AUNT JULIA AND THE SCRIPTWRITER: Many critics sustain that to win a Nobel is necessary a bit of eccentricity, alienation and even madness. This is a case of madness without extravagance.
Varguitas is a young man who, inevitably, falls in love with his aunt Julia. Firstly, the passion happens away from the eyes of the family, but slowly they notice the visits to the cinema. Ingenuity and maturity are confused in the actions of the lovers.
The main stage is the Central Radio of Lima, Varguitas workplace. There, the young man meets Pedro Camacho, who, despite being a secondary character, plays a crucial role in the representation of madness and insanity. At the time when radio was used to inform, entertain and create dreams, Camacho invented novels with unique characters. However, little by little, Camacho begins to mix the stories and confuses his followers.
This story awakens a reflection about love between family members and at different ages. These mad adventure is built on the reader's own conscience. Is a book difficult to read but recommended, after all it was worthy of a Nobel. (less)
MY SISTER'S KEEPER Some books easily fall into oblivion. Some books touch the reader in an inexplicable way. This is one of them.
This story portraits a growing reality today. The dilemma, usual in Jodi's romances, questions the reader about the importance of life. Is it ethical to create a human being to benefit an another? Is it ethical to sacrifice the day-to-day life of a child to save an other? What would the reader do in the place of this mother? So many questions with an elaborated answer.
Sara and Brian Fitzgerald have two children. Jesse is shy, angry and stares one of the most shocking moments of the story. Kate was only two years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Without a solution, her parents decide to have Anna, a genetically modified baby to ensure the welfare of her sister.
Everything goes well until Anna asks Campbell for help, a well-known lawyer, to establish a legal process in order to get her medical emancipation. Sara, also a lawyer, chooses to defend Kate in the court. However, the roles of lawyer and mother get mixed and an easy case becomes a nightmare.
The drama is related in the first person by each character, which allows the reader to real feel and know a fictional story. The reader is involved in a plot with different perspectives and, at the same time, he tries to understand what's the better decision to make.
A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES Ignatius Reilly is graduated and master, but spends all day criticizing the world and his mother. Without looking at his own flaws (obesity, for example) puts defects in every gesture or a simple word.
Irene, the mother of the protagonist, has a car accident after a few drinks and is forced to pay a fine, but she doesn't have enough money.Therefore, Ignatius has to work to sustain the family. Too upset and worried with his vision of the world, the young ruins every chance of work.
Meanwhile, the mother that was always home starts dating Mr. Mancuso, a police officer who goes undercover to catch criminals, and Santa, a rejuvenated old-minded. Every day, Irene gets more upset with the egocentric and manipulative attitude of her son. To make worst (or improve) the situation, her new friends try to convince her that she should intern Ignatius in a asylum.
Lana Lee, Jones, Darlene and Claude complete the panoply of characters that fill Ignatius's life. Incredible, they all end up with a common ending.
Ignatius represents a stereotype of a young generation who's indifferent to society's demands. Closed mentalities, manipulation and lies are the pillars of a life filled with irresponsibility and intentional catastrophes.
Is it too much to say that Ignatius is a self-portrait of the truthful feelings of John Kennedy Toole? Was this narrative a pronounce of the suicide that would happen later? We'll never know. What we can say for sure is that the author left a small, but very valuable legacy.(less)
What are those horses that make a shadow on the sea?
The set for this race already envisioned many obstacles.
António Lobo Antunes has a difficult and scary writing. Each chapter seems endless. Ideas, thoughts, facts are questioned in every line of the book. How can the reader not question himself?
All families have dramas. Each one has its own. This books joins a family that lives in Ribatejo, Portugal, and has every possible misfortunes.
The mother of five children is going to die at 6pm of a rainy Easter Sunday. Francisco wants the material heritage. João is pedophile and it was the only one that spoke to her mother in the belly. Of course its her favourite. Beatriz is pregnant and is forced to get married young. Ana is on drugs despite her intelligence. Rita died young. The father lavishes a fortune betting on number 17.
An atypical family. Children without self-esteem. People who only think about dead without enjoying life. The story does not delight the reader, although there are some interesting themes, like the existence of God.
