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Equator Paperback – Bargain Price, June 22, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074759662X
  • ASIN: B005Q69HV6
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,350,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'A gripping story, packed with blackmail, scandal, a passionate affair, gambling debts, a violent workers' revolt, intrigue, heartbreak, a courtroom drama and a gunshot in the night hard to resist' Independent 'There's everything: love, politics, solitude, treason and dignity in the equatorial languor' Il Corriere della Sera 'An exquisite love story' La Marseillaise

About the Author

Miguel Sousa Tavares was born in Oporto. He gave up a career in law to pursue journalism, after which he moved to more literary writing. He is the author of several books of non-fiction.

Equador is his first novel, the product of a long period of maturation and historical research inspired by a complex chapter in Portuguese history.


More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

I was glued to this book from the beginning to the end.
SE
I don't suppose a translator can rewrite whole passages, but you'd think he could iron out some of the lumpy syntax.
Cary Watson
It's amazing; I could not put this book down for a single day.
Jackie L

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jackie L on February 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Miguel de Sousa Tavares knows how to mix romance, politics, and personal conflicts in a way that will keep the reader wondering what's going to happen in the next page. It's amazing; I could not put this book down for a single day. Also, the book has a good dose of History that I was completely unaware. Awesome!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Maggi on December 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting book with a unique setting--colonial Portuguese Equatorial Africa at the beginning of the 20th century. This isn't about a lot of action and adventure, but a man who is trying to do the right thing in an impossible situation--and with human frailties that keep the book interesting. I can't recommend this too highly.

There are two main themes--the main character is sent to Sao Tome and Principe by the king of Portugal to serve as governor with the difficult task of convincing a soon-to-arrive British diplomat that the labor force harvesting the colony's only crop, cocoa, is not slave-labor (or the equivalent), otherwise the British chocolate manufacturers will boycott the colony's cocoa crop, thereby destroying its economy (and there is some question as to whether teh British position is based on high moral principals or economic self interest--promoting its own colonies). The ingrained habits and self-destructive arrogance of the white plantation owners and managers are as difficult to deal with as the British consul. The sub-plot (spoiler alert) is the infatuation the governor develops for the wife of the British diplomat. The diplomat and his wife are both facinating characters in their own right, with chapters devoted to their backstory. I found it hard to put down this book. This book should satisfy anyone with an interest in historical fiction--particular with colonial societies and the injustices that go along with them--and about places that are about parts of the world rarely written about. My synopsis may make this book seem drier than it is; the book is about interesting characters, although in an unsual setting.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By W. Mott on January 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A fantastic read - be prepared to lose a lot of sleep staying awake with this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Gamboa on January 12, 2014
Format: Paperback
I was motivated to read this novel for an upcoming trip I am doing this Summer to Sao Tome. It was recommended in my Bradt Guide to Sao Tome & Principe, and this is one of the two novels available in English set in this African country. I am very glad I read it, for there is little information available about this country other than the basics offered by geography and history books.

Luis Bernardo Valenca is an hedonist, Portuguese man living in Lisbon at the beginning of the 1900's. David Jameson, and his wife, Ann, are a British, passionate couple living in India. When the British accuse Portugal of keeping slavery in Sao Tome & Principe, King Dom Carlos of Portugal asks Luis Bernardo to become the governor of this Portuguese colony. His mission is to prove to David Jameson, sent to Sao Tome as a British council, that the Angolan workers in Sao Tome & Principe are being treated as any other Portuguese citizens. However, will Luis Bernardo accomplish convincing the British council of this? Will Luis Bernardo's ideas about colonialism fit in within the local community of Portuguese cocoa planters? Will Luis Bernardo be able to abandon his comfortable life of pleasures in Lisbon and settle down in a backwater, African colony? This is "Equator", and while most of the time this is a gripping novel, there a few elements that made me give it four stars instead of five:

1. At times, it switches from fiction to non-fiction very easily. This sometimes made me feel I was reading a text book about history and not a historical novel. I wish the author had been more subtle with this. It was always interesting to read about it and it gave historical context to understand why things were happening, but it made the plot stop in order to make room for the history classes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth A. Tripp on January 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The turn of the century was a time of great upheaval in Portugal and its colonies. This is an excellent historical fiction with plenty of sex, lies and politics. Well researched. This is especially enjoyable if you have visited Lisbon and Sao Tome.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By SE on July 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
Miguel S Tavares is a brilliant author. His work mixes romance with history like very few authors can do and his journalist background is visible in the excellence of the writing. I was glued to this book from the beginning to the end. A great and enjoyable way to learn about the old Portuguese empire and the mix of cultures that that country was able to mix. Looking forward for more translations of Miguel Sousa Tavares.
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