Vast Emotions and Imperfect Thoughts

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HarperCollins Publishers, 1998 - Fiction - 312 pages
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A grieving film director in Rio is visited by a carnival dancer who leaves him with a box full of precious gems. A few days later the dancer is dead, a man in a raincoat lurks outside the director's door, and a mysterious German producer surfaces with an irresistible offer: to make a film based on a story by the director's favorite author, the great Russian writer Isaac Babel. From this elemental framework the adventure begins.

Dodging a horde of local smugglers, the director soon finds himself fleeing to Berlin, where a web of literary and political skulduggery awaits him. Rumor has it that an unpublished Babel manuscript has survived the Stalinist purges and is now being shopped by a lovesick Soviet bureaucrat. Forsaking caution, money, and at times his own sanity, the director makes a foray into East Berlin in pursuit of the one true thing that still stirs his heart.

Already a bestseller in Italy, Mexico, and his native Brazil, Rubem Fonseca's newest novel is a rollicking adventure into the high camp world of carnival, the intricate history of precious gems, and the subtle craft of filmmaking. It is also a piercing account of a man whose life is resurrected by art just when tragedy threatens to paralyze him.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

From best-selling novelist and screenwriter Fonseca (Bufo and Spallanzani, 1990, etc.) comes this campy, racy little thriller conjoining murder, smuggled jewels, an unknown novel by Isaac Babel, and a ... Read full review

Vast emotions and imperfect thoughts

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

A carnival dancer visits a grieving film director in Rio and leaves a box of precious gems, thus beginning a "literary" mystery, both in style and subject matter. Several days later the dancer is ... Read full review


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About the author (1998)

Rubem Fonseca is considered one of Brazil's most influential writers, and was awarded the Premio Camoes--considered the Nobel Prize of Portuguese language literature--for his body of work in 2003. That same year he was awarded the Juan Rulfo Prize. He is the author of eight novels, including High Art, Vast Emotions and Imperfect Thoughts, and Bufo & Spallanzani, all of which have been published in English translation. One of his famous characters is Mandrake, a cynical and amoral lawyer and the basis for an HBO series.

Translator of Pedra Canga by Teresa Albues

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