All the Names
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All the Names

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  8,103 ratings  ·  602 reviews
"As soon as you cross the threshold, you notice the smell of old paper." The Central Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths is the setting for All the Names, Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese author José Saramago's seventh novel to be translated into English. The names in question are those of every man, woman, and child ever born, married, or buried in the unnamed city whe...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published June 1st 2000 by Harvill Panther (first published 1997)
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Forward: I'm sorry José! You didn't need to give up the will to live just because I didn't like your writing style. Lots of people did like you. More people liked you than like me. Really! You shouldn't have cared so much about what I thought. Now I feel like an asshole for killing you. Fine. I guess I can live with that, but it was a real douche bag move, dying the week I write a bad review about you just to add to my excessive guilt complexes. You know what, I'm sorry that your dead and all, b...more
simply gorgeous. a story of timidity and how a tiny seed of imagination and curiosity can transform a person and his life.

i adore this one because there's no "love interest" and because of saramago's unbelievable ability to effortlessly pop breathtaking statements about humanity at the ends of long paragraphs. they seem like afterthoughts because of the way they're placed and articulated, but if everyone had a single thought like these in his or her lifetime, the world would be just fine.
mai ahmd
في هذه الرواية يواصل الكاتب رحلة البحث عن الذات كان هناك شبيها في الآخر مثلي وهنا رحلة البحث تأتي من خلال إمرأة مجهولة سقطت بطاقتها بين يدي موظف المحفوظات العامة في سجل الإحصاءات ليبدأ بذلك البحث عن المرأة التي أطلق عليها في الرواية بالمجهولة إمرأة لا يعرف عنها شيئا ولا هي تعرفه , دون جوزيه موظف ذو سمعة ممتازة لم يرتكب خلال الأعوام الطويلة التي قضاها في عمله أي مخالفة غير أن ذلك يتغير حين بدأ رحلته في البحث عن المرأة فيرتكب العديد من الحماقات
التي تثير الضحك ، الشخصية في غاية الطرافة لغرابة التصر...more
All The Names is the third book I have read by Jose Saramago. Blindness and Seeing left strong lasting impressions on me, and I expected this novel to do the same.

Except I found myself having to take numerous breaks from this one. While Saramago starts out with an interesting subject on which to base his book,(A clerk at the Central Registry comes across a card for an unknown woman, and becomes obsessed with hunting her down and collecting as much information as he can about her), It would have...more
"You know the name you were given, you do not know the name that you have," reads the epigraph of All the Names, a gorgeously written and captivating 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 to, contrary to both bureaucratic regulation and esta...more
Hemdan Ahmed
في هذا العمل يقوم ساراماجو بدور الجراح الماهر ولا أدري هل يمكن لأحدنا أن يجد متعة في مشاهدة أحد الجراحين و هو يقوم بتشريح جثة ما ليُرينا ما لم نكن نراه من قبل ، المتفق عليه ان الكثيرين لن يعجبهم و لن يتحملو مثل هذا الفعل و ان البعض _ربما لحاجة في نفس يعقوب_سيجد متعته في مشاهدة ذلك ،ولا يمكن لنا _بأي حال من الاحوال_ان ننسى أولئك الذين يرونه عملا او شيئا عاديا بل انهم غالبا ما سيعلقون قائلين بأنه كان يمكنه أن يقوم بفتح هذا الجزء بعمق اكثر من ذلك او لم يكن في حاجة الى استخدام المشرط في فتح هذا العض...more
أحمد أبازيد Ahmad Abazed
ساراماغو البديع
سؤال الحياة و الموت .... سؤال الصدفة .... و جواب بيانات الدولة
سَفَر طويل مع دون جوزيه و مناجاته للسقف و غرابته التي قد تكون المنطقَ الوحيد , و غواية الصدفة التي تمنح المعنى لحياة مملّة , و ماكينة الدولة التي تختزل حكايات الحياة ليس بأرقام ... و إنّما بأسماء !
و ساراماغو المبدع لم يتخلّ عن عادته في التخفيف من الأسماء في رواياته , حتى في الكتاب الذي يدور أصلاً حول الأسماء ..... وحده دون جوزيه المحاط بعالم الأسماء و المفتون بالمشاهير و امرأة البطاقة الخامسة , هو من له اسم ....
ليست م...more
Todos os Nomes é a história de como o Sr. José, um auxiliar de escrita da Conservatória Geral do Registo Civil, começa a investigar uma mulher. Esta investigação tem início quando a ficha da mulher, contendo apenas um registo de casamento e outro de divórcio. Impelido por uma curiosidade obsessiva, o Sr. José faz de tudo para chegar ao seu objectivo, mesmo que para tal tenha de forjar documentos e até assaltar um colégio. Será que este simples funcionário da Conservatória conseguirá atingir aque...more
بثينة العيسى
السرد المتقن، المنحوت، المسبوك؛ حيث كل كلمة في مكانها الصحيح، أن يبدو اللا منطقي منطقيا. أن نرى الإنسان المتناقض كما هو، يتبع جنونه الشخصي دون أن يفهم السبب. عمل عظيم.
Portia Renee Robillard
Yesterday, June 18, 2010, the world suffered a great loss in the death of Jose Saramago. He was one of the truly great humans to grace this rock we call home. His writing is filled with thoughtfulness, sympathy, lyricism, cynicism, and curiosity, as it seems his life was as well. His stories are absorbing, not just for the stories they are, but how they transport the attentive reader beyond their own physical space into a clandestine world.

