Summary and book reviews of Brazil by Errol Uys

Brazil

by Errol Uys

Brazil by Errol Uys X
Brazil by Errol Uys
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Jul 2000, 800 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A spellbinding saga on a truly epic scale that brings to life Brazil and her history. 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.

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.

Prologue
The Tupiniquin
May 1491

The boy was sitting beside a branch of the river that marked the end of his people's place. These lesser waters struggled through the clan's fields, their way broken here and there by the trunks of fallen trees, until their stream was lost in this green island.

He was Aruanã, son of Pojucan, and stood taller than most boys of his age. His mother, Obapira, had counted the first four or five seasons following his birth but then stopped, for the next age that mattered would come when he was ready for manhood. Now he had reached this stage. His limbs were well formed, his shoulders sturdy and straight. His jet-black hair was shaved back in a half-moon above the temples, from ear to ear, and his eyebrows were plucked. His lower lip was bored through in the custom of his people, and in it he wore a plug of white bone as large as his thumb.

Aruanã dangled his feet in the cool water. No one ever came here, because it was too ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Washington Post
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.

Nashville Banner
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.

Publishers Weekly
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.

Booklist
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.

L’Express, Paris
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.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Brazil, try these:

  • Heliopolis jacket

    Heliopolis

    by James Scudamore

    Published 2010

    About this book

    By turns darkly humorous and poignant, James Scudamore’s Booker Prize-nominated novel is a highly original, surprising take on the rags-to-riches story.

  • The Invisible Mountain jacket

    The Invisible Mountain

    by Carolina De Robertis

    Published 2010

    About this book

    More books by this author

    From Perón's glittering Buenos Aires to the rustic hills of Rio de Janeiro, from the haven of a Montevideo butchershop to U.S. embassy halls, The Invisible Mountain celebrates a nation’s spirit, the will to survive in the most desperate of circumstances, and the fierce and complex connections between mother and daughter.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Pianist from Syria
    The Pianist from Syria
    by Aeham Ahmad
    Aeham Ahmad became famous as the face of Syrian suffering when a photo of him playing piano in the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Smiling Man
    The Smiling Man
    by Joseph Knox
    Joseph Knox's latest turns on a simple premise: an unidentified and unidentifiable murdered man is ...
  • Book Jacket: The Heavens
    The Heavens
    by Sandra Newman
    I've been a big fan of Sandra Newman's writing ever since reading her 2014 novel The Country of Ice ...
  • Book Jacket: Sugar Run
    Sugar Run
    by Mesha Maren
    Mesha Maren's debut novel is a plunge into the depths of the dark Southern gothic with pulsing and ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A People's History of Heaven
    by Mathangi Subramanian

    A story of love and friendship, and fighting for the places we love.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    American Princess
    by Stephanie Marie Thornton

    Rated 4.9 stars by BookBrowse members - one of the highest scores of all time!
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against them.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Summer Country

Win up to 12 copies to share with friends or your book club!

A sweeping epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D T T! Full S A!

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.