Most helpful critical review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2012
I grabbed this book as soon as I read the blurb: "As the socialist revolution closes in, a once-wealthy Portuguese family is accused of "economic sabotage" and must escape across the border" as it reminded me of an interview I once made when I was a journalist with a member of such a family which had done exactly the same.
I thought it might be a veiled account of this family and the situation in Portugal in the aftermath of the 1974 revolution that ended the dictatorship.
The portenuous title should have put me on alert and it is nothing of the kind.
Its portrayal of Portugal, like its portrayal of the family, is as straightforward as a Jackson Pollock painting.
The book is basically a series of monologues and portraits of various members of a group that makes the Addams family appear normal.
As the narrative thunders on to its ending, it takes detours through rape, incest, theft, mongolism, greed, senility, drugs, alcoholism etc.
If you want a story with rounded characters, a beginning, middle and an end then don't read this. If you like a bumpy ride, you might like it.
Some parts are bleakly amusing but I imagine most readers will find the overall tone too high pitched for comfort.