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Blood-Drenched Beard: A Novel
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Published:
Penguin Publishing Group 2015
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Description
From Brazil’s most acclaimed young novelist, the mesmerizing story of how a troubled young man’s restorative journey to the seaside becomes a violent struggle with his family’s past
—So why did they kill him?
—I’m getting there. Patience, tchê. I wanted to give you the context. Because it’s a good story, isn’t it?

A young man’s father, close to death, reveals to his son the true story of his grandfather’s death, or at least the truth as he knows it. The mean old gaucho was murdered by some fellow villagers in Garopaba, a sleepy town on the Atlantic now famous for its surfing and fishing. It was almost an execution, vigilante style. Or so the story goes.
It is almost as if his father has given the young man a deathbed challenge. He has no strong ties to home, he is ready for a change, and he loves the seaside and is a great ocean swimmer, so he strikes out for Garopaba, without even being quite sure why. He finds an apartment by the water and builds a simple new life, taking his father’s old dog as a companion. He swims in the sea every day, makes a few friends, enters into a relationship, begins to make inquiries.
But information doesn’t come easily. A rare neurological condition means that he doesn’t recognize the faces of people he’s met, leading frequently to awkwardness and occasionally to hostility. And the people who know about his grandfather seem fearful, even haunted. Life becomes complicated in Garopaba until it becomes downright dangerous.
Steeped in a very special atmosphere, both languid and tense, and soaked in the sultry allure of south Brazil, Daniel Galera’s masterfully spare and powerful prose unfolds a story of discovery that feels almost archetypal—a display of storytelling sorcery that builds with oceanic force and announces one of Brazil’s greatest young writers to the English-speaking world.

Look for Daniel's new book, The Shape of Bones

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/22/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101635612
ASIN:
B00HZ1EE5O
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Daniel Galera. (2015). Blood-Drenched Beard: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Daniel Galera. 2015. Blood-Drenched Beard: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Daniel Galera, Blood-Drenched Beard: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Daniel Galera. Blood-Drenched Beard: A Novel. Penguin Publishing Group, 2015.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Updated:
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title
Blood-Drenched Beard
fullDescription
From Brazil’s most acclaimed young novelist, the mesmerizing story of how a troubled young man’s restorative journey to the seaside becomes a violent struggle with his family’s past
—So why did they kill him?
—I’m getting there. Patience, tchê. I wanted to give you the context. Because it’s a good story, isn’t it?

A young man’s father, close to death, reveals to his son the true story of his grandfather’s death, or at least the truth as he knows it. The mean old gaucho was murdered by some fellow villagers in Garopaba, a sleepy town on the Atlantic now famous for its surfing and fishing. It was almost an execution, vigilante style. Or so the story goes.
It is almost as if his father has given the young man a deathbed challenge. He has no strong ties to home, he is ready for a change, and he loves the seaside and is a great ocean swimmer, so he strikes out for Garopaba, without even being quite sure why. He finds an apartment by the water and builds a simple new life, taking his father’s old dog as a companion. He swims in the sea every day, makes a few friends, enters into a relationship, begins to make inquiries.
But information doesn’t come easily. A rare neurological condition means that he doesn’t recognize the faces of people he’s met, leading frequently to awkwardness and occasionally to hostility. And the people who know about his grandfather seem fearful, even haunted. Life becomes complicated in Garopaba until it becomes downright dangerous.
Steeped in a very special atmosphere, both languid and tense, and soaked in the sultry allure of south Brazil, Daniel Galera’s masterfully spare and powerful prose unfolds a story of discovery that feels almost archetypal—a display of storytelling sorcery that builds with oceanic force and announces one of Brazil’s greatest young writers to the English-speaking world.

