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Imparare a pregare nell'era della tecnica. La posizione nel mondo di Lenz Buchmann (O Reino #4)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  566 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Dopo aver ricevuto un'educazione rigida da un padre militare, freddo e violento, Lenz Buchmann, un affermato chirurgo, sposato, senza figli per scelta, decide di dedicarsi alla politica solo per possedere il potere che gli uomini avvertono in un uomo politico. Prende questa decisione durante il funerale del suo unico fratello. Non ha vincoli affettivi o di qualsiasi altro ...more
Paperback, I Narratori, 281 pages
Published November 11th 2011 by Feltrinelli (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jim Fonseca
Sep 08, 2013 Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A militaristic upbringing by a stern father creates a depraved surgeon. He has no feelings; no soul, and in fact is glad when his older brother finally dies so he alone can carry on his father's name and traditions. He thinks of his brother "I'm going to find it easy to forget you." He engages in bizarre practices such as bringing homeless men into his house to watch him have sex with his wife. Having conquered medicine and earned a reputation as a surgeon, he abandons that career and turns to p ...more
Dec 24, 2016 BlackOxford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trumping Trump

If Tavares were to have published Learning to Pray in 2016 rather than 2007 he would have been successfully sued by Donald Trump for slander and invasion of privacy. Or possibly hired as Trump's campaign manager. Who knows, perhaps he was even the inspiration for Trump's presidential aspirations, a sort of anticipatory biography of 'alternative facts'.

Tavares' protagonist, Lenz Buchmann, lives in a world created by his father and described by Thomas Hobbes, a world of barely contai
Eddie Watkins
For being such a detailed portrait, from the inside, of a thoroughly despicable character, this book left me with a very curious floating feeling, a feeling of subtle elation. This feeling could have stemmed from the closing death scene - peaceful, delicate (though eerie) - but I think there are other less obvious reasons, reasons worked into the novel between the lines by Tavares, that caused what I consider to be the intent of this book: the curious floating feeling which I felt after turning ...more
Nov 20, 2012 Jonfaith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About a hundred years ago my wife and I were on holiday in England, staying then with her brother in Reading. A certain chain of events had left me at a hotel bar with my wife's brother, his friend Richard and Richard's soon-to-be wife. At the time Richard didn't care much for me, I was an American and one who didn't rise to his provocations: in fact I agreed with most of his zingers. We have since become warmer and I rather enjoyed hiking with his wife and children a few years back. Well, anywa ...more
Ben Winch
I'm gonna risk courting controversy here - knowing what a cult the Dalkey Archive is to some Goodreaders - and say first up that I found the production of this book underwhelming. Specifically, the proofreading. After about the third I lost count, but I'd say there were over five typographical errors here, as well as an annoying repeated grammatical error which, while I know it has passed into common usage, seemed out of place in a translation which purports to be so rigorous, so proper, so clin ...more
Jan 13, 2014 Teresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-portugal, e2
Com este livro termina a série dos "quadrigémios" negros de Gonçalo M. Tavares.
São quatros pequenas "ampolas", que é suposto guardarem o vírus do Mal. Ao destapar a primeira fiquei febril; na segunda senti um arrepio ameaçador; com a terceira um ligeiro catarro; quando tomei a quarta ampola - como o vírus não sofreu qualquer mutação - tinha criado imunidade.

Não é claro onde e quando decorre a acção; poderá ser na Alemanha, durante a Segunda Guerra; ou poderá ser somente numa qualquer galáxia "t
Mar 27, 2017 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: portuguese-lit
I was first struck by the extraordinary title of this book and the positive reviews on GR. However, I started with Jerusalem and Klaus Klump (the other books of this trilogy) first before reading it. Those other two books are short, around 100-pages and pack punches with brilliant reflective thoughts on life, love and death. So I wondered about "Learning to Pray" which covers 340-pages. Would it hold up?

