Coming from (probably) the most celebrated Portuguese author, - winner of the Nobel prize for Literature - this was a bit of a set down. I do appreciate him as a writer ever since I had to read, for Secondary School, “Baltazar and Blimunda”. His writing is unique, albeit hard to merge into, and his social critique is perfectly conveyed through fiction (and fantasy) as well as bringing about philosophically and emotionally hard questions. However, I found myself dragging this particular work, because I felt it was more intended as a thriller, and although I also like this genre, I do not think it plays well with his descriptive writing, I felt it broke the narrative at times. Another aspect that fell short of what I expected was the similarities I found with “Despair” by Vladimir Nabokov. The main characters are very different but the main line of narrative was disturbingly similar and that was of course the major disappointment. Nevertheless, I do think Saramago has such a wide variety of novels that this won’t make me give up on his work quite yet.
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