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The Cave

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  6,124 ratings  ·  482 reviews
Cipriano Algor, an elderly potter, lives with his daughter Marta and her husband Marçal in a small village on the outskirts of The Center, an imposing complex of shops, apartments, and offices to which Cipriano delivers his pots and jugs every month. On one such trip, he is told not to make any more deliveries. Unwilling to give up his craft, Cipriano tries his hand at mak ...more
Paperback, 307 pages
Published October 15th 2003 by Mariner Books (first published 2000)
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The Stranger by Albert CamusOne Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezOf Mice and Men by John SteinbeckThe Old Man and the Sea by Ernest HemingwayLord of the Flies by William Golding
Nobel Laureates
72nd out of 396 books — 303 voters
Blindness by José SaramagoMemórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas by Machado de AssisOs Maias by Eça de QueirósThe Lusiads by Luís Vaz de CamõesThe Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
Best Literature in Portuguese
55th out of 285 books — 234 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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s.penkevich
Aug 13, 2013 s.penkevich rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Saramago enthusiasts
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Hend
It is not only great works of art that are born out of suffering and doubt.

Do we allow ourselves to be tricked into substituting simple pleasures and convenience for authentic reality? Do we willingly allow ourselves to be submissive pawns in a game of corporate and political control? Nobel Laureate José Saramago’s The Cave is an enlightening examination of Plato’s allegory of the cave as he depicts a natural world shrinking away as the cheap, plastic reign of a compartmentalized authoritative
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Wael Mahmoud
لم أعتقد أنه بعد سنواتي الثلاث بعد الثلاثين, وقراءاتي للعديد من الأعمال الادبية الشهيرة بإثارة العواطف، وبالأخص بعد التجربة القريبة زمنياً لفقدان عزيز أن هناك عمل أدبي قادر على إثارة الشجن والحزن لدرجة أن أكون على وشك أن تدمع عيناي.

والغريب ان من فعلها هو ساراماجو - كاتبي المفضل - الذي طالما استمتعت بأعماله بعقلي, وفي أحيان كثيرة كان حبي لأبطاله وتعاطفي معهم ومع الحالة العامة من الشجن والحزن التي تحيط بهم يأتي في مرحلة متأخرة بعد إنبهاري واستمتاعي بشكل رواياته وأسلوبه.

ولكن هذه المرة أجد نفسي متعا
...more
mai ahmd

أعتقد أنني تحدثت كثيرا عن هذه الرواية ربما وأنا أقرأ كنتُ أنقل لكم مشاعري أثناء القراءة كما كنتُ أفعل على تويتر إنني لم أهتم فقط بالقصة لكن ما سلب لبي و جعلني مأخوذة بهذه الرواية هو أسلوب ساراماغو السردي وإن لم أكن بعيدة عنه في رواياته الأخرى كم أحب هذه التدخلات التي يطل فيها ساراماغو برأسه ويلعب فيها دور السارد معللا ومفسرا ومفلسفا للكثير من تصرفات شخصياته
إن الأمر يجعلك مشاركا وليس مستمعا فقط إن حديثه المتخيل هذا يبين كم إن لهذا الرجل ملكة تخيل واسعة تمكنه من معرفة ماذا يدور في ذهن القارىء وكي
...more
Weinz
Jul 28, 2009 Weinz rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Weinz by: Bernie
Shelves: favorites
Beware: Brilliance abounds between the pages of this book.

The way Saramago paints his characters leads you in two directions. You are able to identify with their desires, fears and insecurities while at the same time able to look down as the all wise deity feeling as if you are willfully guiding them along the right path. His style pulls you in and doesn’t let go. The relationships are beautifully complex down to the simple one of a man and his dog, Found.

No one can walk away from this book wit
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Abdullah

ساراماغو أكثر من روائي هذا ما خرجت منه بعد قراءة أولى الصفحات. البرتغالي فيلسوف كبير يصنع من حكاية بسيطة جداً خالية من أي إثارة رواية عظيمة بإطلالته الدائمة على كل فكرة تدور في بال الشخصيات و هي دعوة للخروج إلى الحياة و تجربة كل جديد عوضاً عن الركون إلى الكهف. رواية عظيمة جداً.



James
This is an amazing book. However...

Why, why, why must people give away important plot points? The Cave's story, of a potter and his small family, is a simple one. So why did Harcourt, Inc. feel the need to describe the entire story on the back of the book? There are literally things mentioned on the back jacket which do not happen until around page 250 of the book. (And the book only hase 300 pages.)

I know that Jose Saramago was not trying to write a mystery. But a little suspense is nice.

