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Home is the Sailor Paperback – 4 Oct 1990

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Paperback, 4 Oct 1990

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Book Description

An novel of adventure, love and seafaring from one of the finest Brazillian novelists of the twentieth century. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jorge Amado was one of the greatest Brazilian writers of the twentieth century. His twenty-one novels are distinguished by a passionate concern for social justice and a tender but exuberant vision of the comedy of life. They have been translated into forty-six languages and published in sixty countries. He died in August 2001, aged 88. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An honest review for a book about the truth 21 Dec. 2003
By "needstobuyabike" - Published on
Format: Paperback
While this book is filled with many of the same character-types that abound in many of his other works, it is somewhat of an anomaly that in Home is the Sailor, the central hero is a man of considerable wealth. This does not stop Amado from taking the obligatory swipes at the powerful but it is an interesting note to people familiar with his works. This novel is Jorge Amado's dissection of the way that truth is represented by those with a stake in it and by the saving graces of truth. As with most of his novels though, examining the concept of the book would do a great disservice to the remarkable story that unfolds around the idea.
The story follows two lines of concurrent history, both taking place over a half-century before the narrator has taken up the case. It is a marvelous joke that the mutually exclusive lines are both presented by the narrator as objective fact. On one hand there is the narrative of one Vasco Moscoso de Aragão, a fellow raised by his business-driven grandfather. He has no head for business but two heads for sporting houses. He is young, wealthy, and good-looking. The only thing that could keep him from the happiness that he is expected to carry is the lack of a title. In the corrupt political system of Brazil he could purchase the title of Captain and from the corrupt monarchy of Portugal he could purchase decorations and awards to prop the title up. The second story line involves one Vasco Moscoso de Aragão. He spent his life on boats from the age of ten rising in rank to Captain Vasco Moscoso de Aragão, Master Mariner, before retiring to the sleepy town of Periperi to enjoy his retirement from the seas.
Both of the tales are told by a dull-witted narrator who has trouble deciphering truths in the present tense, much less those which are fifty years in the past. He is involved in an amusing contradiction himself. His first person narrative parallels that of the Captain as well. He too is vindicated by the truth much as the protagonist he recalls. The narrator presents the only significant flaw that book has. He is inconsistently unknowing and omniscient. Both are used as plot devices but they would seem to be mutually exclusive. It's not a major flaw nor is it obtrusive but it should be recognized.
There is a sense of glory in each of the characters in this book that Amado seems almost uniquely capable of granting. The normalcy of the characters becomes grandiose and undeniably beautiful. There can be little left to doubt that Jorge Amado saw something inside of his fellow man that needed to be shared with the rest of the world. He succeeds in showing the humanity of unpleasant people but saves the glory as always for the truth and the poor. It is telling that the only two characters in this novel that are clearly painted as good people, Moema and Giovanni, are both poor. This recurring theme throughout his novels shows Amado's finest art, that of giving dignity to the people that society tries hardest to strip it from.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A great story with a dynamite ending. 27 Dec. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of Jorge Amado's most intriguing stories. It differs from his earlier sociological and ideological works. It is a story of a man who lives a life based upon his own created self image. It explores the idea of what is reality or truth and at the same time presents a wonderful picture of the culture of Northeastern Brazil around the early part of this century. The adventures of the protagonist are hilarious and the ending is surprising and very satisfactory. I have read many of Jorge Amado's books and I find that "Home is the Sailor" is the most readable of all his novels.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Read this book. 11 July 1996
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you read fiction, you must read something, perhaps
everything, of Jorge Amado's. Romance? Humor? Adventure?
Fantasy? The man is a master of many genres. Oh, I suppose
I should be recommending Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
for your first Amado read, but Home is the Sailor has the
stuff of a classic. I ran across it on the bookshelves of
a restaurant in West Virginia and begged the proprietor to
lend it to me. He did, bless him, and I returned it with
a gift of Larousse Gastronomique.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By "j_j_johnson" - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Abridged review: HOME IS THE SAILOR is a beautiful book. You should read it. Review with more depth: HOME IS THE SAILOR might be the best book I read this year. Perhaps I'm underestimating the quality of the books I've yet to read (just under one-hundred days left in the year after all!) but I doubt it. HOME IS THE SAILOR is a magnificently woven story set in northern Brasil. The story concerns Cpt. Vasco Moscoso de Aragão, either a trust fund playboy or a veteran sea dog, it seems no one is immediately sure. His splendid stories of his travels on the seas enthrall his new neighbours in the vacation town of Periperi where he has mysteriously appeared, along with his incredible past filled with dangers, romance and adventures awakening the passion of the old-timers in the city with whom he passes the days. Cpt. Aragão has overshadowed however, the former favourite storyteller Chico Pacheco who plots to paint the good Captain a fraud! The story is told years after the death of the Captain by a young narrator trying to earn a prize for writing, and a spot in the bed of the Judge's mistress Dondoca! An immensely passionate novel filled with eloquent prose that survives the translation flawlessly. The characters are developed to such richness that for just one moment, you'll take to preferring them to your friends outside the book. This will last for only a moment though as it is Amado's style to make the mundane grand and the grand whatever he wants it to be. You'll realize quickly that the your friends are the characters in the book and you'll love them the more for it. I cannot possibly recommend this book highly enough nor for that matter, many of Amado's other works.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Just read it 11 July 2011
By John E. Walker - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes, just read it. If you've read much Latin American literature - and enjoyed it - then this is for you. Amado was an inspiration for so many writers South of the Rio Grande. His early stuff was, frankly, sometimes a bit too earnest; but you could never deny his skill as a storyteller. Home is the Sailor is one of his last oeuvres, and his accumulated wisdom burns bright. There's really no point in trying to give you a preview; it couldn't do it justice. This is one for the ages.
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