Through the lives of two powerful families, Brazil depicts five turbulent centuries in the history of a remarkable land. From colony to kingdom, from empire to nation, Brazil is filled with memorable people living through one of the great adventures in human history.
The Cavalcantis are among the original settlers and establish the classic Brazilian plantation vast, powerful, built with slave labor. The da Silvas represent the second element in both contemporary and historical Brazil: pathfinders and prospectors. For generations, these adventurers have set their eyes on El Dorado, which they ultimately find in a coffee fortune at São Paulo.
Brazil is an intensely human story brutal and violent, tender and passionate. Perilous explorations through the Brazilian wilderness . . . the perpetual clash of pioneer and native, visionary and fortune hunter, master and slave, zealot and exploiter . . . the thunder of war on land and sea as European powers and South American nations pursue their territorial conquests. . . the triumphs and tragedies of a people who built a nation covering half the South American continent . . . all are here in one spell-binding saga.
Uys has interwoven five centuries of Brazilian history and generations of two fictional families into a massive, richly detailed novel, Michenerian in sweep and scope, informative and intriguing...Uys has a sense of pace and an eye for detail that rarely fail him.
The reader is entranced from the moment he is introduced to the young cannibal Aruanã until the story ends with Amilcar da Silva gazing from a Brasília skyscraper at the vast sertão, the heart of the country that was unconquerable for nearly five centuries. The writing skill of Uys is evident in the way he has taken graphic stories from periods of Brazil’s history and developed them into a balanced novel that equals any of the epics of James A Michener.
New York Times Book Review
This is not a caricature of Brazil, a country of endless carnival and happy samba dancers. Brazil offers a painless introduction to a country and people whose development has a sweep and drama similar to our own.
Pulsing with vigor, this is a vast novel to tell the story of a vast country.
Magill Book Reviews
Uys’s unsentimentalized chronicle combines great adventure with an impressive level of research. His intermingling of real historical figures with the fictional Cavalcantis and da Silvas create an aura of verisimilitude that makes history come alive. The epic history of Brazil has been accorded its due in this panoramic novel.
Uys smoothly interweaves a series of self-contained episodes into a sprawling saga that spans five centuries. The richness and authenticity of the setting and the historical detail make the investment in this lavish drama eminently worthwhile.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Brazil is a family epic written in a lucid, flowing style….A saga both simple and direct, yet deeply evocative and dramatic throughout…A reader is left with the wish that there were a thousand pages more.
Estado do São Paulo
Dynamic, excellently researched, free from the eternal stereotypes about Brazil.
A masterpiece Brazil has the look and feel of an enchanted virgin forest, a totally new and original world for the reader-explorer to discover.
Wilson Martins, Jornal do Brasil
Uys has accomplished what no Brazilian author from José de Alencar to Jorge Amado was able to do. He is the first to write our national epic in all its decisive episodes, from the indigenous civilization and the El Dorado myth, everything converging like the segments of a rose window to that reborn and metamorphosed myth that is Brasilia. He is the first outsider to see us with total honesty and sympathy and full empathy with the decisive moments in our history and their spiritual meaning. Descriptions like those of the war with Paraguay are unsurpassed in our literature and evoke the great passages of War and Peace.
Le Figaro, Paris
No one before knew how to bring to life Brazil and her history. Uys’s characters are brilliant and colorful, combining elements of the best swashbuckler with those worthy of deepest reflection. Most stunning is that it took a South African, now a naturalized American, to evoke so perfectly the grand but interrupted dream that is Brazil.
Set in Hong Kong, from the intrigue and double-dealing of the 1930s, through the savagery of the Japanese occupation, to the year 2000, this novel depicts a tumultuous time and place, peopled with extraordinary characters.
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