Perfect Days by Raphael Montes
Reading Level: Thriller
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Penguin Books
Book Summary: A twisted young medical student kidnaps the girl of his dreams and embarks on a dark and delirious road trip across Brazil in the English-language debut of Brazil’s most celebrated young crime writer.
Teo Avelar is a loner. He lives with his paraplegic mother and her dog in Rio de Janeiro, he doesn’t have many friends, and the only time he feels honest human emotion is in the presence of his medical school cadaver—that is, until he meets Clarice. She’s almost his exact opposite: exotic, spontaneous, unafraid to speak her mind. An aspiring screenwriter, she’s working on a screenplay called Perfect Days about three friends who go on a road trip across Brazil in search of romance. Teo is obsessed. He begins to stalk her, first following her to her university, then to her home, and when she ultimately rejects him, he kidnaps her and they embark upon their very own twisted odyssey across Brazil, tracing the same route outlined in her screenplay. Through it all, Teo is certain that time is all he needs to prove to Clarice that they are made for each other, that time is all he needs to make her fall in love with him. But as the journey progresses, he digs himself deeper and deeper into a pit that he can’t get out of, stopping at nothing to ensure that no one gets in the way of their life together. Both tense and lurid, and brimming with suspense from the very first page, Perfect Days is a psychological thriller in the vein of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley—a chilling journey in the passenger seat with a psychopath, and the English language debut of one of Brazil’s most deliciously dark young writers.
My Review: Who has read YOU? We all love the main character Joe even though he is crazy, right? Well, in regards to Teo in Perfect Days, let’s just say he makes Joe look sane. Teo is one of the most delusional character’s I’ve ever encountered in a story. Words cannot express how badly this guy needs to be strapped to a bed and put away forever. And yet, he is intellectual, charming and highly intelligent, I guess crazy comes in all forms now a days.
Teo is the type of guy who fits the profile of a sociopath. He doesn’t really feel empathy and lacks the ability to connect to people, until he meets Clarice. He is immediately smittened and decides to kidnap her once she rejects him. Well, that’s normal behavior….NOT.
The journey across Brazil, was a twisted whirlwind of entertainment. The moment you think, yup that’s it, he is going to get caught. Boom. The story shifts and takes a different turn. The nonstop, clussterfuck of events made this book an enjoyable and exciting read, right until the end.
Now, I would have loved the story more if it didn’t finish the way it did. I understand it was left open for interpretation, but I was expecting more. Besides that minor hiccup, it was a thrilling ride, with a perfectly crafted protagonist who will be remembered as one dangerous and loony individual. I look forward to seeing more works by Raphael Montes. His fluidity in writing helped sustain the tone throughout the story. It never faltered or lost track of where it was going. I would love to dive into another world of make believe starring one of Raphael’s irrational characters.
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
About The Author:
RAPHAEL MONTES was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1990, and is a lawyer and a writer. His short stories have appeared in Playboy and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. His debut novel, Suicides, was published to much acclaim in Brazil in 2010 and was a finalist for the Sao Paolo Literature Prize, among many other accolades. Perfect Days is being published in seven countries. The author lives in Rio de Janeiro.
I don’t know what cover edition this version is, but I looove it! I will never look at a suitcase the same ever again…
One thought on “Book Review: Perfect Days by Raphael Montes”
Great review, Eleni! I am on the look out for some of the best sociopaths. I think Teo fits the bill!!
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