Last night I finished reading All the Names. As is comm...more
This book is just beautiful, lyrical and beautiful. I had to read this book for a class. I'm not so sure I would have picked it up on my own, but it was one of those all time amazing reads. The kind of read that I want with every book, but so rarely get. It had resonance.

The prose was soft and inviting, even though the story itself revolved so heavily around a bleak, despairing center. You just got wrapped up in the story and the imagery was so spatial that it basically felt like I had walked i...more
ابتسام المقرن

رواية رائعة يطل فيها ساراماغو بأسلوبه المعتاد الحوار المتداخل، والحديث مع النفس يأتي بطريقة مبهرة تجبرك على التأمل ، وكما في رواية العمى تغيب أسماء الأبطال ماعدا بطل الرواية هذه الذي يشبه اسمه الكاتب دون جوزيه! لماذا هذا التشابه؟ ولماذا تغيب الأسماء في رواية معنونة بكل الأسماء؟ لأن الأسماء غير مهمة، ما يهم هو البحث عن الذات التي حاول البطل إيجادها بطريقة غريبة ولكنه لم يفلح ربما!

وهذه مراجعة كتبتها قبل قليل حول رواية كل الأسماء
Allen B. Lloyd
The cadence and rhythm of Saramago's prose supplants traditional punctuation, and easily sweeps the reader into his Kafkaesque fado of institutionalized loneliness and isolation. This complex, at times darkly humorous novel, follows forlorn everyman Senhor Jose as he journeys through a series of labyrinths--crumbling bureaucracies, necropolises, psychic desolation-- searching for human contact, compassion, and love. By the novel's end Senhor Jose, tethered by a tenuous, metaphorical algorithm (t...more
Jun 05, 2007 Kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: determined people
The novel depicts a man being borne down by his life and everything around him. By more and more paper all around him. I felt the same way reading it.

I couldn't get through it. I tried. Good gods, I tried. I knew there was a lot going on, and I was seeing the craft at work... I /knew/ it was going somewhere.. but I just couldn't finish it. I've tried four times now. It is still on my bookshelf with a bookmark somewhere in the last seventy pages or so. It is /so/ depressing, /so/ heavy, and it s...more
The anxiety, confusion, and madness the reader experiences on behalf of the main character Senhor Jose is reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe.
This is truly one of the most interesting and unique storylines that I have read to date. As a result, I did not want the story to end, and when it did, I had to reread the last page several times and ask myself: "did that really just happen?"
Shaimaa Ali
Read from February 07 to 16, 2014

I wouldn't love this novel unless it was written by Saramago!
From a lighter perspective, it's about a meaningless journey .. From Saramago's perspective it gave you other philosophical dimensions ..
Are we names or numbers?! How does the governoment deal with people/numbers/records??
What if those numbers got mixed up? Will we stay the same? What is life anyway?!

