- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (July 30, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 067973256X
- ISBN-13: 978-0679732563
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Samba Paperback – July 30, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
Rio de Janeiro's carnival, seen in the foreign film Black Orpheus , is the site of an annual samba competition. "Guillermoprieto vividly presents the individual stories of principal participants, analyzes the feelings they express in their music and dance, describes the contributions of the various samba schools and offers his interpretation of black Brazilian history and culture," said PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Every year the favela (poor sections on the hills of the city) of Rio organize teams of Samba dancers to compete in the yearly carnival. The author follows the preparations from the perspective of the champion Manguiera team, 5000 strong, and finds a serious community project to which all contribute despite their poverty and the high cost of costumes. The Manguiera team honors its African roots in its themes. Tempers and emotions escalate, leading to inevitable disasters which last for months, until finally all collapse into a black and white mass of unfettered sensualism at carnival. This delightful book gives a glimpse into a culture of poverty and its art form, about which too little has been written in English. Photographs would have added to the fun of reading; nevertheless, this will be popular with general readers.
-Louise Leonard, Univ. of Florida Lib., Gainesville
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is fascinating and the author admirable, because in order to learn and effectively represent the culture of the Samba and black Brazilian society (which she pretty effectively demonstrates are in many ways largely synonymous) she not only joined a Samba club in order to participate in Carnival, but also moved into the favelas of Rio.
Guillermoprieto depicts the injustice of the blacks' fate in Brazil in a dispassionate, yet also very poignant and sympathetic manner. She allows the compelling facts to represent themselves without embellishing them with personal assessments, which makes her writing that much more powerful.
This is really a great book: a fascinating story about the complex organization and serious part of the Brazilian economy that the Samba and Carnival comprise, and a distinctive and holistic representation of black Brazilian society and the rest of that nation in its reflection.
Guillermoprieto writes in a very engaging, enjoyable style, which occassionally seems more like an engrossing novel than a non-fiction work. If you have ever been curious to learn more about Brazilian culture, this is the book to start with!
But now that I've brought it to mind, you can bet it's on my re-read list. The most amazing thing is Guillermoprieto's kicker — what writers call it when you've got just the perfect anecdote or quote or image or whatever it is that leaves readers slack-jawed. Because by the end she was already writing at such a fever pitch that I couldn't see how she could possibly out-do herself. But she did. Meanwhile, no need for me to repeat the (positive) insights of other reviewers — they're right-on.