- Paperback: 425 pages
- Publisher: Avon Books; Reissue edition (31 Dec. 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0380754703
- ISBN-13: 978-0380754700
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 981,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon Paperback – 31 Dec 1991
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In that year of 1925, when the idyll of the mulatto girl Gabriela and Nacib the Arab began, the rains continued long beyond the proper and necessary season. Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews
Occasional explosive crimes of passion and assassinations, and eye-popping levels of promiscuity and procreation, make Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon a wonderfully entertaining treat with a broad canvas of colourful characters all intent of making the most of life in a society where justice is administered by the strongest. If this book had been released today in English it would have been an instant hit. Highly recommended.
The translation dates from 1962 but, with the exception of a few jarring phrases [`otherwise his employees would ball things up', `But shucks, a man like Mr Nacib isn't goin' to marry just anybody.'], creates the necessary energy and exoticism. The author grew up on a cacao plantation and this novel describes urban and rural life, and the effects of development and post-agrarian industrialisation on the social, economic and political fabric of the region in the mid-1920s.
This is a period of cacao harvesting and, in the outlying areas, of deforestation. Violence remains just under the surface and prevailing tradition has it that if a wife is having an affair, her husband has the right, indeed the obligation, to kill both the lovers. He will be arrested, though not imprisoned and will be found innocent. This is a South American frontier novel with much of the amoral activity being a direct result of sheer boredom and economic necessity.
As befits the complex multiculturialism of Brazil, the central story is that of the Syrian-Brazilian bar owner, Nacib Saad, and the young mulatto, Gabriela. When they first meet, he can hardly make out her age or features because, having walked to escape droughts in the north of the country, she is covered in dust and wears a collection of rags. After he has asked her to bath, a sign of his honesty and generosity, he recognises just how beautiful she is [`her skin the color of cinnamon and her smell like clove'] but it still takes time for them to become lovers. Even then she retains her innocence and good nature.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent novel full of spice,excellent writing - gives a real flavour of Brazil (not that I've been lucky enough to visit that country). Read morePublished on 22 Nov. 2012 by Michael J Ord
From the opening pages, with the luscious descriptions of Ilheus, through to the end, Amado's book held me captivated. Read morePublished on 17 July 1999
This book was required reading for my English class (which I find odd considering the book is Brazillian). I enjoyed it immensely. Read morePublished on 16 July 1999