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This title in other editions

All the Names

by

All the Names Cover

ISBN13: 9780156010597
ISBN10: 0156010593
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Awards

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
A Washington Post Book World Favorite Book of the Year.

Staff Pick

"You know the name you were given, you do not know the name that you have," reads the epigraph of All the Names, a captivating and gorgeously written allegorical tale of identity penned by the illustrious José Saramago, which concerns the seemingly mundane life of Senhor José, a lowly registry clerk in an unidentified metropolis whose tedious and impersonal existence suddenly becomes full of intrigue and zeal when he finds himself compelled, contrary to both bureaucratic regulation and established law, to quixotically pursue the identity of a woman whom he knows only by name, in hopes, perhaps, of simply making a connection in an inconceivably interrelated world often obscured by lonesome anonymity, from whence fortuity and happenstance can supplely alight most unexpectedly.
Recommended by Jeremy, Powells.com

A stunning novel by Nobel prize-winner José Saramago. At first, the style may be off-putting, but once you get into it, the story flows as delicately as melted butter. With the preternatural perception of Kafka, and the gentle reflection of Steinbeck, All the Names is a mostly allegorical tale of a petty bureaucrat who seeks to understand the lives of the forgotten. His quest ends in a remote corner of a cemetary where he, and the reader, are graced with a nearly celestial visitation. In the hands of a lesser writer, the set-up would have been pure schmalz, but in the hands of Saramago, it's nothing short of poetry.
Recommended by Jeremy, Powells.com

A stunning novel by Nobel prize-winner José Saramago. At first, the style may be off-putting, but once you get into it, the story flows as delicately as melted butter. With the preternatural perception of Kafka, and the gentle reflection of Steinbeck, All the Names is a mostly allegorical tale of a petty bureaucrat who seeks to understand the lives of the forgotten. His quest ends in a remote corner of a cemetary where he, and the reader, are graced with a nearly celestial visitation. In the hands of a lesser writer, the set-up would have been pure schmalz, but in the hands of Saramago, it's nothing short of poetry.
Recommended by Fidel, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Senhor José is a low-grade clerk in the city's Central Registry, where the living and the dead share the same shelf space. A middle-aged bachelor, he has no interest in anything beyond the certificates of birth, marriage, divorce, and death that are his daily routine. But one day, when he comes across the records of an anonymous young woman, something happens to him. Obsessed, Senhor José sets off to follow the thread that may lead him to the woman-but as he gets closer, he discovers more about her, and about himself, than he would ever have wished.

The loneliness of people's lives, the effects of chance, the discovery of love-all coalesce in this extraordinary novel that displays the power and art of José Saramago in brilliant form.

Review:

"Saramago has a light, graceful, ironical touch, and he maintains a welcome restraint in his use of the paraphernalia of magical realism, that literary dead-end into which so many talented writers have stumbled over the past two or three decades, chasing like lemmings after the ghosts of the colorful Buendia clan. Saramago is well aware that, contrary to popular notions, one of the novelist's primary duties is to keep his imagination under tight control." John Banville, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review here)

Review:

"A riveting, Kafkaesque journey into one man's obsession amid the arid, repetitive, and cumbersome bureaucratic environment in which he works....This haunting, strangely moving novel is uplifting despite the tragic nature of the woman's life; Saramago's true theme here is how compassion ultimately rules human behavior." Booklist

Review:

"A tour de force....It is a book that's not simply read, but experienced." The Denver Post

Review:

"A psychological, even metaphysical thriller that will keep you turning the pages...with growing alarm and alacrity." The Seattle Times

Review:

"The resonant themes of identity and autonomy are examined with keen precision and rich humor in the Portuguese Nobel laureate's most recent fiction....Mischievous, saturnine, and commandingly eloquent fiction." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

About the Author

José Saramago was born in Portugal in 1922. He is the author of six novels, including Baltasar and Blimunda and Blindness. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He lives in the Canary Islands.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Karen B, September 10, 2011 (view all comments by Karen B)
I started reading this before Saramago died, and now there won't be any more new novels from him. This made the book, and the ending, all the more poignant.

