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Amazon Stories: Vol. 1: Pedro & Lourenço Paperback – January 14, 2008
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What we have here are Friel's first ten stories about his best-remembered characters, Lourenco and Pedro, rubber plantation workers who seem to spend most of their time having adventures in the Amazon jungle. In these early stories, Pedro is seldom present and Lourenco generally explores alone. Each of the tales has the same overall structure... Lourenco has apparently retired and is riding a riverboat east down the Amazon to his old hometown on the coast; he or some Americans also on board see an animal on the shore, and Lourenco is reminded of one of his adventures involving a human being who had some characteristic reminiscent of the animal. In the current volume the tales grow steadily longer and more complex as Friel's confidence as an author expands.
There is nothing politically correct about any of these tales; they exhibit the snooty Western attitude toward native peoples that was found in all literature written during this period. But Friel was a great storyteller and these adventures of Lourenco (and sometimes Pedro) are just as fascinating and compelling today as they were when they first saw print in 1919 - 20.