Monday, July 8, 2013

Review: O Baile

Cover
O Baile (The Dance) takes place in 1967 in Portugal. This was during the fascist regime of António Salazar. During this time there was a kind of State Police ( PIDE) that enforced the will of the regime. PIDE was widely feared. Many of the people that were approached by agents of PIDE were never seen again.

So you may imagine that PIDE officers were not welcome into people's homes nor were they friendly persons.

It turns out that the main character of O Baile is one of those PIDE officers.

How is it?

He is not good nor evil. He's done some bad things. At least that's implied in the book. The title (The Dance) is a reference for the interrogation that PIDE often forced upon the portuguese people. The job is starting to get to him. He can't tolerate silence. It takes him to a dark place.

Maré Santa
It all starts when Rui Brás (the PIDE officer) heads on to a small, sea side, village in search of evidence of paranormal activity. The Pope is coming to Portugal and the Government decided to investigate all paranormal reports and put an end to all that nonsense.

Nuno Duarte managed to weave an interesting thriller in just 46 pages. It as a bit of drama, some horror, a dash of action and even a tiny bit of romance (well, maybe). What struck me the most was his ability to write a character that could very easily be a giant clichê and make him interesting without being contrived.

The art department was ran by Joana Afonso. She made a great job with it. The character models are all unique and very detailed, the contrast between the day and night fits the real / surreal aspect of the book like a glove. Great job.

The big baddie?!


Verdict?

This is a great book. My only complaint is the low quality binding. As soon as I opened the book it cracked. Apart from that this is very much worth your money. Its a cool and original concept, with great art and very well crafted story telling.


Publisher: Kingpin Books
Year: 2012
Pages: 46
Authors: Nuno Duarte, Joana Afonso
ISBN: 9789899643789

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