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Rio de Janeiro (Writer and the City)

by

Rio de Janeiro (Writer and the City) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ruy Castro delves into the past and present of Rio, where even in periods of comparative calm there has always been a palpable excitement in the air - the feeling of a city on fire.

In this spellbinding fifth entry in Bloomsbury's The Writer and the City series, Rio de Janeiro's vibrant history unfolds. While stiff-collared poets flirted with prim young ladies in coffeehouses during the belle époque, revolts were being plotted that almost destroyed the city. We learn how the iconic wave-patterned mosaics of Copacabana pavements were baptized with blood, and how more than a hundred years before the girl from Ipanema passed by, the girls from Ouvidor Street adopted French chic - and never really gave it up. From what is arguably the most breathtakingly beautiful city in the world, the people of Rio - the Cariocas - tell their stories: of cannibals charming European intellectuals; of elegant slaves and their shabby masters; of how a casual chat between two people drinking coffee on Avenida Rio Branco could affect world coffee markets; of an awe-inspiring beach life; of favelas, drugs, police, carnival, football, and music. With his own Carioca good humor and great storytelling gifts, Ruy Castro brings the reader thrillingly close to the flames.

Ruy Castro is a writer and journalist whose books include two classics about bossa nova, a biography of the soccer star Garrincha, and an encyclopedia of Ipanema. He has also edited a compendium of 1,600 poisonous bons mots called Bad Humor and written two novels for children. His book Bossa Nova: The Story of the Brazilian Music That Seduced the World was published in the U.S. in 2000.
Ruy Castro delves into the past and present of Rio, where even in periods of comparative calm there has always been a palpable excitement in the air—the feeling of a city on fire.

In this spellbinding fifth entry in Bloomsbury's The Writer and the City series, Rio de Janeiro's vibrant history unfolds. While stiff-collared poets flirted with prim young ladies in coffeehouses during the Belle Epoque, revolts were being plotted that almost destroyed the city. We learn how the iconic wave-patterned mosaics of Copacabana pavements were baptized with blood, and how more than a hundred years before the girl from Ipanema passed by, the girls from Ouvidor Street adopted French chic—and never really gave it up. From what is arguably the most breathtakingly beautiful city in the world, the people of Rio—the Cariocas—tell their stories: of cannibals charming European intellectuals; of elegant slaves and their shabby masters; of how a casual chat between two people drinking coffee on Avenida Rio Branco could affect world coffee markets; of an awe-inspiring beach life; of favelas, drugs, police, carnival, football, and music. With his own Carioca good humor and great storytelling gifts, Ruy Castro brings the reader close to the flames.

"Often resembling 'heaven and hell at the same time,' Rio de Janeiro has served as a haven for pirates, fugitives, and rebels, and until 1888 it was one of the world's largest slave markets. But despite its checkered past and troubled present, Rio refuses to take itself seriously. When Portuguese explorer Amerigo Vespucci first arrived in 1502, he discovered natives who 'spent all their time singing and dancing in the sun, everybody naked, cheerfully fornicating in the woods'—that is, when they weren't eating each other. Today, Rio celebrates Carnival as its cultural centerpiece, and its inhabitants fill Copacabana's sex- and samba-fueled nightclubs, even while the thriving local drug trade routinely erupts in car chases and police shoot-outs. The beach, meanwhile, serves as a pseudo-town square: the places to meet friends, get gossip, and talk business. A worthy entry in Bloomsbury's Writer and the City series, this small, compact book teems with detail and offers an exciting take on Rio's topsy-turvy social history."—Andy Boynton, Booklist
 
"The fifth book in Bloomsbury's the Writer and the City series is no dry travelogue, dutifully reciting the requisite tourist attractions and eating and drinking establishments. Castro, a notable Brazilian essayist, meanders through Rio the way a long-time resident might take a visitor through favorite neighborhoods, telling charming anecdotes as they occur to him: a French viscount's lunatic plan to knock down the Sugar Loaf mountain that rises in the midst of Guanabara Bay; the quixotic efforts to move Carnival to the cooler month of June; the playboy Porfirio Rubirosa's loss of his wife in the middle of a dance floor. Historical fables are woven in with an account of contemporary Brazil and a strong dose of the legendary carioca humor. Castro takes us from Amerigo Vespucci's arrival in Brazil in 1502 to the 17th- and 18th-century battles for control of Rio, recounting colonial-era maneuvering with an ear for irony. His musical chronicles follow the Belle Époque and the first hit samba in the 1960s Carnival, 'The Girl from Ipanema.' He also recounts the drug wars and the growth of the hillside favela slums. He conveys Rio's jeito, or indefinable spirit, in a way that no traditional travel book could ever do."—Publishers Weekly

Review:

"The fifth book in Bloomsbury's the Writer and the City series is no dry travelogue, dutifully reciting the requisite tourist attractions and eating and drinking establishments. Castro (Bossa Nova), a notable Brazilian essayist, meanders through Rio the way a long-time resident might take a visitor through favorite neighborhoods, telling charming anecdotes as they occur to him: a French viscount's lunatic plan to knock down the Sugar Loaf mountain that rises in the midst of Guanabara Bay; the quixotic efforts to move Carnival to the cooler month of June; the playboy Porfirio Rubirosa's loss of his wife in the middle of a dance floor. Historical fables are woven in with an account of contemporary Brazil and a strong dose of the legendary carioca humor. Castro takes us from Amerigo Vespucci's arrival in Brazil in 1502 to the 17th- and 18th-century battles for control of Rio, recounting colonial-era maneuvering with an ear for irony. His musical chronicles follow the Belle poque and the first hit samba in the 1960s Carnival, 'The Girl from Ipanema.' He also recounts the drug wars and the growth of the hillside favela slums. He conveys Rio's jeito, or indefinable spirit, in a way that no traditional travel book could ever do." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

Fiction writer and journalist Castro uses a conversational tone to explore the past and present of Rio de Janeiro, paying particular attention to its social life and customs. Coverage includes such topics as the area's indigenous culture, the evolution of the Carnival celebration, and the reconstruction of the city in the early part of the twentieth century. The volume lacks bibliographical references and an index.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Castro delves into the past and present of Rio, where even in periods of comparative calm there has always been a palpable excitement in the air--the feeling of a city on fire.

Synopsis:

Ruy Castro delves into the past and present of Rio, where even in periods of comparative calm there has always been a palpable excitement in the air - the feeling of a city on fire.

In this spellbinding fifth entry in Bloomsbury's The Writer and the City series, Rio de Janeiro's vibrant history unfolds. While stiff-collared poets flirted with prim young ladies in coffeehouses during the belle époque, revolts were being plotted that almost destroyed the city. We learn how the iconic wave-patterned mosaics of Copacabana pavements were baptized with blood, and how more than a hundred years before the girl from Ipanema passed by, the girls from Ouvidor Street adopted French chic - and never really gave it up. From what is arguably the most breathtakingly beautiful city in the world, the people of Rio - the Cariocas - tell their stories: of cannibals charming European intellectuals; of elegant slaves and their shabby masters; of how a casual chat between two people drinking coffee on Avenida Rio Branco could affect world coffee markets; of an awe-inspiring beach life; of favelas, drugs, police, carnival, football, and music. With his own Carioca good humor and great storytelling gifts, Ruy Castro brings the reader thrillingly close to the flames.

About the Author

Ruy Castro is a writer and journalist whose books include two classics about bossa

nova, a biography of the soccer star Garrincha, and an encyclopedia of Ipanema. He has also edited a compendium of 1,600 poisonous bons mots called Bad Humor and written two novels for children. His book Bossa Nova: The Story of the Brazilian Music That Seduced the World was published in the U.S. in 2000.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582341903
Author:
Castro, Ruy
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Location:
New York
Subject:
South America
Subject:
Rio de Janeiro
Subject:
Latin America - South America
Subject:
South America - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Writer and the City
Series Volume:
no. 2
Publication Date:
20040807
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
7.06x4.66x.81 in. .64 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Travel » Travel Writing » Latin America

Rio de Janeiro (Writer and the City) Used Hardcover
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$5.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582341903 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The fifth book in Bloomsbury's the Writer and the City series is no dry travelogue, dutifully reciting the requisite tourist attractions and eating and drinking establishments. Castro (Bossa Nova), a notable Brazilian essayist, meanders through Rio the way a long-time resident might take a visitor through favorite neighborhoods, telling charming anecdotes as they occur to him: a French viscount's lunatic plan to knock down the Sugar Loaf mountain that rises in the midst of Guanabara Bay; the quixotic efforts to move Carnival to the cooler month of June; the playboy Porfirio Rubirosa's loss of his wife in the middle of a dance floor. Historical fables are woven in with an account of contemporary Brazil and a strong dose of the legendary carioca humor. Castro takes us from Amerigo Vespucci's arrival in Brazil in 1502 to the 17th- and 18th-century battles for control of Rio, recounting colonial-era maneuvering with an ear for irony. His musical chronicles follow the Belle poque and the first hit samba in the 1960s Carnival, 'The Girl from Ipanema.' He also recounts the drug wars and the growth of the hillside favela slums. He conveys Rio's jeito, or indefinable spirit, in a way that no traditional travel book could ever do." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Castro delves into the past and present of Rio, where even in periods of comparative calm there has always been a palpable excitement in the air--the feeling of a city on fire.
"Synopsis" by ,
Ruy Castro delves into the past and present of Rio, where even in periods of comparative calm there has always been a palpable excitement in the air - the feeling of a city on fire.

In this spellbinding fifth entry in Bloomsbury's The Writer and the City series, Rio de Janeiro's vibrant history unfolds. While stiff-collared poets flirted with prim young ladies in coffeehouses during the belle époque, revolts were being plotted that almost destroyed the city. We learn how the iconic wave-patterned mosaics of Copacabana pavements were baptized with blood, and how more than a hundred years before the girl from Ipanema passed by, the girls from Ouvidor Street adopted French chic - and never really gave it up. From what is arguably the most breathtakingly beautiful city in the world, the people of Rio - the Cariocas - tell their stories: of cannibals charming European intellectuals; of elegant slaves and their shabby masters; of how a casual chat between two people drinking coffee on Avenida Rio Branco could affect world coffee markets; of an awe-inspiring beach life; of favelas, drugs, police, carnival, football, and music. With his own Carioca good humor and great storytelling gifts, Ruy Castro brings the reader thrillingly close to the flames.

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