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9781781680865_lives_of_things
The Lives of Things
by José Saramago Translated by Giovanni Pontiero
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Paperback
Paperback with free ebook
$16.95$8.4850% off
160 pages / May 2013 / 9781781680865
Ebook
Ebook
$9.99$5.0050% off
May 2013 / 9781844679089
Hardback
Hardback with free ebook
$23.95
160 pages / April 2012 / 9781844678785

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A surreal short story collection from the master of what-ifs

Combining bitter satire, outrageous parody and uncanny hallucinations, this collection of José Saramago’s earliest stories from the beginning of his writing career attests to the novelist’s imaginative power and incomparable skill in elaborating the most extravagant fantasies. Each tale is a wicked, surreal take on life under dictatorship: in ‘Embargo’ a man drives around a city that is slowly running out of petrol; ‘The Chair’ recounts what happens when dictator Salazar falls off his chair and dies; in the Kafkaesque ‘Things’ the life of a civil servant is threatened as objects start to go missing.

Reviews

“The most gifted novelist . . . in the world today.”

“Saramago is a writer, like Faulkner, so confident of his resources and ultimate destination that he can bring any improbability to life.”

“No one writes quite like Saramago, so solicitous and yet so magnificently free. He works as though cradling a thing of magic.”

“These early stories are a reminder of why he deserved the Nobel prize.”

“Bittersweet beauty but also a wickedly mischievous sense of humour … parables in human compassion, celebrating the triumph of the human spirit.”

“A poetic encapsulation of Saramago’s extraordinary talent.”

“An intriguing coda to a fascinating career.”

“One of the giants of European literature...For new readers, this collection is an essential introduction to Saramago's concerns with social decay, alienation and political repression and the alternatives to them. For devotees, it is one to savour.”

“Here, the literary lion experiments with shorter, more inventive forms, and the results are lucid and impressive…Saramago's considerable talent is clearly manifest.”

The Lives of Things is a wonderful artifact…it is, like all his books, intoxicating reading…Moribund, absurd, flickering quickly between mirth and horror, these stories are filled with the master scribe’s sibylline ruminations on mortality and language, and a gentle, blossoming beauty.”

“Saramago's prose is richly colorful, descriptive and frequently verges on shocking without being excessive. It is easy to fall into the trap of reading the same paragraph over and over again, luxuriating in the gorgeous, strange yet precise word choice but without being stuck.”

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