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Sort order. Start your review of A Cidade e as Serras. Spoiled Jacinto, grandson of an expatriate, his Portuguese grandfather with the same name, but nicknamed Sir Galleon, he was rather obese, left Portugal dispirited, when his King Dom Miguel the usurper, lost the civil war during the 's for the throne.

So Jacinto was born in Paris in a palace, on the Champs-Elysees, no. The young man loved gadgets, buying the latest ones whether they worked or not, fascinated by machines, that Jacinto, with his vast riches had no trouble acquiring, telephones, telegraph machines, the phonograph and finally, electricity, which functioned occasionally, technology was his king He even built a telescope on the roof of his mansion, viewing the alluring stars and planets many a night, also books, 30, Jacinto had, he liked them, piled up to the ceiling, growing like a gigantic fungus, threatening to take over the entire, enormous house, unstoppable however did this make him happy?

Strangely not at all, telling his best friend Ze Fernandes, everything was boring in town, constantly wherever they went between yawns, Paris society with all the phony people Ze Fernandes, feared that his sad aimless friend, will do away with himself, still the somber man, receives a message from the caretaker of his estates, in Portugal.

A devastating rainstorm has destroyed the chapel, where his ancestors bones were buried, uncovering them, scattered the skeletons around the surface, mud everywhere when a nearby hill collapsed, what should be done?

The affluent estates, in the mountains of Portugal, not very tall admittedly Jacinto had never seen, after a long pause he decides to go there, have the bones re -interred, the family honor demands it, build a new chapel for those purposes, stay just a month and then back to civilization, a great hardship for him yet, somethings need to be done.

Going by train with loyal Ze Arriving in Portugal with only his shirt on his back, worst even his home there is a dump, holes in the roof, filthy walls and floors, debris everywhere, no glass in the windows Not fixed, as Jacinto had ordered, Ze and the landowner sleep on the gross floor, nobody thought they would come so soon, no new chapel either. Ze leaves for his small estate a league away, Jacinto , is alone to clean up all the mess, notwithstanding that, soon a miracle happens, he begins to feel useful helping the poor people on his land, erecting them homes suitable for humans, they begin calling him a saint The beauty of the mountains, the clean river flowing by, the fresh air he breathes, the blue skies above, such a peaceful place, Ze's charming, pretty young cousin Joaninha, she's not like the women of Paris, maybe Jacinto can achieve happiness A wonderful, charming story, maybe a fairy tale View all 28 comments.

It was thanks to Henry's excellent review on this book that I recently purchased it. It was the "Library with the 30, books" and all of "the gadgets" that Jacinto had, that enticed me.

I was so taken with this book that I made notes galore and started typing the review. There were so many excellent quotations that stayed in my mind. Consequently, after typing several pages as I was "in full flight", I decided to cut it down considerably and so this is the result. I believe, and hope, it gets t It was thanks to Henry's excellent review on this book that I recently purchased it. I believe, and hope, it gets the excellence of the book across and that's the main thing.

All I need to say about this incredible book is that it is now sitting on my top-favourites' shelf on goodreads and my paperback is shortly going to be exchanged with the hardback that I have ordered today from Abe Books in France. The story is simple: "Jacinto, an absentee nobleman from Portugal, revels in joyous extremes in the latest of French sophistications in Paris.

Circumstances compel his return to his family estates where he rediscovers the values and pleasures of Portuguese traditional life, but there are doubts about this perfections The writing style is exquisite.

The incident with the family bones in the local chapel in Portugal is one of the many things that spring to mind as one of the incredible incidents in this book. The writing style is exquisite and well, it's the icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned with all of the books that I've been introduced to through Goodreads this year.

I'm now looking for a second book by this incredible author. What an imagination! View all 31 comments. To prove it relates to the trajectory of her friend, Jacinto. Heir of great fortune obtained through the farm of agricultural properties of Portugal, Jacinto was born in Paris and loved the city. According to him, the French capital was the perfect example of civilization, the only space in which the human being could be fully happy.

Resolved to take some time to rest, went to Paris to review the friend. He found it saddened and hunchback, far from the vivacity of youth. Despite this comfort machinery, Jacinto was unhappy. The friendships were false and superficial, the technology it surrounded did not work at rest, and finally, the books he read caused him annoyance. After ordering reforms in place, he left with his friend. Tormes' delay and rusticity surprised Jacinto in the first contact.

Gradually, however, nature enchanted him and he decided to stay. Meeting the old disposition, he devoted himself to some renovations in the property, improving the living conditions of employees and establishing with them new employment relationships. From Parisian modernity, it admits only the installation of the phone, which seems useful there.

Thus, Jacinto finds "Suma Felicidade" far from civilization. May 15, David rated it really liked it Shelves: portuguese-lit , lusofonos.

What an enjoyable and fun read! This novel, as the title bears, makes a comparison to living in the big city with the rural life in the hills of Portugal. It starts off with a bias. Yep, a tale of two contrasts. Our main character is Prince Jacintho, an eccentric rich man who lives at No. Upper crust, in the know, who knows everyone.

A man of people in high place What an enjoyable and fun read! A man of people in high places. Civilization is made up of the rich, culture, the opera and technology. Published in , the story is set in the late s. Early in the book while in Paris a visit is made to the Basilica Sacre-Couer still under construction and later there is mention of the new Eiffel Tower The entire book is told from his friend, Ze Fernandes, who hails from that small town in Portugal and comes for a visit of the city of lights.

And Portugal? Our friends have something in common. The people? Not half bad. Not pretentious like his friends in Paris.

The prince throws a party and he is the focus of the party. The poor people? He must help them. He has a cause. A very enjoyable read and a good laugh. View 2 comments. This novel is a masterpiece and the translation is outstanding. Its premise--the conflict between Nature and Civilization today we would say "technology" --could have easily turned it into a schematic or dogmatic book.

Instead, this is a captivating novel written in a sophisticated style.


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The City and the Mountains Portuguese : A Cidade e as Serras is a satirical novel comparing the emptiness of upper class life in Paris with the pleasures found in rural Portugal. The story reflects the author's own experiences. In he had inherited an estate in the Douro valley of Portugal, which he found to be very beautiful, while noting the poverty of the inhabitants. Jacinto is well-educated and rich, and mixes with the cream of Parisian society. He has 30, books and knows of all the latest ideas on the secrets of happiness, but is not happy.


A Cidade e as Serras






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