Anyway
...more
Chloe
So, I have a complaint. It's not Saramago-specific, but he is the latest in a long line of authors that I've noticed using this trick/device/method. More and more I find authors using long lists as a way of describing something, as if an extensive vocabulary can hide someone's lack of a point. This niggling little issue has been eating at me recently because I've taken to reading books aloud and find myself running short of breath halfway through these interminable lists. It finally wiggled its ...more
Lori
Ok, This is Saramago. How could I NOT give it 5 stars? I love this author. This is the 5th novel I have read of his, and I was really quite impressed with it.

Here we meet Cipriano Algor, a humble potter supplying the Center with his plates and mugs and water jugs. Poor in material things, but certainly not in spirit. I wanted so badly to be able to meet Cipriano, to sit beside him and listen to him talk while I ruffeled his dog Founds' ears. I wanted to ride beside him in the van as he delivere
...more
Victoria
The Cave is my first experience of Saramago, and I suspect it doesn't represent the qualities that won him the Nobel prize, though it may well deal with representative themes. One of the blurbs mentions that Saramago described himself as an essayist who turned to novel-writing, and this work could easily be described as an essay on the dangers of urbanization and centralization, the inevitable but sad decline of the individual artisan, and the complicated but ultimately overwhelmingly valuable n ...more
Mahmoud Aziz
وماذا بعد ؟
متى ستفعلها يا سيد خوسيه؟
متى سأقرأ لك شيئًا عاديًا لا يبهرني؟
ساراماجو، اعطني أسوأ ما لديك بالله!


فيها حاجات كتير ممكن أتكلم عنها ، بس صعب تتكتب

4 نجمات
الخامسة، انتزعها ساراماجو عنوة في آخر ثلاثين صفحة
Rola
حسنا ،،،، بعد رواية ثانية مع ساراماجو يأتي ما فوق التقدير ،،،

كانت التجربة الأولي مع « انقطاعات الموت» و التي بدأت ذروتها منذ الصفحات الأولي ،،،، الأمر الذي يتضاد تقريبا مع الرواية هنا ،،،
حيث تمر الأحداث كحكاية عادية لأسرة (صانع خزف) ،، يمضي به و بأسرته العمر بين مطبات الأيام العادية ، ما بين خوف و قلق إلي سعادة مرتقبة إلي أحلام تتهاوى،،، مع لمحات خفيفة هنا و هناك من الصورة و الغاية الروائية التي يسعي إليها ،، حتي تنتهي الرواية بتجميع كل قطع الأحجية لتظهر لديك الصورة كاملة.

و ما بين الصفحات الطو
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Steve
There is something beautiful here that is certainly not lost in translation. The story itself seems so simple that it cannot possibly be interesting, but the writing transcends the story and pulls you in. I could not stop thinking about this book and if I'm honest with myself, I think there are lessons in these pages that will stick with me for some time to come. I was slightly worried by where the story was heading near the end, but Saramago pulled the story into an allegory I was not prepared ...more
Gertrude & Victoria
The Cave was the first Saramago story I read and it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I thought it was one of his best novels, if not the best. Saramago's depiction of an elderly man, his family, and the changing times, during which they lived is beautifully brought to life.

It is a remarkable tale of a man who struggles to keep up with an ever changing world, one that has outpaced his traditions as a potter, an occupation that had been handed down from previous generations of craftsmen in his fa
...more
Kim Marshall
Jan 28, 2008 Kim Marshall rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy clasic literature
Recommended to Kim by: josema vilchez nima
Shelves: fiction, favorites
This is a book that I must read again. But be forewarned, Saramago's writing style is a bit difficult to get use to. Essentially, he writes in one continuous stream with few paragraph breaks. The dialog is not parsed by speaker and is essentially never quoted or broken up. Different parts of the same sentences are even sometimes uttered by different individuals. One must determine who is talking entirely from the context of the text.

Thought I found this difficult at first, I eventually became us
...more
أميــــرة
هذه رواية تشذّ عن أسلوب ساراماجو صاحب الكتابات الفانتازية. وربما تكون هي أول رواية بالمعنى المتفق عليه للروايات. فالشخصيات عمومًا في الكتابات السابقة لساراماجو هي مجرد واجهات لعرض الفكرة؛ فعند ساراماجو الفكرة هي البطلة دائمًا، ثم يليها أي شئ آخر.