The end seems far away. Then, after much effort, the tape is cut in two pieces. Finally, the goal is behind.(less)
This book is destined not only to those who have doubts about adopting a career in journalism but also to those who already work in that area. Even simple anonymous citizens must enrich their culture with the reading of this manuscript.
Who reads the adventures of Cébrian and Honório, the fictional character who questions the author about journalism, is unaware of the distinction between the receiver and the author itself. Cébrian creates an atmosphere of intimacy and sometimes friendship.
Cébrian argues that communication is power and, in a capitalized society, the journalist is essential to protect the interests of the public service. The call is there, but the ability to be a journalism is nothing more than being curious about the world, being cultured in several areas (admitting the lack of knowledge), being a fighter and, above of all, be seduced by the news.
The author sustains that the boundary between the intimate and the public is uncertain, but the right to inform is sovereign. In this "moral cynicism" scenario is crucial to defend professionalism. Now, the desire to appear and manipulate the media originated a "journalism that mixes half truths and huge lies". Cébrian warns that media are full with noise and is urgent to "clean the office".
The book doesn't presents solutions for the enumerated problems , like regulation. Beside that, is not explicit if the formation of a journalist is essential for his ethics, since Cébrian doesn't consider necessary a university formation to be a journalist.
With an open end of Honório, each reader can fit their story. "Letters to a Youn Journalist" engages the reader in a different world and, gently fills the mind with doubts about his own decisions.(less)
WHERE RAINBOWS END: In life there's friends and friends. Some are simple fellows, others are much more important. Who never though being in love with a friend? Sometimes, it's difficult to distinguish the line between friendship and passion. But, sometimes, passion is lurking.
From childhood to maturity, Alex and Rosie always been together. In their memories there isn't a moment not shared with the other. Like all young people, they though they would be best friends forever. The years passed and the first passions appear.
And if young people grow up, adults too don't escape this reality. The distance of a few meters becomes an ocean and their friendship suffers an abrupt change. Alex goes to Boston and Rosie is forced to remain in Ireland. The daily conversations disappear. The friendship is sustained with letters, which become more and more rare.
"Where the Rainbow Ends" prompts a reflection on true friendship. Is distance capable of killing an indestructible friendship? Is it possible to keep confidence through trivial letters? Could this strong connection be more than friendship?
A good writing and a passionate story addicts the reader. The curiosity triggers a quick reading to know how this friendship ends. Forever, maybe.(less)
THE CAPTAIN'S DAUGHTER One book. Two stories become one.
The life of Afonso could be a Hollywood movie or a novel, but for now it's only a book. Still young, he falls in love with Carolina, but, since he's poor, the intended mother pays for his studies in a Seminary, in Braga, where he falls for Philosophy.
Back in Lisbon, he falls in love again with Carolina. However, Isilda, the girl's mother, quickly stops the passion by sending Afonso to the army. When he returns, once again, faces an unexpected news: Carolina is engaged to a men of good families.
Agnés had a normal adolescence. She was born in Lille and studied Medicine. Meanwhile, she meets Serge and gets married. After three months, her husband dies in World War I and Agnés becomes a widow with only 23 years. And, since life doesn't stop, soon she gets married again with Baron Redier, who helped her after the war.
In her new mansion she meets Afonso. It's live at first sight and Afonso's desire of unravel that woman's mystery is inevitable. The baron eventually finds the affair and Agnés ran away with Afonso. From this moment on begins a distance love, with concrete barriers of the war.
In parallel, "The Captain's Daguhter" debate several themes of society, such as the existence of God, the creation of a war and the futility of a patriotic death. The book promotes a reflection about the war and the role of a man in his own life ("kill a man for money and you're a criminal. Kill a thousand men for an idea and you're a genius"). In addiction, portraits the daily lives of the Portuguese soldiers, in a unjustified war, and the suffering of their families. The Portuguese Army is characterized as fragile and mocked by everyone.
An epic book that helps understand the past and triggers a reflection about the future. (less)
UMA NOITE NÃO SÃO DIAS: Anthony and James (in the future, every name is adapted to the English language) attended school together until the 14th year of compulsory schooling and meet again after twenty years. Anthony lives in the Vertical Avenue, that, despite sounding like a street, it's a building with 98 floors. The architects project the buildings facing the sky and with squares to satisfy the all human needs.
