Author: Richard Klein
This book is not a true memoir as it shifts back and forth between the histories of Brazil from 1962 to the present through the first person narrator, Richard Klein. Klein, born in 1962 of Jewish-British parents was born in Rio de Janeiro, and Lost Samba records the many historical events of these years as seen through young Richard’s eyes and memories.
After WW II, in 1940, Richard’s parents traveled from Germany, through Poland to Rio de Janeiro on a small fishing boat through the ocean from England. For ten nights and days they floated until rescued by a British plane sighting. They relocated in Rio de Janeiro, where Richard’s father and family flourished.
As Richard follows the family as they settle into Brazil’s lush beauty things seem good. But it is two years before the revolution/military coup that dismantles the Brazilian government and economy. As Richard travels through the Brazil that he knows, he shows the culture and times of Brazil in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. His family is upper middle class, and yet they are not Brazilian and never quite fit in. And neither does Richard. As Richard follows the drug and alcohol hippies and rock culture of his time, he gives a compelling story of Brazil up to the economic crisis that falls into the lap of Brazil – and ruins his family.
Well written and dense with Brazilian culture
I would have liked to have heard more about Richard and his family, as this is glossed over and superficial in Lost Samba. The stress between Richard and his father is never really addressed. Perhaps that was not the purpose of the book; and yet I felt closed off as Richard speaks of his derailment as a student and the lost life of the 60s and 70s and the music culture that rocked many people in their late teens and twenties. We never realize who Richard and his family are, and as a backdrop, I would have liked the book to follow a theme. Nothing really changes for Richard at the end of the book, and Richard’s family and Brazil spans a bleak future as Klein ends his tale.
Beautiful prose, luxurious setting…
…exotic political tactics and the growth of Brazil save this book and create an interesting and compelling read. I sometimes had a difficult time with the grammar in the seductive pages of the novel, and yet as a self published book of memories, Lost Samba was a book I could not put down. Good read.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A”
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own
Lost Samba: Memoirs of Brazil
is available for purchase on Amazon.com and at bookstores nationwide