ولإن ساراماجو مختلف دائمًا، فمن المتوقع أن يتناول الشخصيات -عندما يقرر أن يوليها بعض الإهتمام أخيرًا- بطريقة مميزة للغاية. وربما السبب هو أن القصة هنا إنسانية بحتة، ويُمكن تأويل أحداثها الصغيرة بأشكال متعددة.

لا تتوقع أن تقرأ نصًا لاهثًا محمومًا بالأحداث.
...more
Stela

The Wall

COMING SOON, PUBLIC OPENING OF PLATO’S CAVE, AN EXCLUSIVE ATTRACTION, UNIQUE IN THE WORLD, BUY YOUR TICKET NOW.

I don’t know why the end of José Saramago’s novel reminded me of the old joke with the child who asks his father why the writers have got street names. In fact I know why – the apparently innocent question hints to the way of reasoning of an entire society whose values have no common point whatsoever with the culture anymore, a pragmatic society that sees the eternal ideas as si
...more
Allen B. Lloyd
Jose Saramago's The Cave, which takes its title from Plato's allegory concerning the nature of truth and illusion, follows the struggles of an aging potter, Cipriano Algor, and his attempt to maintain his artisanal and familial traditions against the looming shadow of The Center, a homogenized edifice of senseless capitalism and spurious culture. When informed that his ceramic wares are being superseded by plastic facsimiles, Algor tries to survive by creating clay dolls, which, ironically, are ...more
James
I read "Blindness" by Saramago and really liked it, but "The Cave" didn't really do anything for me. Apparently, a lot of people consider this to be a brilliant and illuminating novel, and though I can see why they might say that, it was lost on me.

This book basically rambles on for 300 pages about an old potter and his struggle to find meaning in his life. Basically he makes pottery for a large residential/commercial complex and lives with his daughter and son in law. The complex tells him they
...more
Anne
The Cave tells the story of aging potter Cipriano Algor who lives in a small village with his daughter and son-in-law. As the world changes, Cirpriano finds that his pottery is no longer in demand and that his daughter, now pregnant with her own child, wants to move to the more modern "Center" in town. As Cipriano comes to terms with change, he takes in a stray dog, falls in love with a widow, and comes up with a new clay product to sell to the masses. Not much actually happens in this book in t ...more
Gabriel
Think Plato. Allegory of the cave.

Ok, so we spend our lives staring at the flickering wall of a cave. So, is Saramago imitating that wall with this book? Does he ramble on about the mundane details to illuminate us, to teach us a lesson, to nudge us into turning around; or is he just adding to the flicker? I want to think he's trying to teach us something, but the lesson was lost on me. I thought it was a bit dull, and the naration, focusing heavily on an old potter, seemed to reflect the rambl
...more
Qais
هي الرواية الأولى التي أقرأها للكاتب البرتغالي جوزيه ساراماغو.
وكما كنت قد أشرت في وقت سابق –قبل أن تنتصف الرواية. أنها عمل بديع، ومتقن، غير نظرتي للحياة بطريقة بسيطة و مثيرة للدهشة، فأصبحت متأملاً ومحللاً –وبشكل دائم– لكل التصرفات والأحداث المحيطة بي أو التي تختلج نفسي. لقد قادتني لأن أفهم، أن أعي وأرى ما لا كانت تراه عيناي، ولا تصل أذناي إلى سماعه ولا عقلي إلى تأمله.

لقد تجاوزت هذه الرواية –عبر الأسلوب السردي الفريد والرائع لكاتبها وفلسفته وبراعته في الغوص عميقاً لسبر أغوار النفس البشرية، لتحلي
...more
Nelson Zagalo
Um dos melhores livros de Saramago, após receber o Nobel. Um livro que nos interroga sobre o momento que vivemos, que toca o fundo da profissão que escolhemos, que nos interroga sobre o dia de amanhã dessa mesma profissão, mais fundo do que isso, interroga se somos apenas o que essa profissão é, ou podemos ser mais... São vários os temas que Saramago convoca para questionar o mercantilismo e a velocidade a que este nos ultrapassa a cada dia, mas o livro é mais do que isso, é todo um trabalho de ...more
Silvia
Sunt cărți pe care le-am citit într-o noapte, într-un delir al cititorului care descoperă o lume nouă, dar sunt și cărți pe care le-am citit aproape ceremonios, cu pixul în mână, luând notițe și rezervându-mi 20 de pagini pe zi, pentru a nu le termina prea repede. Cartea asta m-a fascinat prin scriitură, una calmă, deschisă, o scriitură deosebită care m-a atins. Mi-a plăcut în mod deosebit și frazarea ce părea să nu aibă sfârșit, lipsa de paragrafe și de împărțire a cărții în dialoguri, pentru a ...more
Cat
With a dash of a dystopian reality, Saramago takes us to an unnamed city where the Centre, a huge, megalomaniac commercial/residential complex is taking over. Cipriano Algor is an elderly potter who lives in the outskirts of the city with his daughter Marta and her husband Marçal Gacho, who works as a guard in the Centre. Cipriano is a regular provider of his pottery to the Centre, until the it is decided they no longer need Cipriano's services. With his future in danger, he and his daughter Mar ...more
Thing Two
Apr 23, 2012 Thing Two rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Thing Two by: 21st Century Book Club
This is a difficult book for me to review. On one hand, I've never found a book with so much truth in it. I dog-eared so many pages I had to go back and selectively choose the ones I'd add to my quotes to remember for later. But, I'm not sure I got what he was trying to say.

