Captains of the Sands

Jorge Amado, Author, Gregory Rabassa, Translator Avon Books $7.95 (248p) ISBN 978-0-380-89718-6
This first English-language edition of a 50-year-old novel by the popular Brazilian author of Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands et al. is the last of a series of six he wrote about his native Bahia, which is a Brazilian state. The ""captains'' of the title are a gang of abandoned children who live in a waterfront warehouse and survive by robbing the rich. The novel is clearly an early effort for Amado, with self-conscious effects (such as an imagined dialogue between a gang member and an icon he wants to steal) and a tendency to romanticize the young thieves and to telegraph their destinies. But Amado's vivid descriptions of Bahia, his strong social conscience (``The problem of abandoned and delinquent children that worried almost no one in the whole city was Father Jose Pedro's greatest worry'') and his moving characterizations carry the reader along to the inevitable denouementwhich, despite its predictability, is both stirring and poignant. This edition also includes a self-righteous ``postface'' penned in 1937, in which Amado claims that ``no one until today has dared look face to face with so much love at Bahian humanity and its problems.'' (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
Paperback - 265 pages - 978-0-14-310635-7
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