Chas­ing Bo­hemia: A Year of Liv­ing Reck­lessly in Rio de Janiero

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Books -

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.

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