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In other words, Perfect Days is the most disturbing novel that I also enjoyed reading since I was first terrified by Kathryn Dunn’s Geek Love...The novel vacillates between horrifying scenes of manipulation, gas-lighting and abuse, and darkly comical scenes in which the medical student justifies his behavior as necessary for both Clarice’s future happiness and the success of her Thelma and Louise style road-trip screenplay. The novel’s shocking denouement preserves the balance between dark humor and straight-up horror right to the end.
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.