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Brasyl

por Ian McDonald

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: New World Order (2)

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9783821,058 (3.59)85
Think Bladerunner Be seduced, amazed, and shocked by one of the world??s greatest and strangest nations. Past, present, and future Brazil, with all its color, passion, and shifting realities, come together in a novel that is part SF, part history, part mystery, and entirely enthralling. Three separate stories follow three main characters: Edson is a self-made talent impresario one step up from the slums in a near future São Paulo of astonishing riches and poverty. A chance encounter draws Edson into the dangerous world of illegal quantum computing, but where can you run in a total surveillance society where every move, face, and centavo is constantly tracked? Marcelina is an ambitious Rio TV producer looking for that big reality TV hit to make her name. When her hot idea leads her on the track of a disgraced World Cup soccer goalkeeper, she becomes enmeshed in an ancient conspiracy that threatens not just her life, but her very soul. Father Luis is a Jesuit missionary sent into the maelstrom of 18th-century Brazil to locate and punish a rogue priest who has strayed beyond the articles of his faith and set up a vast empire in the hinterland. In the company of a French geographer and spy, what he finds in the backwaters of the Amazon tries both his faith and the nature of reality itself to the breaking point. Three characters, three stories, three Brazils, all linked together across time, space, and reality in a hugely ambitious story that will challenge the way you think about everyt… (mais)
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Vidas paralelas, tempos paralelos, universos paralelos e um só país. Em Brasyl, o escritor Ian McDonald abre uma janela para três paisagens distintas: uma futurista, outra contemporânea e uma no passado, ligando esses três universos tão distantes e, ao mesmo tempo tão próximos, está a física quântica, suas possibilidades e suas conseqüências.
O interessante é que parece que estamos lendo 3 livros ao mesmo tempo, em um único volume e por mais maluco que pareça dá pra separar as estórias. Um livro que merece ser lido. Bem diferente! ( )
  CassiaAlencar | Jun 7, 2020 |
So, you know that author who constantly comes out with deep characterizations and even deeper worldbuilding, flitting about from one huge idea concept to another but always keeping the narrative tight to the MC's? The one who wrote Luna and it's sequel, not to mention an earlier favorite Desolation Road? Or Dervish House?

Yeah. Him. He who dazzles with amazingly detailed characterizations in wildly descriptive settings, be it a luna colony done as the Godfather, or an extended future Mars colony quite UNLIKE KSR's.

Have him turn his sights to Brasil of the present, future, and past. Anchor it with a Jesuit priest, a sordid sensationalist reporter, and a complex minor thief in the future, then WRITE A NOVEL JUST LIKE CLOUD ATLAS.

Seriously. Not the particulars, but the style. As in, sprawling locales and amazingly drilled-down MCs, make you wonder where the hell the novel is going or whether these weird mysteries are MEANT to go anywhere for 3/4ths of the book, and the slam us with the big reveal that ties everything together in a really huge SFnal way.

Just like Cloud Atlas.

Want tons of alternate realities, quantum knives, organizations that kinda police it all from above, or massive quantum hacking, mysticism from remote tribes doing the same thing, or chasing mysterious doppelgangers ruining your life?

Well, this novel is right up your alley.

Well written, dense as hell, rich the way you think god in nature must be rich, and taxing on your patience every step of the way. Or maybe that's just me. The payoff is much later in the novel. The rest of the time I just have to sit back and try to enjoy the ride. It's always interesting, but it's nearly impossible to predict.

Nommed for Hugo back in '08. Rich, but not exactly my best cup of tea. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
This is the first novel I've finished in 3 months. I'm glad it was good. Here are the bullet points:

THE GOOD
-Masterful handling of the exposition problem. For example, two characters talking about science, while a third listens from another room. The third character is not a scientist and doesn't fully understand what is being discussed. Furthermore, he has been/wants to be in a romantic relationship with the others, and he feels jealous or hurt that he's being excluded from the conversation. All this characterization is just the setup for a page and a half of talk about quantum theory. In a lesser book, the two scientists would have simply lectured the third. Virtually all of the exposition in the book is handled in this subtle and layered way (except a bit at the end.)
-'World Building'. Artfully establishes the setting, as one might expect in a good SF treatment of an alien world. Except the world being 'built'
is Brazil (present, future, past--in that order). Adapting SF conventions to a contemporary setting is clever (reminded me of William Gibson's latest novels--which is a very good thing.)
-MINOR SPOILER: Treatment of 'parallel worlds' trope. To hear it described, you might think 'oh, I've seen that before'. But again, much subtler and more finely wrought. Especially where the different worlds 'bleed into' each other. For example, a proposed television show in one world is a show people actually watch on another. No attention is really called to that fact--you just have to notice that the titles are the same. And there are lots of these crossovers. The title is another one, but that's not explained until the very end.
--The books three protagonists are a TV producer, a street hustler, and a Jesuit. This sounds ridiculously cheesy but in the end completely works. This is one of those books where the craft of its execution is far greater than can be expressed by any summary, review, or blurb.