In 2044 everything changed. The Government, composed mainly of women (man are simple secretaries) wants to set the retirement age from 81 to 84 years. There are robberies like "helijequinge", the frogs pandemic and the factories lay off robot due to excessive production. Homemade meals don't exist anymore, oil was discovered in Algarve and even the Woman's Soccer Championship has three times more male viewers league.
However, a few habits remain. There's still newspapers (though the computer's reading doesn't cause dirty hands) and, due to the excessive technological advance, the ancient letters are used because there's listeners everywhere.
This story portrays a futuristic Portugal, perhaps unfortunate. Social, natural, political and personal changes dictate habits that today seem surreal, but, without any act of magic, can become real. Mário Zambujal didn't tried to guess the future. He wants to wake consciousnesses through a real perspective of what could be the future of Man.
A book of easy reading and perfect to cause smiles. The previous, the present and the future generations must think on the acts of each and every one. And, has the author argues, the moral is "people change the world, the world doesn't change people".
THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX Vanishing. Forgetfulness. Two words that share more than a suffix.
Forgetfulness can be expressed in many ways. It could be intentional, unintentional or even unconscious. The last is the most painful and it's called Alzheimer. To forget a moment, a place, a person, we block memories and even try to counteract the human brain.
The suffering of a forced forgetting isn't compared to a total vanishing of the memory and the simple details that make life possible. People's names, objects and moments simply vanish of a supposedly unbreakable memory. Human being isn't weak for being winnable, he just becomes fragile.
Iris Lockart thinks she knows her own life. She's wrong. Euphemia, or Esme as she likes to be called, is part of her family even if she was disappeared for decades. Esme is in an asylum since she was sixteen years. Therefore, she's unaware of the changes of the places she used to know, but she remembers good and bad moments.
Kitty, her sister, has Alzheimer in an advanced stage. Her confused head remembers some moments of her youth. These lucidity moments help Iris to discover her truthful origins and solve quarrels and separations of the past generations.
Every page grabs the reader with an extraordinary unusual strength. It's impossible to fight curiosity and willingness to help Iris finding the truth , whether it's good or bad. It is a complex book in it's apparent simplicity. Bottom line: you should never let someone go away or be forgotten. (less)
How can we forget a(n) (im)perfect love? How can we move on when the past holds memories that seem so real? How to survive an unexpected grief?
This book doesn't answer these questions. Only describes the hidden feelings of an unrequited love. The reading gives a feeling of closeness and even embodiment of the reader.
The story doesn't teach (and much less advises) to forget the past. The real lesson is to fight nostalgia. Learn from mistakes, interpret verbal and non-verbal signs and, finally, built a new "corrected" love. Save someone special in a corner of the heart and live the present without forgetting the past.
It is a recommended book for those who don't know true love, for those who already suffered (and still suffer) a lost and for those who aim to understand what the heart whispers.
A beautiful book on the inside and on the outside.
Not everybody can be happy ever after, but the majority can search for a happiness that may not be nonexistent.(less)
THE MERMAID'S MELODY Sereia is the perfect woman. In a short period of time she jumps into the spotlight and becomes a famous star in Brazil. The drama begins when, during Carnival, Sereia is shot dead on the stage.
In this moment appears Agostinho Matoso ou Augustão, his nickname. Journalist, detective and curious. These are enough features to investigate a mysterious and well-planed murder.
Completely blind, Agostinho interrogates all persons related to the victim and, little by little, discovers the real Sereia that was hidden behind the fame. A simple investigation of a murder quickly becomes a mix of betrayal, adultery and deep secrets. There are unexpected revelations of lives that make a surprising end.
A simple book, with easy writing, that evokes a sense of curiosity and lust for revealing the crime. Nelson Motta presents a clear writing, probably because of his journalistic habits. (less)
PORTRAIT IN SEPIA Aurora had a life full of interesting moments. Each step, every choice had consequences in the future. Therefore, the simplest decision, taken by the main character or by her parents, determines the growth of a child.
