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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sexist shallowness masquerading as quality, 12 Oct. 2012
This review is from: The Discovery of America by the Turks (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Amado's reputation makes me doubt my own response. But we have seen the Emperor's new clothes praised before and will see them lauded again. As far as I can see, this is a tedious brief novella which wasted a few hours of my life. I hope time, reflection and increased maturity may prove me wrong - my initial reactions to Wagner, Picasso and Tennessee Williams were negative. But in those cases there was a germ of awareness that something was there which I had missed. I do not find any such germ in this trite little damp squib. To get the best out the way first - the translation never made me feel it was a translation and the voices of characters and authors carried credibility. And each chapter is mercifully short. But that really is about it. I am none the wiser about Brazil and its culture (the title would suggest I should be), have no increased awareness of myself, others or the human condition, have met characters I would sooner not have met and been involved in incidents which far from being a celebration of the physical vitality of life have suggested a degradation to the "hanging back with the apes" that Tennessee Williams struggles against so memorably in A Streetcar Named Desire. The basic thesis seems to be that an ugly woman will be made beautiful by a macho male with a big penis who is prepared to whip her into submission literally and metaphorically whenever she gets out of hand. I thought we had grown past this adolescence and am disappointed to find such dysfunctional views still being perpetrated. If one wants to explore such attitudes, Restoration Comedy, Henry Miller and D H Lawrence at least enable us to do so with something that might stimulate insight. I look forward to other reviews indicating where I have gone wrong.
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The Discovery of America by the Turks (Penguin Classics)
The Discovery of America by the Turks (Penguin Classics) by Jorge Amado (Paperback - 6 Sept. 2012)
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