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Antonio Carlos Jobim: An Illuminated Man Hardcover – October 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard; Tra edition (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161780343X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617803437
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #666,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Helena Jobim is an award-winning poet and novelist born in Rio de Janeiro. Among other distinctions, in 1993 she received the Brazilian Writers Guild Annual Award for her entire prose. Two years later, her novel The Trilogy of Astonishment, winner of the prestigious Jose Lins do Rego Award from the Brazilian Academy of Letters, was adapted to cinema by Marco Altberg. In 2006, she released Time's Sand, a compact disc featuring a sensitive sound landscape with 33 of her poems read by the author and set to the music background written by her brother, Antonio Carlos Jobim.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By DARIO BORIM on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Antonio Carlos (Tom) Jobim died 17 years ago in a New York City hospital. It is high time we learned more about a priceless legacy to the music and music-lovers of the world. Poet and novelist Helena Jobim's book makes his personal, intellectual, and professional history come alive in a compelling story. It is, likewise, an illuminating document for researchers in the fields of music, literature, art, philosophy, and popular culture.

As if it were not for the vast, intimate, and revealing set of photographs, the engaging elegance and unique structure of the prose, or even the enlightening description of creative processes and partnerships of a true twentieth-century's genius, one single element adds much to Helena Jobim's endearing biography of her brother: a portrait of Tom Jobim's emotional world. We learn that some of his greatest anguish (but not resentment), for example, resulted from his own image in the Brazilian press: too often distorted and misunderstood. The harshest attacks on him arguably came from prejudiced critics who, rather unfairly and unwisely, regarded his music as imitation of foreign sounds. Helena Jobim's moving and enchanting book explores the human dimension of a life dedicated to music that never surrendered to national borders. Quoting Pablo Picasso (and he loved quoting artists and poets) the maestro once explained that out of that anguish, his own "cube of darkness," he was "born again" on a daily basis (163).

Jobim's exceptional talent as songwriter follows a tradition in Brazilian music since Chiquinha Gonzaga 150 years ago: sometimes to bridge over and sometimes to do away with the illusive divide between erudite and popular culture, including music and poetry.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By a reader in the U.S. on December 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Tom", or "Tomas" as he was affectionately known to his intimates, embodied a wealth of contra...indicators (not dictions, as he was extremely well spoken and erudite) even up until his death when a doctor stated, "He appeared to be a strong man but he was actually fragile." He was a genius in almost every sense of the word - quick to dismiss his own importance, yet craving understanding from both public and critics alike - sometimes moody, and at other times gregarious to an extreme (as with New York taxi drivers) - he was always concerned; concerned as only an empathetic man can be about the things that moved him deeply. One of those things was music, and the arrangement of music specifically - the harmonies...in fact I found it extremely telling that Jobim would use the harmonies to get to the melody, much as I also found it telling that Jobim was naturally left handed, but (like myself) had been forced to write right handed. No matter, he simply adapted. His other passion was the environment, and his writing, musical and otherwise, betrayed an almost cynical sense of where Humanity was heading with the destruction of the Planet. His quote about "another world" where each tree that fell in this one was headed (like himself) for another where it would stand is a testament to his sense of the futile destiny of this one. An interesting read from start to finish, I was somewhat struck by 'synchronicities' throughout with my own path - the interest in Casteneda, the bi-dexterity, and finally, the last piece of music on his piano when he died "There Will Never Be Another You". This was the piece I chose to do in a samba-style, with Jimmy Ponder, as a duet on Jimmy's CD "Somebody's Child" from 2007. I thought I had chosen it at "random". It is a bit disconcerting to be the first reviewer of this other than the translator, yet here I am. Robert Lamm deserves a lot of credit also (good work, Mr. Chops!) Thoroughly enjoyable and educational.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lor on January 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Antonio Carlos Jobim is my all time favorite composer and I have followed his carreer ever since I heard Desafinado when I was 13 years old. I am now 66. I was very happy to see that his sister's book had been translated into English, because I was very eager to read it. The book arrived before due date and was "new" although I bought it "used" - in very excellent
condition. I have started reading it and I enjoy every page. Very well written, easy to read, very happy with my book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dennis M. Havens on October 2, 2013
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This book, lovingly written by Antonio Carlos Jobim's sister, captures much of his charm and a little -- not enough -- of his unique artistry. I have the feeling that much was lost in translation: I should have read in in Portuguese. I think even with my imperfect comprehension of that beautiful language, I might have learned more than I did, reading it in English translation. However, it is the first book about Jobim to be made available in English, and one can hope this leads to more in the years ahead. I wish I could have given it 5 stars, but a combination of heavy-handed translation and below-average copy editing made that impossible. Still a good reading experience.
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By J. R. Jimnez on June 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've always been a Maestro Antonio Carlos Jobim admirer. If you are too. This is the book yow want to read!
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