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Radio Brazil

In the Fall of 1938 a young Canadian called Thorsen boards an ocean liner in New York heading for Rio. Who is he? An innocent dupe sent on a dangerous adventure, a chump who only survives because he has the coveted 'Aryan look'? Or maybe he's something else -- a smooth soldier of fortune, easy with women, guns, radios and the inexorable force of history? "The pursuit of food is the pursuit of intelligence," says Colonel Powell, a sophisticated American WW 1 veteran who might be doing more than just surveying coffee plantations. Rogues and ideologues, spies and gangsters, samba girls and models, refugees and paramilitary squads... Brazil 1939 under the Estado Novo, which looks to Germany and Italy for its cultural inspiration while trying to hedge its political fortune by playing them off against the Gringo Axis. The raw tropical landscape of mid-century Brazil allows the narrative to become paranormal, like forgotten events intruding from a parallel universe. A killer jungle cat prowls the lush gardens of the fascist elite and the slums of the radicalized poor. A death squad hunts a voodoo gang in the local rainforest. German spies attempt to establish a radio network. A Canadian agent disseminates comic book pornography in order to embarrass President Vargas and the Estado Novo. Miss Berlin tries to make a living as a magician's assistant, later as a model in Rio. A local aviatrix sells Italian fighter planes. Nazi SS soldiers fight with Soviet headhunter proxies in the Amazon jungle. The Sigma Corporation rents the last Zeppelin airship. Murder, mayhem, exotic romance: this is Radio Brazil, 1939.
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