Captains of the Sands

Captains of the Sands

Introduction by:
Translator: Gregory Rabassa

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780143106357
  • 288 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


A Brazilian Lord of the Flies, about a group of boys who live by their wits and daring in the slums of Bahia

They call themselves “Captains of the Sands,” a gang of orphans and runaways who live by their wits and daring in the torrid slums and sleazy back alleys of Bahia. Led by fifteen-year-old “Bullet,” the band—including a crafty liar named “Legless,” the intellectual “Professor,” and the sexually precocious “Cat”—pulls off heists and escapades against the right and privileged of Brazil. But when a public outcry demands the capture of the “little criminals,” the fate of these children becomes a poignant, intensely moving drama of love and freedom in a shackled land.

Captains of the Sands captures the rich culture, vivid emotions, and wild landscape of Bahia with penetrating authenticity and brilliantly displays the genius of Brazil’s most acclaimed author.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.  


“Amado was writing to save his country’s soul. . . . The scenes where the captains of the sands manage to fool the rich of the city and get away with it would have made Henry Fielding or Charles Dickens proud.” —Colm Tóibín, from the Introduction

“Amado is Brazil’s most illustrious and venerable novelist.”—The New York Times

“Brazil’s leading man of letters . . .  Amado is adored around the world!” —Newsweek
PRH Book Clubs Survey