THE LESS GOOD
-An amount of sex/drugs/violence that some might find off-putting. Except for some bits toward the end, it's mostly referenced rather than depicted. Personally, this stuff doesn't really bother me, but I recognize that sentiment is not universal.
-Unravels a bit at the end. I guess McDonald wanted to have at least one point where he explains 'what it all means', in case a reader missed the earlier clues. Personally, I didn't think it was necessary and distracted from the overall tone, but I can see why he had to do it.
-Lots of Portuguese. There's LOTS of Portuguese vocabulary worked into the prose. Usually, you can work it out in context and there's a short glossary in the back, but not all the vocab is included. I thought it helped with the 'world-building', but I would totally understand if some people found it distracting.

THE SHORT
-Highly recommended if you are, like me, a fan of 'literary-grade' science fiction. I really liked the last book of McDonald's I read (Desolation Road). Having read Brasyl, he is now firmly on my must-read list. By 'must read', I mean 'must read when a new book is realized, ASAP', otherwise known as 'books I will purchase in hardcover'. Given my lack of resources, this is a very short list: William Gibson, Iain Banks (Culture novels only*), and now Ian McDonald. I still have some more of McDonald's back catalog to go through. Now if I could only read more than one novel every 3 months...

[*=I only read Iain Banks Culture novels not because the others aren't good, but because he's so prolific I wouldn't have time for anything else. Plus the 'hardbacks poverty' problem.:] ( )
1 vote ralphpalm | Nov 11, 2019 |
Ian McDonald's Braysyl takes place in Brazil, but in three different time lines - 2006, 2032, and and 1732. The separate story-lines don't so much come together, as you discover they were never actually separate.

I love the book, but I can't recommend it to just anyone. If you know something about Brazil, if you're prone to being seduced by outstandingly well-written characters, and if you can keep track of three distinct story-lines, you may come to love Braysyl like I do. Or you might hate it. It's a difficult read. I didn't much care for it at first. I only got excited about reading it as the characters came to life for me.

The story is very set in Brazil. Especially at first, I felt like I needed a primer on Brazilian culture and history. The text is littered with Portuguese words, because there simply aren't good English equivalents. The glossary is a big help with that, but it's confusing until you get used to to the bilingualism of the story. It also seems to presuppose familiarity with Brazil, but I managed to pick up enough from context to get by. The story hops from time-line to time-line, without a clear reason for why or when it switches, which just adds to the confusion.

But it's a great story, if you can get to it. I don't think it could be told any other way. For me, the pay-off was well worth the effort, but your mileage will vary. ( )
  hopeevey | May 19, 2018 |
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Ian McDonaldautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Harman, DominicArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Martiniere, StephanArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Think Bladerunner Be seduced, amazed, and shocked by one of the world??s greatest and strangest nations. Past, present, and future Brazil, with all its color, passion, and shifting realities, come together in a novel that is part SF, part history, part mystery, and entirely enthralling. Three separate stories follow three main characters: Edson is a self-made talent impresario one step up from the slums in a near future São Paulo of astonishing riches and poverty. A chance encounter draws Edson into the dangerous world of illegal quantum computing, but where can you run in a total surveillance society where every move, face, and centavo is constantly tracked? Marcelina is an ambitious Rio TV producer looking for that big reality TV hit to make her name. When her hot idea leads her on the track of a disgraced World Cup soccer goalkeeper, she becomes enmeshed in an ancient conspiracy that threatens not just her life, but her very soul. Father Luis is a Jesuit missionary sent into the maelstrom of 18th-century Brazil to locate and punish a rogue priest who has strayed beyond the articles of his faith and set up a vast empire in the hinterland. In the company of a French geographer and spy, what he finds in the backwaters of the Amazon tries both his faith and the nature of reality itself to the breaking point. Three characters, three stories, three Brazils, all linked together across time, space, and reality in a hugely ambitious story that will challenge the way you think about everyt

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