Using very short "chapters or short thoughts spanning 2-3 pages, Tavares develops a masterful
-kimi kitapları karıştırırken ilk sayfalarda bir tanıdık his yakalar ve onun için satın alırız. tavares'in bu kitabı için bunu yaşadım, lanthimos'un dogtooth'undan bir sahneye benzer bir şekilde açılıyor kitap, fakat kimi benzerliklerine rağmen lanthimos'un filmlerindeki o sıcaklık kitapta yok. kusurlarından sıyrılmış, insani özelliklerinden arınmış karakterler mevcut kitapta. süper kahramanlar gibi. lanthimos, distopik atmosfer yaratıp, oradan insanın özündeki duyguları ön plana çıkarır oysa.

Aug 16, 2011 jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation, fiction
since publishing his first book some ten years ago, gonçalo tavares has gone on to write more than a dozen others. the angolan-born portuguese writer has won a number of prestigious literary awards and received accolades from around the world. were his storytelling skills not already well apparent in jerusalem, the first of his works to be translated into english, learning to pray in the age of technique (aprender a rezar na era da técnica) confirms the immense talent of gonçalo tavares.

only th
Nov 25, 2016 Antonio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've only heard about Gonçalo Tavares in foreign lands, never in Brazil. After some insistence of a friend, I decided to give it a try. At first, I was expecting another regular medical tale. I can only tell you how wrong I was.

Tavares introduces us to a despicable human being. Lenz Buchmann is an abhorrent man whose despise for others is a routine. Every patient who goes to see Buchman receives a medicine and a dose of the doctor's disdain. When Lenz becomes a politician, he continues to be th
Jordi Via
Mar 28, 2012 Jordi Via rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Todos hemos sido malos en algún momento, el que crea que está libre de culpa es porque no lo quiere admitir.
Gonçalo M. Tavares escribe de manera muy original un texto sobre cómo subrepticiamente uno paga por sus actos.
Nos debatimos entre el bien y el mal, nos damos cuenta de hasta que punto estamos sometidos. Uno acaba, después de leer esta novela, aún más convencido de que la manipulación política y religiosa es universal e intrínseca en cualquier sociedad.
Voy a leer todo lo que pueda de Tavar
Manuel Antão
Jul 06, 2013 Manuel Antão rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

Can one build one's life on the refusal to really live with others?

This is a story of a "relentless rise" and even an abrupt descent of a man that is born to be a servant of violence.

Lenz Buchmann is an utterly despicable character but what a phenomenal and satisfying portrait of a despicable character it is. Maybe that's why the book works on several levels. The thin line between melodrama and pastiche verges on the absolutely brilliant.

The books looks to me like an instruction manual because
Sep 04, 2012 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started this on the bus this morning, and when I got to work, I bought all of his other books for my library. It's really great so far, dealing with enormous issues such as the role of science, immortality, internal vs. external life, family relations, the lack of authenticity in an age dominated by technology, and even economic class and political violence. The tone is kind of detached and unpretentious, almost more like a series of small observational essays about the main character's life. ...more
Chad Post
Jul 13, 2012 Chad Post rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite as good as Jerusalem (what is, though?), this is the second book in Tavares's "The Kingdom Quartet." It's focused on a single character--a ruthless surgeon turned politician, his mental philosophy, and his eventual death.

