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    Description

    Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago's brilliant new novel poses the question: What happens when the grim reaper decides there will be no more death? On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This of course causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration - flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home - families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots.

    Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets, and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small d, became human and were to fall in love?

    ©2009 Jose Saramago (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

    Commentaires

    Saramago being Saramago, he turns what could be the stuff of late-night stoner debate into a lucid, playful and politically edgy novel of ideas.... Saramago adds two satisfying cliffhangers—how far can he go with the concept, and will death succumb to human love? The package is profound, resonant and—bonus—entertaining." ( Publishers Weekly)

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    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Rebecca Garrison
    • Rebecca Garrison
    • 29/11/2018

    It's actually two books...

    The concept of this book alone makes it worth the read. It's a fascinating approach to the most universal part of living, starting with a look at how politicians, clerics, gangsters, medical professionals and capitalists react to a drastic change in the way we ... live? There are frustrating moments when I desperately wanted the author to elaborate on a perspective on interrupted death that he didn't consider, and times when the book looked through a lens I've never considered before.

    This is the important part of my review. This book is two books. Other than the frustrating/artful lack of punctuation beyond commas, the first part and the second are so stylistically different and cover such different themes that it is mind boggling.

    I have 2 recommendations:
    1. Listen to the audiobook. You figure out who is saying what, when, and where and can follow the story much better. You should still read a few pages of text, just so you can admire wild and unruly the grammar (I kinda like it). It will also allow you to better appreciate how beautifully Paul Baymer navigates the jungle of sentences and squished together dialogue.

    2. Read it as if it were two stories in the same universe. The first is like a narrator in a historical documentary, a high level picture of what's goin' on. The second is a love story, and one of the characters in that story just happens to be death. The transition happens at the introduction of the violet letters. Stop at the end of that chapter ("...it was the end of an era."/end of Chapter 8), and soak it up. Think about what you liked and hated about the the wide angle perspective and the choices of folks in this new state of being. THEN pick it up again (from "It may be that a very genteel upbringing..."/beginning of chapter 9) like you are reading a new story that features the same "death," a new perspective and intimacy with characters.

    It was a great read either way, but I wish I had known to take a break in the middle, so I didn't spend the second half wondering where the first half went!

    Oh, one more thing: you're gonna wanna talk about this book with people whether or not you enjoy it.

    9 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      3 out of 5 stars
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    • Kerry
    • 08/07/2016

    interesting but slightly boring

    fell asleep listening to this book a few times. there are very interesting concepts it's just not the most exciting book

    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Amazon Customer
    • Amazon Customer
    • 09/11/2021

    “The Dispatcher” but with different rules

    If you have read John Sculzi’s “The Dispatcher” then you will find this book to be similar in some ways, and very different in others. If you liked that book, then you will very likely enjoy this one as well.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Savannah R. Ervin
    • Savannah R. Ervin
    • 05/04/2021

    Brought to Tears

    I don't think I've read a José Saramago story without my heart forcing me too get a little misty eyed. Not for just the story itself but the beautiful writing. The translation was so very good and brought the magic of the Portuguese original to my ears. The simple poetry and perfectly limited pallet of words are so heartfelt and heartbreaking at times. Truly let's me see what real talent is in writing. Never have I heard such gorgeous prose and felt that the characters in this story could be real people, with deep humanity and heart.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Glenn
    • Glenn
    • 01/08/2017

    Excellent

    well written, fantastic story. written in a laconic Portuguese style. the kind of story that some will think a waste of time and others will adore

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      1 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      2 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Sheba
    • Sheba
    • 03/10/2021

    Monotonous

    I couldn’t finish the book. The narrator is horrible and speaks in a monotone voice. If you want a book to put you to sleep this is it. The author gets stuck in the details instead of giving the book “meat” that keeps you interested. This sounds like a thesis for a college professor.

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      4 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      4 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Tom
    • Tom
    • 27/02/2021

    Fascinating Journey of the Imagination.

    Saramago’s transformations and personifications of Death spark the imagination. Whether or not Death is a necessary or desirable part of Life becomes a troubling philosophical and even political question facing the characters in this work and in the Reader who both doesn’t think much about it or would rather not face it.

    I enjoyed the earlier encounters with the inevitability or absence of Mortality more than the later sections where Death takes Human form, but there is no denying the power of Saramago’s imaginative telling of his tale. Four Stars.

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Love to read
    • Love to read
    • 17/01/2021

    Brilliant

    Saramago never disappoints. When I read his writing I always feel like I gained something. He always forces me to think about life in the ways I’ve never considered before...

    • Global
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      2 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      1 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Lavia Cochran
    • Lavia Cochran
    • 20/06/2019

    Interesting concept, but boring and eventful

    The title was more exciting then reading it. There were a few thought provoking moments, but they were quickly smothered in boredom.

    • Global
      1 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      1 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      1 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Katrina
    • Katrina
    • 28/03/2016

    Not for me

    I just didn't like it. It wasn't a book for me. It was very hard to keep up.