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Death with Interruptions

by

Death with Interruptions Cover

 

Staff Pick

"We will know less and less what it means to be human." —Book of Predictions

One of the most admirable qualities of genius is that it falters so infrequently. This is the tenth year since Señor José Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, and though he is nearing his late 80s, his writing remains deft, spirited, and resplendent.

While I believe Saramago's earlier, historically themed novels (Baltasar and Blimunda, The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, The History of the Siege of Lisbon, and The Gospel According to Jesus Christ) excel more as complete works, it is his later, allegorical tales (The Stone Raft, Blindness, All the Names, The Cave, The Double, and Seeing) that seem to have the most lingering effects. Death with Interruptions is an entry into this latter part of his oeuvre. Within the story, death is personified, and it is to she whom the nameless country's inhabitants owe their fates. As in many of Saramago's books, a fantastic, however improbable, incident becomes the catalyst for the no less spectacular events that ensue therefrom. "The following day, no one died."

Written in Saramago's singular style, Death with Interruptions is replete with exquisite prose, sensational imaginings, and "perspicacious" humor. The serious, the sardonic, and the sensual coexist magnificently, as they always have throughout his books. Within the narrative, he takes aim at the usual excesses: religious doctrine, governmental inefficiency, and corporate avarice. Although the story's import is cogently offered, Saramago never strays into moralism. Death is more to life than much of our daily living.

It is hard to match the exaltation and awe with which I began reading Saramago's novels years ago; nevertheless, I think Death with Interruptions is a solid addition to an already outstanding body of work. In a more just world, Saramago's plays, poems, diaries, short stories and nonfiction would wend their way to an English translation.

"Besides, all the many things that have been said about God and about death are nothing but stories, and this is just another one." —Death without Interruptions
Recommended by Jeremy, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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?

Review:

No matter how deadly serious his subjects, there's always been something essentially childlike at the heart of Jose Saramago's work — that eagerness to consider simple, outlandish what ifs: What if the Iberian Peninsula broke off and floated away? What if everybody suddenly went blind? What if most voters cast blank ballots?

Like Franz Kafka, his literary ancestor, the unrepentant... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration: they have achieved eternal life. Then reality hits home, in this latest novel from the Nobel Prize-winning author.

Synopsis:

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?

About the Author

JOSÉ SARAMAGO is one of the most acclaimed writers in the world today. He is the author of numerous novels, including All the Names, Blindness, and The Cave. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

MARGARET JULL COSTA is the foremost translator of Portuguese literature into English.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780151012749
Author:
Saramago, Jose
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Translator:
Costa, Margaret Jull
Author:
Saramago
Author:
eacute
Author:
Jos
Author:
Saramago, Jos
Author:
&
Author:
Costa, Margaret Jull
Subject:
Science / General
Subject:
Science Fiction - General
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090902
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.84 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Nobel Prize Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Metaphysics » Fiction

Death with Interruptions Used Hardcover
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Product details 256 pages Harcourt - English 9780151012749 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

"We will know less and less what it means to be human." —Book of Predictions

One of the most admirable qualities of genius is that it falters so infrequently. This is the tenth year since Señor José Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, and though he is nearing his late 80s, his writing remains deft, spirited, and resplendent.

While I believe Saramago's earlier, historically themed novels (Baltasar and Blimunda, The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, The History of the Siege of Lisbon, and The Gospel According to Jesus Christ) excel more as complete works, it is his later, allegorical tales (The Stone Raft, Blindness, All the Names, The Cave, The Double, and Seeing) that seem to have the most lingering effects. Death with Interruptions is an entry into this latter part of his oeuvre. Within the story, death is personified, and it is to she whom the nameless country's inhabitants owe their fates. As in many of Saramago's books, a fantastic, however improbable, incident becomes the catalyst for the no less spectacular events that ensue therefrom. "The following day, no one died."

Written in Saramago's singular style, Death with Interruptions is replete with exquisite prose, sensational imaginings, and "perspicacious" humor. The serious, the sardonic, and the sensual coexist magnificently, as they always have throughout his books. Within the narrative, he takes aim at the usual excesses: religious doctrine, governmental inefficiency, and corporate avarice. Although the story's import is cogently offered, Saramago never strays into moralism. Death is more to life than much of our daily living.

It is hard to match the exaltation and awe with which I began reading Saramago's novels years ago; nevertheless, I think Death with Interruptions is a solid addition to an already outstanding body of work. In a more just world, Saramago's plays, poems, diaries, short stories and nonfiction would wend their way to an English translation.

"Besides, all the many things that have been said about God and about death are nothing but stories, and this is just another one." —Death without Interruptions

"Synopsis" by , On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration: they have achieved eternal life. Then reality hits home, in this latest novel from the Nobel Prize-winning author.
"Synopsis" by ,
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?
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