The first half of this is a bit too long and repetitive . . . Tavares is at his best when everything is honed down into precise, sharp prose. He's also a master of writing *space,* something that's evident in the "Barrio" books and in Jerusalem. This novel is a bit to
Apr 05, 2012 Jesús rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prosa precisa y algo fría para narrar la historia de un cirujano competente y más bien cabrón que entra en política y recuerda un poco a Nietzsche en aquello de que los débiles deben perecer. Repetiré con Tavares, al que descubrí en esta misma página a través de Marisa y Rafa (no recuerdo quién fue primero).
Mar 26, 2012 Rafa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy bueno, es un texto muy radical por lo que es difícil encontrar ritmo en la primera parte.
Luna Miguel
Mar 15, 2012 Luna Miguel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una maldita maravilla.
Apr 02, 2017 Argos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Çok iyi bir roman. Babasının etkisiyle içindeki kötü- güçlü-otoriter kimliğini ortaya çıkaran bir cerrahın hikayesi. Lenz Buchmann bir tıp fakültesi mezunu doktor, konusunda uzmanlaşmış bir cerrah, ama sadece bir teknisyen, hekim değil, çünkü hekimlik bir sanattır, Buchman bir sanatçı değil bir uygulayıcı, hekimliğe erişmemiş bir tıp doktoru. Üst ve güçlü insan fügürüne inanan cerrahideki "korku/hız" kavramını tüm topluma uygulamaya çalışan bir faşist. Mesleğindeki sertliği politikada da sürdürm ...more
Ronald Morton
Feb 24, 2016 Ronald Morton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is rare to come across a full length novel where it is so apparent that every word has been so meticulously chosen and placed. Amongst those it is rarer still to encounter a book where the words chosen and the manner of their placement are so utterly unique. This is the type of book where you will find yourself re-reading sentences aloud to yourself just for the joy of hearing a phrase you’ve never heard before, but that is so perfectly expressed that you wonder why it’s only now being writte ...more
Dr Lenz Buchmann is a surgeon so clinically distant, cold and carelessly cruel as to be sociopathic. He realises that his profession is no longer enough to contain his massive self-regard and desire to control everything and everyone, so he downs scalpel and embarks on a rapid ascent to the peaks of the ruling political party. And just when he is tantalisingly close to his goal, he is struck down, rapidly and cruelly, by illness. He must learn to adapt to the accumulating ironies of this karma.
Dec 22, 2012 Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
Trying to process this book is an interesting task. So below I've typed out some of my thoughts on where this book takes me in my mind, and two of my favorite quotes, both of which are perfectly Tavaresian in their brilliance, especially that second long passage, you can see all of the hallmarks of Tavares's style in those two paragraphs. I didn't enjoy this book as much as I did Jerusalem, but I don't read books to "enjoy" them. I love Tavares because he makes me think about things. Big things, ...more
Jesús Santana
Sep 17, 2014 Jesús Santana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me suelen atraer libros, películas o series con personajes que sean calculadores y violentos o por lo menos que se encuentren permanentemente en un estado de posible explosión en lo que respecta a lo salvaje y lo agresivo en su desenlace. Es por eso que he llegado luego de leer algunas excelentes criticas de gente en la que tengo plena confianza y con los que comparto gustos literarios similares a este libro hace ya un buen tiempo y del que tenía pendiente hacer un comentario luego de su lectur ...more
Paul Fulcher
Jan 16, 2014 Paul Fulcher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
A very powerful, frankly disturbing, portrait from Tavares's brilliant Kingdom series - in this case "the Kingdom of a man who attacks, and who knows that there are elements readying themselves to attack him in return".

