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Nine Nights Paperback – 1 Nov 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (1 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099470330
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099470335
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Deploys his fact/fiction hijinks to produce an ending that is still haunting me, months later" (John Franzen Guardian)

"A spellbinding book, Nine Nights is a masterly combination blending fiction, research, history, ethnology and journalism" (Le Figaro)

"A dark but exhilarating journey into the jungle of a man's mind - deftly written and highly original" (Evening Herald)

"Gripping...a thriller in the manner of Joseph Conrad" (Tetu)

"Nine Nights [is] a beautiful and disturbing meditation on love and death, on familyand identity. A rich and profound study of the nature of doubt" (La Croix)

Book Description

An extraordinary Brazilian novel, reminiscent of Naipaul, Faulkner or Conrad in its remarkable power and its exploration of human behaviour on the edges of civilisation.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By That mysterious someone on 15 Dec 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I believe this is the first novel of Carvalho translated in to English. Given that most Latin American literature has a degree of "magical realism", I was expecting much the same here. However, this novel bears little resemblance to the likes of Garcia Marquez and others. It is pretty straight and ordinarily written. You won't find allegory here.

In fact it's a rather strange novel, which doesn't really fit squarely into any genre. The plot revolves around the historical suicide of US ethologist Buell Quain. In itself the story is interesting, but we are told the novel is a work of fiction. However, it's not really clear where the fiction begins and ends. The structure also seems to alter between very short chapters followed by a sudden long chapter. The story revolves around the life and suicide of Quain amongst the native Brazilian Indians. Quain's death is the central plot of book and the narrative, as one would guess, is written around the quest to find out what happened.

It's well written and the story is genuinely interesting and amusing in parts, but I just felt it was too disjointed and felt slightly cobbled together. Having said that it is definitely worth reading and my criticisms were more to do with style than substance.
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By Womaningreen on 3 Jan 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Clever story, well told. If you like crime and anthropology you can't go wrong with this. Perfect when travelling on the train or sitting on a beach.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A work that occupies one's thoughts long after finishing it 5 Jun 2011
By T. Stroll - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Apparently part autobiography, part biography, and part fiction, "Nine Nights" speculates on the psychological makeup of a precocious Columbia University anthropologist. Buell Quain, a North Dakotan, committed suicide in northern Brazil in the company of the aboriginal Krahô tribe he was studying. "Buell Quain killed himself on the night of August 2, 1939," writes Carvalho--"the same day that Albert Einstein sent President Roosevelt the historic letter in which he alerted him to the possibility of the atomic bomb." Quain died at age 27, and although the gruesome manner of his suicide is documented, the reasons for it remain mysterious.

Carvalho becomes obsessed with discovering more about the reasons for Quain's premature demise, and "Nine Nights" is a narrative of his investigation coupled with fictional speculation about why he might have ended his life when his future as a distinguished anthropologist seemed so assured. Suspense builds as Carvalho travels to Krahô territory in remote northern Brazil and to New York City in an effort to tease out information that might lead to an explanation of Quain's death and, by extension, his philosophy of life.

At a minimum, this is the most captivating biographical work I've ever read about anyone who hailed from North Dakota--imagine that it should come from Brazil! Carvalho's descriptions of Quain's family members and their role as prominent early citizens of Bismarck, N.D., although brief, ought to be interesting to those who want to learn more about North Dakota history.

Carvalho occasionally philosophizes on contemporary issues, and one phrase is particularly memorable. Speaking of September 11, 2001, and its aftermath, he says, "Wars today seem to occur at a more precise point in time, but deep down they are permanent."
Five Stars 11 Aug 2014
By Thomas J. Fitzsimmons - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Fascinating mix of fact and fiction abouta youngmanfrom Bismarck, North Dakota.
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