The child is the result of an impossible love. As if in punishment, her birth dictates the death of her mother, the beautiful and irresistible Lynn. The father, Severo Del Vale, through several adversities surrenders to Nívea, her eternal lover.
Aurora grows in a cosmopolitan atmosphere and is raised by Paulina Del Vale, her beloved grandmother. She has a happy childhood, but haunted by terrible nightmares. Aurora becomes a woman and is forced to marry a men that she opes to love in the future, but not on the present.
An epic book that debates death, love, life and the importance of the past in the construction of the future. Little by little, the reader discovers the hidden agenda of all characters and follows the sentimental evolution of Aurora.
There's much more to tell about Aurora's life, but I couldn't reveal details to destroy curiosity. With an attentive and careful reading, the narrative must be accompanied to the last word. Many secrets must be revealed. (less)
PS: I Love You Love someone isn't easy. Lose a great love is difficult. Surviving seems impossible.
Gerry, Holly's great love, showed her real happiness. Every single night, they questioned: who gets up to turn off the lights? The endless ritual reflects the stubbornness of an unimaginable complicity.
Suddenly, Holly is forced to live without Gerry, but he didn't leave her alone. In a genius, meticulous and careful way, Gerry continues alongside with Holly even after his dead.
The hidden letters, the previous markings, the left messages help Holly to face a future with a smile on her face.
Cecelia Ahern, despite her age, can touch hearts and spread love all over the world with her love story. Although fictional, the passion of Holly grabs the reader's heart.
Surviving seems impossible, but it ins't. Because the most important is never said.(less)
Quem nunca sonhou em ter um dom, um talento? Todos nós, pelo menos uma vez, fantasiámos em ser extraordinários em algo, por mais simples que seja.
Col...moreQuem nunca sonhou em ter um dom, um talento? Todos nós, pelo menos uma vez, fantasiámos em ser extraordinários em algo, por mais simples que seja.
Collin não precisou de sonhar. Com apenas nove anos já viu este mundo e o outro como ninguém. Enfrentou as portas do Céu, mas recusou-se a entrar. Não era ainda a sua hora. Regressou à vida para mostrar o seu dom.
Addison, a sua mãe dedicada e protectora, vivenciou os poderes do filho na própria pele, quando ele a curou de um cancro. Nunca mais a sua vida foi igual. Passado pouco tempo, Collin descobre que tem Leucemia e Addison assume uma culpa infundada sobre a doença do filho.
O rumo da história altera-se com o aparecimento de Nathan, um humilde trabalhador que, numa noite de nevão, oferece os seus aposentos à família Park. A bondade desperta Addison para um novo amor, apesar dos segredos escondidos daquele desconhecido.
Em pouco tempo, o mundo descobre o segredo de Collin e rapidamente a rua de Addison se enche de pais, avós, tios e primos desesperados por curas que matariam o próprio salvador. A família Park começa uma aventura de fuga ao mundo e ao respectivo pai de Collin, que não olha a meios para conquistar uma fortuna.
"O Dom" desperta no leitor o pensamento sobre as suas próprias qualidades. Demonstra a beleza da vida quando bem vivida. Transforma momentos de desespero em horas de tranquilidade. Acalma a consciência do leitor.
O melhor dom é saber dar sem esperar nada em troca.(less)
OS RETORNADOS A journalist is trained to simplify and thrill his audience. Only a few can create a good story. The first book of Júlio Magalhães is a successful case.
The simple writing, the clear language and a misterious story transpires a journalist's vision of an historical romance. The suspense, in every line, fills the reader with expectations, frustrations and even happiness, that quickly fade away.
This book mixes the trust of the optimist of a better life with the dismay of those who abandon not only a house and a job but also hope.
There's a lot to say about the colonialism era of Portugal, but not many books tell the story through the people's voice. The abandonment, the lost, the waiver. These feelings are showed in casual (but fill of emotion) conversations between Joana and the passengers of the 233 Flight. The trip from Luanda to Lisbon bridges the dichotomy of a controversial war.
"Os Retornados" arouses a reflection on consciousness, love and life. The fear of starting over and the little hope to face the future are spicied, brightly, with a little sugar on the top of some fried eggs. (less)