Tavares has spoken about how "during my childhood and adolescence, math was a huge influence", pure maths in particular, and there is definitely something mathematical about the precision and objectiveness of his language - indeed it also reminds one of a surgeon's scalpal, which
Eugénio Lojo
Jan 05, 2011 Eugénio Lojo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vi-me agarrado desde a primeira página por uma maneira de narrar directa, crua e tremendamente funcional, sem concessões a preciosismos nem detalhes secundários à narração. O autor debruça-se directamente naquilo que quer contar, diria que antes como um pensador do que como um literato (se realmente existe divergência entre ambas coisas). A proliferação de capítulos e divisões dos capítulos faz pensar numa aproximação sistemática àquilo que se quer apreender. Num início esta aparente assepsia co ...more
Sara Bôto
Feb 22, 2015 Sara Bôto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Na minha opinião, é o MELHOR livro de Gonçalo M. Tavares. Foi o primeiro contacto que tive com aquele que é o hoje o meu escritor contemporâneo favorito e foi, sem dúvida, a obra que gerou maior impacto na minha vida, pela forma de ver a realidade do personagem principal, o apaixonante e bizarro Lenz Buchmann, e pela forma crua e realista, quase violenta, como são narrados os acontecimentos ao longo de todo o livro. Um livro para ler, reler e voltar a ler...
Jun 28, 2013 Kiril rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting book to read. Quite disturbing and unusual, it kind of feels like you start living in the head of a monster. Unfortunately, this effort on the side of the author can be quite heavy at times -- for the entire book, there is only the perspective of a psychopath, without other perspectives, without any chapters where the reader can relax.
Aug 25, 2008 Helena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nem parece um autor português - é um livro cru e duro
Hugo Filipe
Jul 26, 2014 Hugo Filipe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Podia ter sido perfeito não fosse o facto de se ter perdido a partir das dores de cabeça. Uma escrita fria e acutilante, perfeitamente adequada ao enredo e à personagem.
David Alexandre Silva
De novo Gonçalo Tavares surpreende-me com um livro de tamanha profundidade que cada palavra adopta um significado oculto dentro do autor e da personagem. Desta feita a personagem e Lenz, um frio e desprezível homem que o autor reduziu a uma mera coisa. Algo sem sentimentos, apenas necessidades. As interrogações colocadas ao longo deste livro colocam-se ao nível do Homem em si. Do político que não gere para os outros, mas planeia a instalação do medo para uma melhor gestão. O medico que trata mec ...more
Apr 16, 2010 Jorge rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Embora a narrativa esteja muito bem desenvolvida e tecnicamente irrepeensível, não gostei da história que o livro nos traz.
As suas personagens são todas mais ou menos loucas e/ou macabras e capazes de tropelias que ultrapassam os nossos piores pesadelos. Com que objectivo ?
Acresce que o ambiente do livro me parece totalmente desligado da nossa cultura o que me acho no mínimo estranho e novamente me interrogo onde pretende chegar o autor.


Although the narrativ
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Gonçalo M. Tavares was born in Luanda in 1970 and teaches Theory of Science in Lisbon.
Tavares has surprised his readers with the variety of books he has published since 2001. His work is being published in over 30 countries and it has been awarded an impressive amount of national and international literary prizes in a very short time. In 2005 he won the José Saramago Prize for young writers under
More about Gonçalo M. Tavares...

Other Books in the Series

O Reino (5 books)
  • Um Homem: Klaus Klump (O Reino, #1)
  • A Máquina de Joseph Walser (O Reino, #2)
  • Jerusalém (O Reino, #3)
  • Um homem: Klaus Klump/A máquina de Joseph Walser

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“Everyone wanted security, but first they wanted to feel more threatened.” 9 likes
“The only reason Lenz didn’t burst out laughing was because he wasn’t alone; his movement - which seemed hidden now inside a second glove, the body of the injured soldier - were mockeries of themselves. Lenz felt as though he was engaged in a kind of manual labour that for him, deep down, was like manipulating shapes in clay or working a piece of wood. Any feelings of empathy were dissolved in professional expertise and in the recognition of his triumph in relation to the body lying on the stretcher. Lenz was alive, on his feet, with his reason intact, and still in control of the use of language: in that room he was the person who determined every Yes and every No - and he had long known that controlling such extreme words was a source of undisputable power.
A startled nurse was asking Dr. Lenz whether he wanted her to pass him another scalpel, one with a fine point, and Lenz replied: No. No, no. Yes, yes,yes.
Let us say that “organic craftsmanship,” the most basic craftsmanship, often filled him with enthusiasm. Lenz knew that bullets or bomb shrapnel - in short, all the pieces of metal that find their way into our bodies - were only looking for what any living creature looks for: a shelter, a final home, a home where they can be left alone, where they feel secure.”
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