6 October 2014

Review: HAPPINESS IS EASY, Edney Silvestre

  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 828 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (July 31, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857521357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857521354
  • ASIN: B00J4SO424
Synopsis (Amazon)

Olavo Bettencourt is an important man, a man of spin. With Brazil adjusting to the new idea of democracy, his PR firm holds the balance of power in its hands. Which has also made Olavo very rich, if not very popular.

Loathed by his trophy wife and mired in a web of political corruption that spreads from Sao Paolo to Switzerland, Israel and New York, Olavo is an obvious target for extortion. And what better leverage can there be but the kidnapping of his only son.

Except that the child on his way home from school in Olavo’s armour-plated car, intent on his colouring book as the gang closes in . . .

He’s not Olavo’s son.

My Take

Basically set in Sao Paolo, Brazil, on a day in May 1990, this story cleverly nips in and out of time frames to give the reader the background to political corruption, and an economy based on inflation and constantly rising prices, where government issued media reports may or may not tell the truth.

For Olavo Bettencourt everything has possible spin, and even the assassination of his driver and the attempted abduction of his son has PR possibilities which will give the government more opportunity to demonstrate how well it looks after its people. A drug running cartel will be uncovered, criminals will be apprehended and shot, all in the name of justice, but how much will be true?

And all the time Bettancourt and others will be shoring up their overseas holdings, their apartments and bank accounts. 

I read this for the 2014 Global Reading Challenge and it certainly provided a cutting insight into the problems of Brazil, at the same time as exploring an unusual scenario.

My rating: 4.5

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