The Double

The Double

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The Double 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ponderous, lacking punctuation, long paragraphs, and yet this kept my interest to the end. I was expecting more from a great author. Still, this was far better than most contemporary fiction.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The lonely depressed divorced history teacher rents a video to find a supporting actor that looks exactly like him. He then starts his search to find the actor. It turns out we have no idea why this history teacher is lonely and depressed because he does have a friend and also he has a pretty young girlfriend who is crazy about him. Why is he so embarrassed that he has a double. There is a line about it in the book, but it doesn't seem reason enough to reach the level of embarrassment he has which causes him to agree to be so weak. Also, why doesn't he immediately call his mother and find out if perhaps he was a twin. Why are the doubles both so threatened by each other and aren't they alittle curious about each other lives, like family backgrounds, experiences etc... Later they play cruel games with each others lives with irreversable consequences for themselves and those closest to them. All that being said, it is difficult to discount this book and say it wasn't good. There is so much thought that eminates from the pages. If one could just go along with the reactions of the main characters as being appropriate, which is difficult, then the book is astonishing. Although repetitive, which was on purpose, it did get much, however, the book was still very well written. The are meaningful subtle clues that told the reader this would mean something later. So ones mind would double while they were reading to try and predict what would happen next. There were many interesting things in the book such as having the other doubles profession be that of a supporting actor, the mother as Cassandra, the way the plot unfolds and more. It is worth the read if you read alot. If you only read one book a year, I would say to pass it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel is one of the greatest novel by saramago if not the greatest. The story is thrilling and once again he explores human psichology through his characters and questions the role of an individual in society.
lucybrown on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked this up from the remaindered table at Barnes and Noble. Interestingly, it was on a tabel labeled "Beach Reads." I can imagine some every confused folks lying about the sands of Myrtle Beach. This is one trippy mind-bending book. Saramago has a way of asking some really ingenious "what-ifs" and takes them on a crazy ride. In this book a teacher, a rather Milquetoast sort of fellow, finds he has a double, a not very successful actor. His quest to find his double has consequences he never imagined. Saramago was one of the greatest writers of his generations, certainly one of the most creative. That said his style is challenging. While taking break from reading, I left it laying on my bed; my eleven year old daughter picked it up and began reading it aloud. After a page, she declared, "has he ever heard of periods." To which I replied, he wasn't a big fan. She noted, "you can't stop anywhere, it's comma, comma, comma." Yes, but he has his reasons." She answered, "Yeah, it becomes addictive. It's like hypnosis." It does that, and more.
frank_oconnor on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Outstanding story. Gets better and better as it moves to a conclusion as satisfying as it is unexpected. The underlying commentary on cinema is brilliantly done.
arubabookwoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tertuliano Maximo Afonso, a mild-mannered history teacher, is thunderstruck when he sees an exact duplicate of himself playing a bit part in the video of a B-grade movie he is watching. This "double" becomes his obsession, and Tertuliano, after several arguments with his Common Sense (which Common Sense lost) decides he must confront the double. His methodic, systematic search for the double is described in minute detail by an authorial narrator who from time to time inserts himself into the narrative to provide writing tips ("Those words, Nothing Happened, are used when there is an urgent need to move on to the next incident or when, for example, one does not quite know what to do with the character's own thoughts, especially if they bear no relation to the existential milieu in which the character is supposed to live and work. The teacher and fledging lover of videos, Tertuliano Maximo Afonso, is in precisely this situation as he is driving his car. He was in fact thinking, a lot and very intensely, but his thoughts bore so little relevance to the last twenty-four hours he had just lived that if we were to take them into account and include them in this novel, the story we had decided to tell would inevitably have to be replaced by another....This would mean declaring all our hard work, these forty or so dense, difficult pages null and void...."), as well as some heavy-handed forboding ("It will not be long before we discover the tragic consequences of leaving unexcavated a second-world-war bomb in the belief that it was too old to explode." "Too late my friend, too late, you've opened Pandora's box and now you have to live with the consequences....").This searching part of the book goes on perhaps a tad too long, but the novel really takes off when Tertuliano and his double begin to parry with each other. The novel then moves quickly to an unexpected ending.Written in what I believe is Saramago's characteristic style--long run-on sentences, little punctuation, paragraphs that are pages long-- the novel is nevertheless easy to read, and very, very enjoyable.
michaelbartley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mr. Saramago makes demands on his readers, but he also offers great rewards. The story in a myth that leds to us looking at deeper issues. I enjoyed the book
Cygnus555 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Saramago is one of the most amazing authors I have ever come across. Reading his work is very much like appreciating classical music. Some authors write bubble-gum books, some rock, some alternative... Jose Saramago writes classical. If you haven't read Saramago before, be prepared for writing that forces you to pay close attention to every word... it is like no other author I have ever read. This book did not let me down. I love the premise of this book and feel that he masterfully deals with the topic. I literally gasped at one point of the book. After reading "The Cave", and now this book, I have realized that I must read all of his works. It is like being exposed, for the first time, to Mozart. You can't just listen to one of his works and not want to hear the rest.
TRHummer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If this book had been written by another author, it would likely receive 5 stars from me; it's a brilliant book. However, in comparison with Saramago's other work -- notably Blindness and The Gospel According To Jesus Christ -- this book could only receive 5 stars if I could give them 10. The Double is a dark comedy of manners, and as such it is a higher entertainment; the other books mentioned are penetrating works of genius of the highest order.

This is not to fault Saramago for having written this book; it is a proud accomplishment in his canon.
madhuri_agrawal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The thing I liked best about this book was the plot - it was so simple yet fantastic. The book outlines confusion of identities - how the appearance of a double muddles up a sense of self and poses a threat of being replaced, or being replaceable. Saramago has used un-punctuated sentences, which otherwise could have been confusing, but in such a psychoanalytical plot they serve to show the continuous thought process. A brilliant book. One of my favorites.
KromesTomes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Written in almost a stream-of-consciousness style with looooong paragraphs and no dialogue breaks ... fitting ending.
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Jessiyari More than 1 year ago
Im always recommending this book because i love it so much! However, i do recommend it to people with similar tastes as mine who would appreciate the book. I understand that this is not a book for everyone as the author has a unique writing style, something that to me was refreshing and i loved the ending. This was the first book i read about 3 years ago when i first joined a book club and we all enjoy reading and analyzing it!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Not as great as All the Names or Blindness, but perhaps on par with The Cave. I wasn't very intrigued by the description but due to my love for his other books, I decided to give it a try. The beginning, like the Cave, is rather slow and but the pay off at the end is amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to Saramago lovers and newcomers alike.