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Just prior to his suicide, the protagonist's dad tells a tale of the grandfather who was murdered under mysterious circumstances in a small town on the Brazilian coast. So the protagonist, who is a PE teacher/triathlete with the rare cognitive disorder called prosopagnosia (or, face blindness) with no real ties to his hometown, attends his dad's funeral then departs with his dad's 15-year-old dog for the coastal town of his grandfather's demise.
The author's beautiful prose sings the uncertain atmosphere of the small seaside town in Brazil as our guy (who never meets someone who's not a stranger) endeavors, at least initially, to discover what happened to his grandfather. This superb novel carries us on a moody, sometimes haunting, journey through a unique cast of characters, including 3 girlfriends, a rowdy friend, the strange and hostile town, the ocean and its whales and the dog, as well as into a mountainous region on a walk-about of self-discovery and mirrors of the past and the present, as we discover and contemplate fate v. determinism, the ephemeral nature of love (familial and amorous), loyalty among family and of man's best friend, and the human capability (or not) of true forgiveness.
Daniel Galera reminds me a bit of Márquez in his rhythmic prose and hazy, contemplative themes. He may well be destined for a similar plateau. Surely Senhor Galera is well on his way with a "Blood-Drenched Beard."
Jonathan Davis outdoes himself with this assorted saltwater taffy of characters as he smoothly surfs through the dreamlike ocean winds of this novel.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Blood-Drenched Beard again? Why?
I could listen to this again in a few years...one of my favorite readers does a great job with a great story that keeps one's attention from beginning to end.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Blood-Drenched Beard?
When the character meets a particular family member...in a nightmarish scene.
What does Jonathan Davis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He does Latin and Portuguese voices as good as can be done...by an English speaker...who gives it a strong effort all the way through...
If you could rename Blood-Drenched Beard, what would you call it?
Self-will run riot...
Any additional comments?
What doesn't kill you...can leave you wounded...
2 of 2 people found this review helpful