By Tim Anderson, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio for Partiers, the controversial tourist guide that was banned by a Brazilian court, has released its ninth edition for 2011. The book went to press in December, and after some delay should be in Zona Sul (South zone) bookstores by Thursday, March 9th. New elements include free Portuguese For Tourist audio files and of course updated bars, clubs and restaurants.
Another new development for this year’s issue is a distribution agreement with mega bookstore outlet Barnes & Noble. Author Cristiano Nogueira is excited about the new deal, “(They) picked it up in 8,000 bookstores, so we expect 4,000 to 5,000 sales in the U.S., but no guarantee, just prediction.”
The guide caused controversy in 2009 when the Brazilian Tourist Board, Embratur, took offense to a dating section in the guide which referred to particular ‘types’ of Brazilian women, which they considered to be encouraging sexual tourism to the city.
The book was taken out of publication until a later ruling overturned the decision, and the book was subsequently published with the offending pages blackened out in the Brazilian version. The guide, which is also available through Amazon.com, maintained its complete format in its their versions.
In overturning the decision, the over ruling judge said that “the simple classification of Brazilian women – or men – into ‘types’, according to criteria linked, theoretically, to their sexual behavior, does not actually violate National Tourism policies or undermine the dignity of the human person.”
Nogueira explains that, “the problem was the person who filed the lawsuit at Embratur didn’t speak English and used Google translator”. This left a sensitive impression, especially as the official trademark for Embratur was branded onto the book.
With the courts still to make a final judgment on the material, author Cristiano Nogueira says that enough was enough for the new edition, “I have taken (the offending material) out completely, to get rid of that stress in my life”.
While the tone of the writing is oriented towards a male audience, Nogueira explains that the intention was never to be a formal guide to the city, “I wanted it to be like a friend talking to you, almost conversational. The readers are on holiday; I believe the loose friendly tone is ideal.”
Nogueira says that the dating scene is constantly changing in Rio so that now people are less interested in going to the big bars and clubs and that interest in many of these places has ‘plateaued’. “The hip crew, the beautiful people are more interested now in the different experiences, such as the Jazz night being held in the favela Catete. The view is beautiful and it’s a refreshing thing to do.”
The guide is described by one reader on Amazon as, “just the job for a good time in Rio”. All responses left on Amazon were positive once comments regarding the controversial section were removed. The casual language and heavy visual style adds to it relaxed, informal style.