I love an ending that makes me want to start the book all over again because I know it will only deepen with rereading, and this was one of those books.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
tudidane, March 11, 2007 (view all comments by tudidane)
Jose Saramago presents a character with a dull, boring job who in the face of doing and being all that he is supposed to do, chooses to do something daring for the first time in his life, to find a young lady whose card he chooses out of the thousands he sees every day. The reading is difficult at first because of the lack of quotations and the page long paragraphes, but as the book progresses one is enchanted by the change of mood and the growing complexity of Senhor Jose, his one character ironically who has a name.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780156010597
Author:
Saramago, Jose
Publisher:
Harvest Books
Translator:
Costa, Margaret Jull
Author:
Saramago
Author:
eacute
Author:
Jos
Author:
Costa, Margaret Jull
Author:
&
Author:
Saramago, Jos
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Clerks
Subject:
Social isolation
Subject:
Vital statistics
Subject:
Registers of births, etc.
Subject:
Recording and registration.
Subject:
Portuguese fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Harvest ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
800-24.
Publication Date:
October 2001
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
264
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.54 lb

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Nobel Prize Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

All the Names Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 264 pages Harvest Books - English 9780156010597 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

"You know the name you were given, you do not know the name that you have," reads the epigraph of All the Names, a captivating and gorgeously written allegorical tale of identity penned by the illustrious José Saramago, which concerns the seemingly mundane life of Senhor José, a lowly registry clerk in an unidentified metropolis whose tedious and impersonal existence suddenly becomes full of intrigue and zeal when he finds himself compelled, contrary to both bureaucratic regulation and established law, to quixotically pursue the identity of a woman whom he knows only by name, in hopes, perhaps, of simply making a connection in an inconceivably interrelated world often obscured by lonesome anonymity, from whence fortuity and happenstance can supplely alight most unexpectedly.

"Staff Pick" by ,

A stunning novel by Nobel prize-winner José Saramago. At first, the style may be off-putting, but once you get into it, the story flows as delicately as melted butter. With the preternatural perception of Kafka, and the gentle reflection of Steinbeck, All the Names is a mostly allegorical tale of a petty bureaucrat who seeks to understand the lives of the forgotten. His quest ends in a remote corner of a cemetary where he, and the reader, are graced with a nearly celestial visitation. In the hands of a lesser writer, the set-up would have been pure schmalz, but in the hands of Saramago, it's nothing short of poetry.

"Staff Pick" by ,

A stunning novel by Nobel prize-winner José Saramago. At first, the style may be off-putting, but once you get into it, the story flows as delicately as melted butter. With the preternatural perception of Kafka, and the gentle reflection of Steinbeck, All the Names is a mostly allegorical tale of a petty bureaucrat who seeks to understand the lives of the forgotten. His quest ends in a remote corner of a cemetary where he, and the reader, are graced with a nearly celestial visitation. In the hands of a lesser writer, the set-up would have been pure schmalz, but in the hands of Saramago, it's nothing short of poetry.

"Review" by , "Saramago has a light, graceful, ironical touch, and he maintains a welcome restraint in his use of the paraphernalia of magical realism, that literary dead-end into which so many talented writers have stumbled over the past two or three decades, chasing like lemmings after the ghosts of the colorful Buendia clan. Saramago is well aware that, contrary to popular notions, one of the novelist's primary duties is to keep his imagination under tight control." (read the entire New Republic review here)
"Review" by , "A riveting, Kafkaesque journey into one man's obsession amid the arid, repetitive, and cumbersome bureaucratic environment in which he works....This haunting, strangely moving novel is uplifting despite the tragic nature of the woman's life; Saramago's true theme here is how compassion ultimately rules human behavior."
"Review" by , "A tour de force....It is a book that's not simply read, but experienced."
"Review" by , "A psychological, even metaphysical thriller that will keep you turning the pages...with growing alarm and alacrity."
"Review" by , "The resonant themes of identity and autonomy are examined with keen precision and rich humor in the Portuguese Nobel laureate's most recent fiction....Mischievous, saturnine, and commandingly eloquent fiction."
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