Review: Spilt Milk by Chico Barque

I chose this for something different. It’s a kind of memoir of a 100 year old down-and-out Brazillian Aristocrat.

He recounts his life to whoever is listening, from his hospital bed. As his decaying memories overlap, you get a kind of history of Brazil – where it’s wealth came from, race relations, corruption and all that malarkey. A 173 page allegory.

I don’t know much about Brazil, but there are some things you should probably know about before cracking on with this book: it turns out slavery was used there by the Portuguese 100 years before it even started in the US, and only stopped in 1888. In the 30’s, some of the Portuguese thought themselves the “most human” of all slavers because they didn’t condemn inter-racial sex, and used this idea to justify their continued colonial presence in Africa, as well as to claim that Brazil has no race related problems of its own (at least not like South Africa or the US). It’s called Lusotropicalism, apparently.

Its total nonsense mind, but you should probably have an idea about it before you read the book.

Anyway, about the book – I learned something new, and it was ok I suppose. Above average, I guess.

The author has a brilliant name though, right? You’ll be saying it over and over after a pina colada or two.


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