Um Lugar na Janela (A place by the window) – Martha Medeiros

When I read about “Um Lugar na Janela” in an airline magazine, I wished to buy it. I had read another book by Martha, and liked. So, the expectations were good.

The book promises to be a selection of travel stories, not a guide. It is a personal and introspective report of moments lived in different places, among them Rio, Fernando de Noronha, Japão, Nova Iorque, Marrocos…

In the first chapter, the author states her reasons to travel, something that I share with her. But after that, the book disappoints. Created initially to be a blog, I believe it had to continue that way. It is different the way we read a blog and a book, at leat it is what I think. In a book I want a more elaborated text, mor interesting in terms of content and form. I don’t know how to write, I’m awful on that, so I photograph. However, when I read (and love reading), I want text that I could say: “I’d love to have written that”. But this did not occour in any moment of “Um Lugar na Janela”.

Martha’s travel stories are controlled, obvious and lack in boldness, lack the unexpected.  In general, they are standard travel from travel magazines, like “Viagem e Turismo”. The author says in the first chapter she was not doing a book on travel tip, but many times she did that, sometimes even looked like advertising for her friends travel agency, or publicity for a luxurious hotel or restaurant. In many cases the description of places were weak, without content, superficial. The chapter about Rio was the worst, on some paragraphs I would jump over the citations of “Globais” (names of people from the mainstream television). It was not compared to the book “Carnaval no Fogo” by Ruy Castro, when finishing the book, anyone wants to jump on the first plane to go to Rio.

Concluding, Martha did not dare on her trips neither on the book… The author said she keeps her schedule routines even on trips. Please Martha, have the guts, travel to place not so obvious, don’t reserve on travel agencies, meet the unexpected, experiment strange place, break the routine. Travels are for that, are about breaking the routine, breaking with who we are, it is about deconstructing and reconstructing, without fear.

Um Lugar na Janela – Relatos de Viagem, by Martha Medeiros. L&PM Editores, 2012

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