Reality Check: Life in Brazil through the eyes of a foreigner Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B00EXBM4X8
- Publication date : September 1, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 3659 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 177 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,020,110 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I would advise anyone thinking of coming to live here to read this book, especially if you are looking to obtain work other than teaching English.
You may think that at times he is exaggerating but having been through the process myself I can assure you that the account is accurate, expect to spend a considerable amount of time on paper work.
The country and people are as he describes and it is a wonderful country to live and work in.
I come from a large city on the Mexican border, and Mark's book really made me see how similar the 2 nations are in drug problems, and in public sector corruption. It's amazing.
But I believe that, romance aside, both national societies are now far too complex for a true "revolution"--too bad.
Change, probably spurred by violence, is; but why would anyone want to destroy a politically democratic structure that took almost 2 centuries to finally institute.
Actually, these types of books are hard to come by, so I highly recommend it. Its a bargain, short, and when you finish it, your way ahead of the game, as Brazil is much more than it seems on the surface. Boa sorte!
The book delivers what it promises, and I found it quite accurate. So accurate that it was even a little bit boring for me - nothing was new. But isn't that exactly the point? For Brazilians, what he writes there is just common sense. For someone who has never lived there, it is exactly what is needed to go past the stereotypes and learn what is it that the country (or, at least the southeast area, the richest region of Brazil) offers.
It is a self published book, and I think that this really shows. I caught a few wrong sentences here and there (I'm not a native English speaker but I'm quite sure the sentences had to be reviewed). The rhythm of the book was a bit weird, some very short chapters and some long ones; articles published elsewhere put in the middle of the book when they could be just links or appendices (especially because the topic - the June 2013 unrest - is dated and very complex to be discussed in full there).
Overall, the book felt to me like a huge blog post. I think that the content is accurate, clear and very useful, but in my humble opinion this book could be so much better with some more careful editing.
Top reviews from other countries
This is an excellent, short introduction that most importantly is written by an "average guy". Many of the "how to" books about Brazil, like the highly flawed book by Larry Rohter, or the truly terrible How to be a Carioca often focus on high flyers with little to say about the experiences of 90% of the foreigners that move to Brazil that aren't living in Leblon or running an expense account from a multinational news organisation.
The highlights are Mark's genuine understanding of how Brazil works, boots on the ground. This comes from a good, objective understanding of the country's history combined with day-to-day experience. Mark's well founded, critical optimism for the future of the country comes from combination.
His comments on economic protectionism and often unfounded, security paranoia are very astute, and more informed and realistic than many articles from supposedly professional journalists in the financial press that seem more interested in fitting Brazil into their world view than truly understanding the reasons why Brazil is as it is - Olá The Economist!.
Any faults with the book are part of its charm. It's does feel like a sketch for a longer book, but at the same time this is a great example of how self-e-publishing means a book like this can get on virtual shelves without an advance from a publishing house. It is also very fresh. Many of the issues discussed, like the June 2013 protests, are still news. Also Mark's guide to bars and drinks is something maybe only an Englishman would dedicate a chapter to in such a brief guide, however as someone that also lived in London for much of my adult life I found this very useful and charming.
Great stuff and I look forward to more insights on Brazil from Mark in his various articles and blogs.
I found this book hard going and repetitive. It might work broken up into short sections for a blog but as a book it didn't flow. I know it wassupposed to be non-fiction but it just wasn't interesting.
I'm an expat living in Madrid (8 years) with my own business, own house and married to an Argentinean so I could kind of relate to the author's story.
If i was moving to Brazil this would be one of my first steps before going deeper.
As is often said, Brazil is not for beginners, but this book definately helps!
Brazil is not for beginners and its extremes make it both immensely interesting and frustrating. Just read some of the forums of expats living there.
Mark captures what its really like to move to Brazil, start a business, buy a house, get married, learn portuguese and enjoy the best of Brazil, the people and the diversity.