It's not Blindness , Seeing but I have enjoyed Saramago's writing style here more than the novel itse...more

It really is a great story, touching, haunting and beautiful in its own way - Saramago did not win the Nobel Prize for literature for nothing - but I have a problem with the way it's written. It's like Saramago is both a good and a bad writer for this. What I mean is the lack of paragraph breaks, the lack of speech marks and how it's not freshly and intensely written: more like rambling, brown and dense, and dampened down, even if in this case it might match well the dusty bureaucratic atmospher...more
كل الأسماء

تحدثت في الأسبوع الماضي عن ساراماغو وعن روايته (العمى)، تلك التجربة الجميلة التي شجعتني على تكرارها مع الرواية الوحيدة المتبقية له في ذخيرتي (كل الأسماء)، لا يشي هذا العنوان بشيء، فلذا كان علي أن أتجاوزه وأغوص في نهر ساراماغو المتدفق.

هذا هو ساراماغو، السرد المتعدد الأصوات، جرعة السخرية والتي زادت كثيرا ً، والرسم المذهل للشخصية الأساسية (دون جوزيه) – هل هي سخرية من الذات؟ حيث يتطابق اسم البطل مع اسم المؤلف، كما أننا سنلاحظ أنه ليس في الرواية أية أسماء أخرى، وإنما يشار للآخرين بصفاتهم أو...more
This is every bit as tough to read as his other book, Blindness. Saramago uses punctuation "creatively", if at all. There are whole pages with no paragraph breaks. And yet, I really enjoyed it on many levels. Senhor Jose is an incredibly endearing man with a job as a clerk and no family. He spends his free time collecting articles about famous people. Until one day, when he comes across the registry card of an anonymous woman and spends countless hours trying to track her down. Very compelling s...more
Bonnie Jeanne
This is my favorite read. There are two conversations with the ceiling I'd like to memorize. And perhaps on a fifth or sixth reading, I will.

This story is about a man who works in a city registry who does his job day in and day out, following routines and regulations. Until the one day something breaks his routine, a stray card with the name of a woman. Something drives him to find out more about this woman and as he does so, routine and regulation become the enemy of discovery, as they always a...more
Sonia Gomes
Senhor Jose is a simple man, he has the job of a lower division clerk at Central Registry of Births and Deaths. As the salary is small he leads a simple frugal life with hardly any luxuries. But Sr. Jose has a hobby, he collects pictures and details of famous people; actors, actresses, even bishops. Here he was updating his collection one fine day, when he gets an idea.'Why don't I add all those details which are so often hidden from the press, to my collection, after all, all it took was some m...more
I wrote this is my journal in October, 2007:

I’m sort of happy to report that Todos os Nomes did not end as I expected it might. The ending was, in fact, totally unlike anything that I expected--which is why my happiness is reserved. Although our protagonist Senhor José was apparently forgiven all his indiscretions and went on to live unhappily ever after, I think my imagined ending would have been more fitting. Perhaps I should explain:

Senhor José is a 50-year-old, unmarried clerk at the Central...more
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El Avestruz Liado
This was the first book by Saramago that I read but it certainly won't be the last as it is almost impossible not to realize from the first pages that one is in the hands of one of the foremost writers of recent times.