Look for Daniel's new book, The Shape of Bones

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 17, 2014
        Brazilian writer Galera’s novel follows a young man in a beautiful but impoverished coastal town as he tries to uncover the details behind his grandfather’s death. Still reeling from a complicated breakup, the unnamed protagonist visits his ailing father, where he’s told the mysterious story of his grandfather’s murder: no body was ever recovered, no guilty party ever found. After the young man’s father dies, the listless fellow leaves Porto Alegre for coastal Garopaba, desperately seeking some kind of personal peace while also searching out the truth about his grandfather’s end. The bulk of the story has the young man exploring tropical settings, exercising, or attempting to infiltrate the loose social network of Garopaba’s highly secretive, nefarious inhabitants. The task is made significantly more difficult by the young man’s rare condition—he’s unable to recognize faces, even those of people he’s known for years, within minutes of looking away from them. This blunt translation presents a stoic journey of self-discovery, the murder mystery functioning merely as a backdrop. Galera’s keen sense of characters and unflinching depictions of the sometimes awkward desperation of coastal life ground the story and give it a gritty feel that is consistently satisfying.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 1, 2014
        Pensive, sometimes oppressive, altogether impressive novel by a young writer only now becoming known outside Brazil.A translator of Zadie Smith and David Mitchell, Galera here blends some of the wistfulness of Latin American magical realism with a brooding dystopianism. His Maconda is a place called Garopaba, a beach town that the world pretty well forgets once the season is over. There, a blameless and nameless young man, left in the world without family or friends, finds an anchorage of sorts and even something like love: "Jasmim is the first person he has ever met," our narrator tells us, "who knows what prosopagnosia is." Prosopa what? Well, the young man has an unfortunate condition that causes him to forget faces, which makes it altogether too easy for bullies to victimize him without him being able to identify the assailant. So they do, but they 'fess up to things like stealing his faithful old canine companion: "I forget people's faces," he says. "Now who was it?" Says the bad guy, "It was me," knowing that his victim won't remember in a minute, that he isn't even capable of hating his enemies, since he can't tell them apart from anyone else. His tormentors may have cause to behave badly, though, since, as the young man learns, his grandfather, who was killed in Garopaba, may not have been altogether undeserving of his fate. Galera writes lyrically of a land of jungle and beach, even when the mood turns Hitchcock-ian: "He steps on a loose stone, and his fall is broken by his backpack, but his elbow gets a good whack, and he feels the pain travel up his arm to his shoulder like an electric shock." The mystery mounts: Will the young man plunge onto the rocks below? Will those he trusts betray him? Are we really made of stardust? All will be revealed, though Galera warns on the last count, "Stop talking like hippies." An elegant, literate and literary mystery of appearances and disappearances.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2014

        In the style of a noirish mystery story, a stranger shows up in an exotic beachside town in Brazil and begins asking questions about his grandfather, who disappeared in the area many years ago and may have been murdered. The nameless narrator encounters suspicious looks and is warned about inquiring of the locals. Further complicating the story is his suffering from a rare condition that prevents him from recognizing faces, so he exists essentially in a world of unknown figures. Gradually, we learn that his wife had left him years before and taken up with his brother. The man starts working as a swimming instructor at a local fitness club, where he gets to know some members of the colorful local population and launches an affair or two, as he picks up various clues to the story of his grandfather. Eventually, to get some real answers, he must strike out into the surrounding woods. VERDICT The talented Galera, evidently highly regarded in his native Brazil, invests the mystery/quest structure of this novel with abundant colorful and lively details. However, it's hard to tell if this is the author's breakthrough work or how large an audience it will have.--James Coan, SUNY at Oneonta Lib.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        December 15, 2014
        Before taking his own life, a father reveals to his son what he knows about his grandfather's deaththe story of a vigilante killing in a small ocean town, with more question marks than certainties. Soon after, the young man moves to the town, where he teaches swimming lessons and follows his dream of living on the beach. A rare neurological condition that makes it impossible for him to recognize faces has always kept him somewhat aloof, but slowly he gets to know the town and its superstitious people. When he begins asking questions about his grandfather's fate, though, the longtime locals begin avoiding him, and the closer he gets to answers, the more openly threatening they become. Slow to start but increasingly suspenseful, this crime story is full of more than just mystery. Galera uses his hero's condition to ruminate on relationships and his search into the past to contemplate beliefs about individuality and connectedness. Unfortunately encumbered in places by an awkward translation, this is an intriguing novel from a celebrated Brazilian author.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
From Brazil’s most acclaimed young novelist, the mesmerizing story of how a troubled young man’s restorative journey to the seaside becomes a violent struggle with his family’s past
—So why did they kill him?
—I’m getting there. Patience, tchê. I wanted to give you the context. Because it’s a good story, isn’t it?

A young man’s father, close to death, reveals to his son the true story of his grandfather’s death, or at least the truth as he knows it. The mean old gaucho was murdered by some fellow villagers in Garopaba, a sleepy town on the Atlantic now famous for its surfing and fishing. It was almost an execution, vigilante style. Or so the story goes.
It is almost as if his father has given the young man a deathbed challenge. He has no strong ties to home, he is ready for a change, and he loves the seaside and is a great ocean swimmer, so he strikes out for...
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