- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (6 Oct. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 009946165X
- ISBN-13: 978-0099461654
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Double: (Enemy) Paperback – 6 Oct 2005
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"Quite unlike anything else" (London Review of Books)
"A Borgesian fable with a marvellous flavour all its own" (Phillip Hensher, Books of the Year Spectator)
"A comic and profound exploration of the self... A uniquely seductive writer" (Daily Telegraph)
"The Double is Saramago at his most practised and polished. It is philosophy and thriller rolled into one" (Independent)
"Indebted to Borges and with a nod to Auster, he manages to surpass both with the audacity and sheer erudition of his prose" (Catherine Taylor The Guardian)
Wherein lies our identity? An existential thriller and work of literature that takes on the essential questions of lifeSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
However, to enjoy The Double, like all Saramago's books, one needs to have an appetite for his prose-style. Except for commas and an occasional full stop, the author trailblazes through conversations, musings and incidents embedded in blocks of text all together. Luckily for me, this worked and I found myself totally in step with the author's biorhythms and experienced that odd sensation where my thoughts willingly stretched into the spaces and non-spaces created by the author. For me, because The Double is essentially a thriller at the core, doing away with the stock punctuation actually added to the mystery (every successive page of impenetrable text-blocks asking to be deciphered line by line!) and quickened the pace of the interminable stream-of-consciousness (the meandering offshoots connected all the way!).
It's not often that you'd find yourself biting your nails over who would be shot while at the same time be amused by the minute-ness of human interactions bisected to magnify a world of sub-gestures and sub-tones. Before he sends it all up in two delicious, attention-grabbing twists in the latter half, Saramago with wisdom and beauty writes a wonderfully quotidian dramedy that establishes our tri-monikered lead and the few people around him with care.Read more ›
I loved the characterizations; the forensic level of detail (especially with regards to the hero's should-I-stay-or-should-I-go relationship with Maria da Paz); the way I was dragged in to it all... -- making the illogical seem logical; removing any doubt from the need to do exactly what anyone(?!) would do, finding themselves in the same situation as Tertuliano Máximo....
Just wonderful; and one of the most original books I've read (...and encouragement enough, now, to go and explore his other stuff)!
Jose Saramago - whose blatant disregard for punctuation is not as much of a problem as you might imagine - manages to probe some pretty deep waters without ever resorting to explicitly philosophical discourse. Indeed I'm tempted to describe this as a `page turner', but the reader is forced to ask some pretty uncomfortable questions by the time we reach its conclusion: most pointedly, where exactly does one's identity reside?
Renting dozens of videos in an effort to identify the look-alike actor he saw in the film, Tertuliano finds his life transformed--"as if he were...in a corridor joining heaven and hell," and he wonders "where he had come from and where he would go to next." Enlisting his girlfriend, Maria da Paz, to help him find the address of actor Daniel Santa Clara, without telling her the whole story about his double, he learns that the actor's real name is Antonio Claro, contacts him by telephone, and arranges to meet him at a remote place, where a series of profound, dramatic ironies unfolds.
Telling Tertuliano's story is a bold and quirky narrator. Self-conscious about his writing, the narrator digresses, acts patronizing toward Tertuliano, and often makes arch comments about him to the reader. He manipulates the reader, jokes with him as he constructs Tertuliano's story, plays with logic and language, creates conversations and debates between Tertuliano and Common Sense, reflects on the origins and destinies of words, and generally shows off, acting as a foil for Tertuliano Maximo Afonso, whose own "emotions have never been strong or enduring.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a marvellously enthralling work, 'The Double', excellently written and translated. It's conversational and accessible in tone, one might also add, confiding. Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2015 by Woolco
The Double is, so far, my favorite book. I read this at the age of 16 and did find Jose Saramago's style of writing somewhat difficult to understand and get my head around, to... Read morePublished on 7 Dec. 2014 by Polly Sisley
I tried to read this as it was recommended by a friend. I can see that it is well written but it did not grab me.Published on 7 Sept. 2014 by Mrs. E. A. Brockway
[The Double by José Saramago.]
There are just a small handful of characters in this book and the most prominent, though the story is not about this character, is... Read more
An intriguing short story padded out to over 300 pages. And the author admits it. On several occasions, pointless paragraphs drift by followed by the narrator claiming that... Read morePublished on 14 Jan. 2013 by Rab
The Double is another tour de force from the brilliant Nobel Laureate. In it, we meet Turtuliano Maximo Afonso, an ordinary school teacher who one day stumbles across a person who... Read morePublished on 28 Sept. 2012 by Gurjit
While watching a rented video, Tertuliano Maximo Afonso is shocked to notice that one of the extras in the film is identical to him in every physical detail. Read morePublished on 13 Jun. 2012 by J. Willis