Invisibles spans two cities by the sea and four decades of music, torture, and romance. From the streets of Brighton to the bars of Rio, Ed Siegle weaves the rhythms of Brazil and the troubles of his characters into an absorbing story of identity, love, and loss. Joel Burns has always believed his father is still alive. His mother Jackie has long been glad to know GilbertoInvisibles spans two cities by the sea and four decades of music, torture, and romance. From the streets of Brighton to the bars of Rio, Ed Siegle weaves the rhythms of Brazil and the troubles of his characters into an absorbing story of identity, love, and loss. Joel Burns has always believed his father is still alive. His mother Jackie has long been glad to know Gilberto is dead. When a sighting on a news report from Rio de Janeiro suggests Joel might be right, he travels to Brazil determined to find his long-lost father. Nelson, a down-and-out musician guided by the spirits of Jesus, Yemanjá, and his late Aunt Zila, helps Joel retrace his childhood steps—and face up to the contrast between his rosy memories of Gilberto and his mother’s accounts of the man’s cruelty and the violent times following his arrest and imprisonment by the military authorities. At once familiar and foreign, this sweet, sad, and compulsively readable first novel throngs with visceral memory and unbreakable ordinary heroes....
|Number of Pages||:||288 Pages|
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Novel set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (feel the beat of the country)Joel is a young dentist, now living in Brighton. He lost his father in traumatic circumstances in his younger years, when the family lived in Rio. And this is the story of his personal quest to discover whether his father is actually still alive or not. It is a poignant account of longing, loss and hope. It forms a strong central narrative, as Joel abandons his life in England after he believes he sees his Father as a bystander on a TV news clip about a hijacked bus (based on a real event on 12th June 2000). He goes to Rio and stays with his friend Liam, who has an apartment set back from the wonderful beaches of the city.This novel captures the heartbeat and feel of Brazil – the author uses Portuguese words, and although the reader may not know the meaning, the Brazilian experience is superbly brought to life through the phrases and imagery – as well as the music, the bars, the scenery, the food and the reverberating pulse are all evocatively described. This truly is a way to delve into the country for the price of a book.The elements that perhaps didn’t work so well for me were the stories of mum Jackie (and ‘ex’ girlfriend Debbie) left at home in Brighton, and of Nelson & Co, the people in Brazil who help Joel to trace the history of his father’s life. Each feels like a bit of an ephemeral story that hovers around the edges – somehow they should feel more integral than they do – and in some way they detract from the powerful, central narrative of this young man searching for the truth behind his father’s disappearance. There could have been so much more flesh on these particular bones.As for the cover, what a joy. One glance and it hooks you in with the design and colour and you just know where this book going to be set and the kind of vivid storyline that awaits you. Vibrancy and colour are the keywords! Really eye-catching, a credit to the designer.This book is a good read if you are heading to Brazil, as it will capture the essence and beat of the country. And football even gets a bit of a look-in, so it is a perfect choice for those who hope to be engrossed in the World Cup in the Summer 2014! You heard it here first!
It was with a heavy heart that I finally gave up on this book last night. I'm a huge fan of Myriad Editions, and I was looking forward to reading this book, and I really wanted to like it. But I just couldn't get into it. I liked the early descriptions of Brighton, because I could picture them having lived there for a while. But I just found the writing a little stilted perhaps, and I didn't really like the characters. I've given it 2 stars because it's not terrible, but it just wasn't for me. At least not at the moment - I need a book I can fall into (which I've already found!).
December book for the Broadway Book Club.Book choices for this Book Club haven't always been ones I've liked but I loved this book. Some of the group wanted to go to Brighton after reading it.It's well written, good characters, my favourite being Nelson.Published by a small publisher called Myriad, they advertised some of their other books at the back and they looked interesting so we may read some of them.
Parts of this book are beautifully written, many of the characters feel alive and complex, and the dialogue throughout is funny and vivid. The story moves smoothly, if not always convincingly, and I found the book engaging and readable without sacrificing subtlety. However, some of the scenes set in Brazil seem to rely for atmosphere on italicized Portuguese words and neighborhood names -- tokens of exoticism that don't always convey real insight into the place.
Full of suspense, funny, serious, tragic. Aptly depicts Joel's frantic search for his father and cultural differences between England and Brazil. Could hardly put the book down.