A bred of Kafka meets Borges but written in a deeply personal style this books presents a character who might had come out from a Melville novel: Don José, a Bartleby-esque clerk working in a municipal registry straight from Kafka's world. Don José has an innocent hobby: collecting...more
This is he third Saramago book I have read, and coincidentally the best so far (perhaps partly because I have become accustomed to his exotic use of punctuation and unique style.) It tackles so many themes and genres that it is really very hard to describe, it's Kafkaesque to a degree, focuses on loneliness and its similarity in a way to death, the fragility and short time we have on earth, the idea of identity, the possibility of love, how well we know ourselves and those around us, curiosity,...more
Waleed Alshaiji
هذه من الاعمال التي يطير قلبي فرحا حين اعرف او اسمع ان من يجالسني الان او يحدثني قد قراها. لماذا؟ لاننا لن ننتهي من الخوض فيها ولانها محتجبه سوى عن عين قناص يقدر الادب
Sonia Gomes
Senhor Jose is a simple man, he has the job of a lower division clerk at Central Registry of Births and Deaths. As the salary is small he leads a simple frugal life with hardly any luxuries. But Sr. Jose has a hobby, he collects pictures and details of famous people; actors, actresses, even bishops. Here he was updating his collection one fine day, when he gets an idea.'Why don't I add all those details which are so often hidden from the press, to my collection, after all, all it took was some m...more

هذه الرواية ممتعة و طريفه و روحها المجنونة عالية .
كما في العمى أتت الرواية دون أسماء بإستثناء بطل الرواية " دون جوزيه " ولا أدري عن فكرة التشابه بين اسمه و اسم هذا البطل .

" دون " موظف حكومي يشغل مكان كاتب في المحفوظات العامة للسجل المدني في الخمسين , أعزب و يسكن في بيت بائس لا يفصله عن السجل سوى جدار , منضبط و متزن و يحب جمع صور المشاهير حتى أنه قد جمع ونقل معلومات أصلية لمئة من الفئة الأوسع شهرة في أسبوعين بالإضافة إلى التنبؤ بمصائرهم ولم يؤثر ذلك قط على عمله الوظيفي , إلا حينما وقعت بيده ورقة...more
Senhor Jose is employed as a low-level clerk in the bureaucratic Central Registry. By chance, he undertakes a quest: to track down information about a woman whose name he learns by accident.

His world is small (he is "convinced that the rest of the world follows the same deductive path as he does"), and he ventures further and further afield in search of information about the mystery woman. Senhor Jose has difficulties with personal relationships, and is not particularly intent on actually meetin...more
A brilliant, addicting read

José Saramago is a genius wordsmith. To the novice opening a first book by this Nobel Prize winning Portuguese novelist, Saramago may seem a bit mad, if not just frustratingly bizarre. Pages without paragraph indentations, with conversations unpunctuated or without speaker identified, no use of quotation maeks, abrupt changes of time and place within one ongoing endless sentence. These impediments to reading a novel often tend to make the reader begin to simply scan th...more
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José de Sousa Saramago (pronounced [ʒuˈzɛ sɐɾɐˈmagu]) is a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, playwright and journalist. He was a member of the Portuguese Communist Party.
His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor rather than the officially sanctioned story. Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for...more
More about José Saramago...
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“Don't be afraid, the darkness you're in is no greater than the darkness inside your own body, they are two darknesses separated by a skin, I bet you've never thought of that, you carry a darkness about with you all the time and that doesn't frighten dear chap, you have to learn to live with the darkness outside just as you learned to live with the darkness inside” 59 likes
“There are people like Senhor José everywhere, who fill their time, or what they believe to be their spare time, by collecting stamps, coins, medals, vases, postcards, matchboxes, books, clocks, sport shirts, autographs, stones, clay figurines, empty beverage cans, little angels, cacti, opera programmes, lighters, pens, owls, music boxes, bottles, bonsai trees, paintings, mugs, pipes, glass obelisks, ceramic ducks, old toys, carnival masks, and they probably do so out of something that we might call metaphysical angst, perhaps because they cannot bear the idea of chaos being the one ruler of the universe, which is why, using their limited powers and with no divine help, they attempt to impose some order on the world, and for a short while they manage it, but only as long as they are there to defend their collection, because when the day comes when it must be dispersed, and that day always comes, either with their death or when the collector grows weary, everything goes back to its beginnings, everything returns to chaos.” 22 likes
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