Os Vampiros [Filipe Melo e Juan Cavia, 2016]

Os Vampiros, Filipe Melo - Livro - Bertrand

After reading Balada para Sophie from this duo, I also bought this book and started to read it during the holidays. After a few days “resting” while we came back and got back into our routine, I picked it up again and polished it off.

Much like in the other book, how much the illustrations tell most of the story, and the strength with which they display the characters’ emotions especially struck and moved me. Sadly, I know next to nothing about the Portuguese Colonial War, and this book opened up my eyes to this ignorance, but especially through the story of the characters. In this book, a group of soldiers based in Guinea go on an expedition to Senegal, the neighbouring country, to try to localise a clandestine base for the party fighting for independence. In this expedition, they are confronted with several life-threatening challenges, but also with their own demons and the contrast with the life they left back home.

It is a beautiful book, albeit one that depicts sad historic events, and tragic moments in the lives of these men. I think that Jo did a wonderful job of reviewing this book, one I could not have done myself, and I subscribe to everything she says about how much we have never known about this war, and why.

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