What if, one day, Europe was to crack along the length of the Pyrenees, separating the Iberian peninsula? In Saramago's lovely fable, the new island is sent spinning, like a great stone raft, towards the Azores. While the authorities panic and tourists and investors flee, three men, two women and a dog are drawn together by portents that burden them with a bemusing sense of responsibility.
"Slow, difficult listen"
A brilliant skeptic, Jose Saramago envisions the life of Jesus Christ and the story of his Passion as things of this earth: A child crying, the caress of a woman half asleep, the bleat of a goat, a prayer uttered in the grayish morning light. His idea of the Holy Family reflects the real complexities of any family, and, as only Saramago can, he imagines them with tinges of vision, dream, and omen.
"A dry, wry retelling of the story of Jesus Christ"
In this "ingenious" novel (New York Times) by "one of Europe's most original and remarkable writers" (Los Angeles Times), a proofreader's deliberate slip opens the door to romance-and confounds the facts of Portugal's past.
From the recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature, a "brilliant...enchanting novel" (New York Times Book Review) of romance, deceit, religion, and magic set in 18th-century Portugal at the height of the Inquisition.
The year: 1936. Europe dances while an invidious dictator establishes himself in Portugal. The city: Lisbon-gray, colorless, chimerical. Ricardo Reis, a doctor and poet, has just come home after sixteen years in Brazil.
"A great novelist deserves a competent reader!"