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Quebra-Nozes

by Sakowska&Wojsa

Slice of life
2017

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Review by Marqués da Caparica, July 4, 2018
Sakowska and Wojsa invite us to join Jogador – a Lisbon police detective – on one day of his work. Jogador is assigned to investigate the death of Tatiana Kurnikova – a renowned balley dancer, found dead in her luxurious home in one of Lisbon’s affluent neighbourhoods.
Written in first singular, the reader gets to follow the story through Jogador’s eyes and thoughts. Here, Sakowska ad Wojsa brilliantly use their extensive knowledge of the Portuguese mentality and behaviour to create a character that is by no doubt an epitome of being Portuguese.
The criminal storytelling is intriguing but lacks the mastery of the criminal genre. In fact, this work does not intend to be a criminal story. It compensates with a rich selection of references and a refreshing sense of humour (in many cases projected as auto-humour).
This auto-humour is especially effective, as it is used in the own words of Jogador – an intentionally stereotypical character. The common understanding that in the real world such a person would not apply auto-humour in this way introduces a welcome dimension of this fiction story for the reader, makes the work pleasant to follow and stimulates the reader’s imagination.
The story briefly enters into unexpected territories and societal issues – mafia, immigration, inequality (Jogador can’t think of affording a house looking at Principe Real).
Sakowska and Wojsa, knowing the city well, easily play with the stereotypes, thus introducing an unfamiliar to Lisbon reader to the reality of 21st century Portugal. There is even a sushi-obsession case. This way, the city becomes an active character in this story. The Portuguese language also plays a central role in the work, including a fine selection of anecdotes and expressions.
Overall, this work is highly recommended to those who would like a one-shot advanced course in Portuguese culture and language, presented in an untraditional but highly effective way. Make yourself a coffee that better not be a café queimado, and enjoy this intriguing interactive fiction, born in a fine collaboration between Sakowska and Wojsa.


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