TRAVEL & GEOGRAPHY

Dancing with the Devil in the City of God: Rio de Janeiro on the Brink

Touchstone. 2015. 308p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781476756257. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781476756271.
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OrangeReviewStarThis fantastic book by AP journalist, Brazil native, and Rio resident Barbassa outlines the city's history, transformation, and efforts to showcase itself on the international sports stage. It's all laid out for the world to see: armed troops fighting even better-armed criminals in the hills; the displaced poor; human waste on the beaches; skyrocketing real estate prices; public work projects wrecked by corruption—the list goes on and on. Interspersed among these chapters is the search for the elusive Rio caiman (a large aquatic reptile), the perhaps equally elusive Carioca River, and the 2014 World Cup (lessons not learned). This grittier look at this teeming city is not exactly a text recommended by the local tourist boards. (LJ 5/15/15)

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