The Double Hardcover – 5 Aug 2004
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"A Borgesian fable with a marvellous flavour all its own." (Philip Hensher, The Spectator)
"An ugly, truthful fable with a unique music." (Philip Hensher, Observer)
A major new novel by the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for LiteratureSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
After reading Blindness I was fully prepared for Saramago's style of writing which is dense, large parts are written as a stream of consciousness and there are few paragraphs breaks and no quotation marks. The result is conversational and witty although I did find that because The Double is not nearly as plot driven as Blindness it did drag in some parts.
The appeal of Saramago for me are his ideas and the concepts he attempts to convey. The double is a great concept and the mystery and the more philosophical aspects of the novel as well as the writing kept me engaged until the end. This may not be the easiest read but there are twists right up to the end and it played on my mind for weeks afterwards.
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)!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I tried but I really couldn't get into it. I do most of my reading in the evening when I like to relax. The style of writing in this book is not comfortable. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ally
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 20 months ago 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 23 months ago by Mrs. E. A. Brockway
What a terrific book! A speculative fable about a listless everyman coming across his doppelganger on a rental video who then has to manoeuvre through a sequence of moral... Read morePublished on 27 May 2014 by CultureDrinker
[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