A lot of books start with the main character traveling to a distant land. Many stories’ inception begins with our protagonist going on a journey. In that respect, Seven Days In Rio, is like many other stories. And that is the only similarity.
This piece by Francis Levy follows Rich Cantor, a Jewish CPA from Manhattan, and his seven-day stay in Rio De Janiero, Brazil. Our protagonist is a sex tourist, with one thing on his mind: paying for pussy. Layered with psychological schemas and doused in an accelerant of promiscuity, this book takes us on a seven day journey of a sexual deviant wearing a Brooks Brothers suit.
From the seedy descriptions of the locale, to the in-depth psychoanalysis and allusions to famous behaviorists, we follow Rich Cantor on his sleazy journey through the South American sex capital. As he searches for the perfect “Tiffany” (a name the protagonist uses to describe any “working girl”), the author surreptitiously draws the blinds open on the disparity between cultures and the free nature of the sex trade. Drawing inspiration out of the “free love” movement most likely, Levy creates a sordid tale of a sex addict, or rather more aptly a “Tiffany aficionado,” skulking around the streets of Rio and the halls of his hotel. His hotel, ironically, has a convention in town for psychoanalysts, and Cantor not only has an affinity for women of the night, but also a predisposition to therapy and Lacanian practices. From there, the story spirals into a distasteful adventure where any orifice is game and the only boundaries are reality, that is the amount of reals or Brazilian currency in your pocket.
An interesting novel to say the least, it is a rather quick read at only around 200 pages or so. However, some parts of the story play too much on the psychoanalysis angle, making the reader feel a bit alienated (I’d imagine) if they were unfamiliar with some of the motifs and themes. However, the references to Freud and Lacan aren’t pervasive enough to stop you from reading altogether. The hilarity of the protagonist’s predispositions in the bedroom will more than make up for the bouts of psychobabble. With disturbing Oedipal revelations and a fixation on hairy minge, this book is as disturbing and unnerving as it is funny, bringing you from the streets of Rio to the high-rises of New York with equally perturbing prose.
If you feel like reading something a little different and vastly more risqué, check this book out published by Two Dollar Radio. If you are in the mood for something inoffensive and safe; stick with Stephanie Meyers and leave this book for the big boys (or girls).