This is the story of one recently widowed man who lives with his only daughter and her relatively new husband. He is a potter, from a long line of potters. His wife was a potter. His daughter is also a potter. Pottery making
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Donovan Richards
The Perfect Circle

In Plato’s Republic, Socrates expands his theory of forms through the famous allegory of the cave. For Plato and by extension, Socrates, objects existed in two realms: the spiritual and the physical. By definition, the physical realm comprised of imperfect objects; the spiritual realm, on the other hand, contained perfect representations of objects.

As an example, consider a drawn circle. No matter how hard one tries to compose this circle, it will never be perfect. Our hands re
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kyle
So simple and so profound. A summary makes it seem overly allegorical. The totalitarian Center as antagonist, the simple potter and his family and their dying way of life as protagonists. The clay dolls which symbolically have life breathed into them. Clever. But Saramago infuses this simple tale with so much humanity that I don't think I will forget any of the major characters anytime soon. Surprisingly the most memorable, and my favorite part of the book, is the dog Found. I can't think of ano ...more
Ahmed Moghazy
"عمل مليء بالعمق و المرح، والغنى الفلسفى غير العادي الذى يميز كل روايات ساراماجو، الكهف أحد الكتب التى لا يمكن الإستغناء عن قراتها فى زماننا"
ما سبق مأخوذ من ظهر النسخة الإنجليزية للكتاب –والعهدة على موقع جودريدز- أما رأيى أنا الشخصى المتواضع هو أن الإسم الأنسب لهذه الرواية ليس "الكَهف" و إنما "السُخف"!
فهذه الرواية تتوفر فيها كل معايير الرواية السخيفة فى رأيى و هى:
-أن يمكن تلخيص كامل أحداث الرواية التى دبجها الكاتب عبر مئات الصفحات فى أسطر قليلة بدون أى إجتزاء مخل!
-ألا تحمل الرواية أى فكرة أعمق م
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دُعـــــاء القـريوتـي
و تأتي النهاية أخيرا !
بعد أن طلع الكاتب روحنا على مدار قرابة ال 500 صفحة يأتي أخيرا بالتايهة و يرمي الينا في اخر 40 صفحة تقريبا خلاصة ما عناه
و يكشف عن اسقاطه للجمهورية الأفلاطونية على قصة هذه العائلة التي فقدت اهتمامي بمصائر أفرادها بعد ال 100 صفحة الأولى -أتساهل في هذا للعلم-
و كلي عقل باطن يصرخ في وجهي أن اقذفي بهذا العذاب من الشرفة!


أن أضطر الى تحمل عناء قراءة أكثر من 400صفحة- تفتقر للسرد الأدبي و تزخر بالملل- للوصول الى فكرة الرواية -و المفصلة على ظهر غلافها الخارجي- هو قمة الغباء !
عدا عن محا
...more
Christopher Rex
Amazing. The King of Allegory does it again. If you like dogs, you should read this for his description and character of "Found" the dog alone.
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1285555
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...
Blindness (Blindness, #1) Death with Interruptions The Gospel According to Jesus Christ All the Names Seeing (Blindness, #2)

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“...in matters of feeling and of the heart, too much is always better than too little.” 119 likes
“What does reading do, You can learn almost everything from reading, But I read too, So you must know something, Now I'm not so sure, You'll have to read differently then, How, The same method doesn't work for everyone, each person has to invent his or her own, whichever suits them best, some people spend their entire lives reading but never get beyond reading the words on the page, they don't understand that the words are merely stepping stones placed across a fast-flowing river, and the reason they're there is so that we can reach the farther shore, it's the other side that matters, Unless, Unless what, Unless those rivers don't have just two shores but many, unless each reader is his or her own shore, and that shore is the only shore worth reaching.” 49 likes
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