A Death in Brazil

by Peter Robb

1 876631 93 7

B format paperback: $22.00

Publication date: October 2004



‘Like everyone I went to Brazil to get away. At the start it was easy. At the beginning of the eighties Brazil still had a consulate in Naples, a vast and gloomy suite with high ceilings and the finest veil of dust in a distinguished Umbertine palazzo two blocks from the bay. On a clear day you saw Capri from its window. The consulate was marked by an oval plaque in burnished brass on the street and you reached the office in a clanking iron cage lift with glowing mahogany seats.’

This is the story of an encounter with one of the world’s greatest and strangest countries. Combining travel, history, culture and his own memories of twenty years of Brazilian life, the author of Midnight in Sicily delves into the past and present of a baroque country. Peter Robb writes about Brazil’s centuries of slavery and the vibrant but disturbed society that slavery left behind. Even today, Brazil is a nation of almost unimaginable distance between its rich and its poor, a place of extraordinary levels of crime and violence.

Brazil is also one of the most beautiful and seductive places on earth. Using the art and the food, and the books of its great writer, Machado de Assis, Robb takes us on a journey into a sensual and frightening world. He describes the remarkable rise of Lula da Silva, who in 2002 became Brazil’s first working class president, and the story of Lula’s predecessor Fernando Collor and his sinister bagman PC Farias, who looted Brazil of over a billion dollars. Robb describes their success, their downfall, and the mysterious murder of PC and his lover in a beachside mansion, a real life story of greed, ambition, sexual drama and family jealousy which mirrors the stories of the TV soap operas watched by a hundred million Brazilians every night, stories whose only structure is desire and whose only resolution is death.

Duffy & Snellgrove have also published Midnight in Sicily, M (on Caravaggio) and Pig's Blood, all by Robb.


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