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Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis (Panther S.) Paperback – 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Harvill Pr (1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860465021
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860465024
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

The world's threats are universal like the sun but Ricardo Reis takes shelter under his own shadow. Back in Lisbon after sixteen years practicing medicine in Brazil, Ricardo Reis wanders the rain-sodden streets. He longs for the unattainably aristocratic Marcenda, but it is Lydia, the hotel chamber maid who makes and shares his bed. His old friend, the poet Fernando Pessoa, returns to see him, still wearing the suit he was buried in six weeks earlier. It is 1936, the clouds of Fascism are gathering ominously above them, so they talk; a wonderful, rambling discourse on art, truth, poetry, philosophy, destiny and love.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is my favourite of all Saramago's novels. First of all because I love the poetry of Fernando Pessoa and this book evolves around Pessoa and one of his famous heteronyms, Ricardo Reis. This is already a fantastic begining: the novel's main character is not a living person, but a fictionalized person made by some other author! This being Saramago, the set of the story has a strong social and ideological background. In this matter, this book is a metaphor of the rising of the portuguese fascist regime. Then there is Saramago's ironic sense of humour: this a very funny serious book!
As I read the book in portuguese, I don't know how well Saramago's rich and detailed speech translates in other languages, since some of the attraction of this book remains in the hedonistic plasure of reading a so wonderfully writen story!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The writer himself says this is a book which would only be understood by the Portuguese. It is a difficult book with many references to Portuguese history and places. Behind all this is a deep message about life which is also complex. Not a book for the casual reader.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Marvellous in every way, a must for anyone who is travelling to Lisbon for the first time. The novel captures the flavour of fate and melancholy experienced in this lovely city on a rainy day. Read it and then visit the places depicted, go now!
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By A Customer on 17 July 2000
Format: Paperback
Ricardo Reis' quest in Lisbon during the dictatorship is a perfect portrait. The people, the athmosphere and the whole plot are so delicately drawn that I read it twice in a row just for the sheer pleasure of it.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book after reading Blindness which is a totally different style of novel. I expect I only had a superficial understanding of it though as I don't know Lisbon or Pessoa but I still enjoyed it. Please don't be put off because it was written in another language or you don't know Lisbon or Pessoa. I have learnt about Portuguese history, culture and poetry through reading this book which was an added bonus. Having said that, it is hard work at times but its worth sticking with it as the use of language is such a pleasure to read. I would say that it has translated wonderfully into English and there is a beautiful flow onto the page that I have not experienced with any other author.
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By A Customer on 24 July 1999
Format: Paperback
This story is captivating. Saramago is a wonderful writer! The plot does seem to lag at times but you must continue reading as it is definately worth it. Quite thought provoking with typical Saramago questions about time and reading. I do recommend, however, that you familiarize yourself with the poet Fernando Pessoa as this poet is one of the characters in the novel. Enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
The main purpose of the novel is to entertain, this one doesn't. The chain of events -or no events- is somehow boring. The intersection between telling events, conversations, details of characters is excessive, making the reader always alienated from the plot and somehow not capable of sharing any kind of emotion with the characters.
Yes, I know more about Lisbon now than before. I understand a bit better how people were living and thinking in the 30's in Portugal (and somehow in Spain). But many other authors presented their societies, cities and ideas in a way better book (Doris Lessing in The Golden Notebook about London in the 50's and Jonathan Franzen in Freedom about the NY and the US in the 90's for example).
The book in general worth reading, the style is good if not great and Saramgo is a novelist who deserve Nobel for sure, but this is not his best book and if it happen to be your first for him, you would definitely put him out of your list.
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