot and filling in only those details needed to flesh out these characters and to develop their story. A recurring theme of the book is the value that comes from mixing cultural influences instead of insisting on sterile purity. There is also a healthy dose of sensuality, an unwavering faith in the redeeming powers of good food, good drink, and good sex. Yet don't be suprised if you see the ending coming too soon. Last but not least, if you decide to read this book, do yourself a favor and scan the glossary first so that you won't get bogged down by words like 'abicun,' 'candomble,' 'orixa,' 'peji,' 'vodun,' etc. You're going to have enough trouble slogging through the text as it is.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 1, 2008
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