A vagabond always wants to go elsewhere. Why not, now and then, go back? A nostalgia trip, back to Brazil after a quarter-century absence.
Tropical Ecstasy is the narrative of a month-long solo adventure of discovery and rediscovery: A cruise of the Amazon, hikes into the jungle, and Manaus, the metropolis amidst raw Nature. Then to the Northeast of Brazil, to Olinda, an old colonial capital, and to the modern state capitals on the Atlantic. The ultimate destination is the town of Penedo, where Norman Weeks had lived.
As an ex-Peace Corps Volunteer, the author knows the territory, the language, the culture, and the people. Tropical Ecstasy records fresh daily impressions against a backdrop of deep previous knowledge and experience. The author treats the locals not as caricatures, but with human sympathy. After all, he was, once, one of them.
Reviewed By Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers’ Favorite
Tropical Ecstasy: A Nostalgia Trip to Brazil by Norman Weeks is a non-fiction travel book that details the return of the author after an absence of twenty-five years to his old haunts in Brazil. An ex-Peace Corps volunteer from the US, Norman Weeks retraces his unforgettable journey to this huge South American country to take a second look at a place he has known quite well. As such, this is not a tourist's view but that of someone who has already been immersed in its culture, known its people, and spoken its language. The result is a second impression, laced with previous knowledge and peppered with fond and not so fond memories. From a cruise to the famed Amazon, hikes in its jungle, a stop in Manaus, Pernambuco, and Olinda, and finally, to the little-known town of Penedo where he used to live before, Tropical Ecstasy entertains and informs.
Norman Weeks's Tropical Ecstasy: A Nostalgia Trip to Brazil is actually a month-long sentimental journey of a self-proclaimed vagabond. The story's charm lies in the fact that the author is no stranger to the place so his impression is from a unique perspective and his creative writing style is compelling, bordering on the humorous and the nostalgic. Describing the Amazon forest in vivid details, readers might as well be taking the trip themselves accompanied by a guide that sees its beauty and grandeur through local eyes. Upon disengagement from his nostalgic trip and return to Chicago, the author is in a state of culture shock, and so are we. That's how it feels after a trip to beautiful and mesmerizing Brazil!