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Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon Paperback – 3 Oct 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing plc (3 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747573719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747573715
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'One of the greatest writers alive ... also one of the most entertaining' Mario Vargas Llosa, author of The Feast of the Goat and Death in the Andes 'As a story it has got it all: assassinations, political intrigue, treachery, vengeance, illicit liaisons and a relentless narrative energy' Glasgow Herald 'Amado is by turns a realist, fantastical, episodic, direct, angry, humorous and, above all, characterful' Scotsman 'An exciting and enjoyable romp of a book, rich in literary delights' New York Times

About the Author

Jorge Amado was born in 1912 in Ilheus, the provincial capital of the state of Bahia, in Brazil. The son of a cocoa planter, he published his first novel at the age of nineteen, and both that and succeeding novels were dominated by the theme of class struggle, giving way in the 1950s to a lighter approach, an international reputation and stage and film versions of his work. Amado died at the age of eighty-eight in 2001.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Helpful Advice TOP 50 REVIEWER on 21 April 2014
Format: Paperback
"Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon" by Jorge Amado is an entertaining novel about one Brazilian town called Ilhéus in the first part of 20th century, full of satire and intrigue.

The novel starts in 1925 in fictionalized town somewhere in Brazil that was for long time organized mostly around violence and the oldest human profession, and is now experiencing a rapid development due to record cacao crop.
And due to that growing prosperity, the residents and government have to reconsider their existing thinking and behavior and become more civilized.

The novel plot is basically centered about the town's upcoming election that is interwoven with second story about the romance between a rich man named Nacib who owns popular café and former slave, poor beautiful woman Gabriela who he hired instead of lost cook.

For both story streams there will be a collision about what is currently, and what inevitably, cannot be avoided to happen...

"Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon" is an interesting and relaxing read that although set in 1925 in Brazil, has timeless story and could happen anywhere.
Its drawback is that there are too many characters that are hard to keep track of although in some other parts it looks like author didn't have enough inspiration therefore he left the story a little sketchy.

As a result of such literary style some readers can find parts of novel a bit boring, but don't give up because its story still manages to eventually compensate these flaws.

Overall, this is a decent piece with well-made plot that comes from the literature that I'm not so familiar, and as such, surely it is a good to read it to gain an impression and widen your views.
Due to that I can recommend this novel about small human destinies that are intertwined with large changes in time and society in which they live, and inevitably result in experiencing change within them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jacr100 VINE VOICE on 4 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
Ilhéus is changing: once a frontier town, where pioneers ambushed and murdered each other for control of plantation estates, its newly prosperous residents seek peace, good governance, and the trappings of civilization. But the old guard who dominate local politics - the colonels - are resisting, and the cocoa wars are threatening to begin again.

Nacib, a Syrian-born Ilhéan and the owner of a popular bar in town, is trying his best to stay neutral (it's better for custom). When his cook leaves on the eve of an important dinner event, he finds Gabriela in the "slave market", hires her and hopes for little. But Gabriela is a diamond in the rough - sensual, simple, and a brilliant cook. Soon all the men in town are after her, and Nacib is wondering how he ever did without her.

Amado fills Ilhéus with a host of characters, all richly evoked, and his dialogue and style are first-class; it's a hugely readable tale. And also a clever one, in which the evolution of a backwater into an important trading centre is drawn out in the dreams, scandals and daily adventures of its population. A steamy, twisting and earthy novel that swamps you and won't let go.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Graham R. Hill VINE VOICE on 16 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At one point in this novel reference is made to The Crime of Father Amaro and this book certainly put me in mind of the work of Eca de Queiros. It's a kind of Brazilian western, with cocoa plantations replacing cattle ranches. Try to think of the set up of Man Who Shot Liberty Valance [DVD] [1962] overlaid with the plot of a Palliser novel populated with characters from Priestley's The Good Companions. Or if that's too complicated, just read the book. It's very good.
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