Chasing Bohemia: A Year of Living Recklessly in Rio de Janiero
By Carmen Michael, Scribe, 256pp, $ 32.95 BETWEEN sweeping white beaches and roaring jungles lies the real Rio, a city at once morally chaotic and fervently exciting. Carmen Michael arrives to Third World shock ( cheap sex, cheap drugs, ‘‘ homeless kids sat against carbon- stained walls’’) but soon ‘‘ the unpredictability is addictive’’. As for Rio’s ‘‘ childish, chauvinistic men’’, they too possess the city’s cruelly addictive charms. Michael’s winning cocktail gives off the fumes of the deadly rum- based caipirinha and the sweet, sickly smell of cane- sugar ethanol.