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3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  617 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Jesusalém é seguramente a mais madura e mais conseguida obra de um escritor em plena posse das suas capacidades criativas. Aliando uma narrativa a um tempo complexa e aliciante ao seu estilo poético tão pessoal, Mia Couto confirma o lugar cimeiro de que goza nas literaturas de língua portuguesa. A vida é demasiado preciosa para ser esbanjada num mundo desencantado, diz um...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Caminho (first published 2002)
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"Não chegamos realmente a viver durante a maior parte da nossa vida. Desperdiçamos-nos numa espraiada letargia a que, para nosso próprio engano e consolo, chamamos existência. No resto, vamos vagamuleando, acesos apenas por breves intermitências."

Li este livro com serenidade e encantamento, como se embalada por uma canção de ninar…
Mia Couto, na sua peculiar forma de “falar” – doce, mágica, poética – conta-nos uma linda história de amor, crescimento, culpa, desencontros, desencantos,...
Inventa pe...more
I am writing this is the warmth of book hangover. I don't want to move on to another book just yet. I want to keep feeling this one a bit longer.
At first I struggled, deliberate, wanting to enjoy it. I had so loved the author in interview that I wanted to love this book. It was not working. I could not get a handle, could not hear a voice. I began to think that his world was shut to me, that I could not be transported into his book through an English translation. Then, somewhere around 40% it b...more
«O mundo termina quando já não somos capazes de o amar.»

Jesusalém lavou-me as lágrimas… Nas últimas páginas, já marejavam alteradas, porque, no meio desta história, somos inadvertidamente submetidos a processos parecidos aos da vida, característicos da boa literatura… Não serão os mesmos?

Percebe-se que Mia Couto, nos seus livros, escreve apaixonadamente, instigado por um amor que fatalmente nos enleia, como seres humanos. É infatigável ler as suas palavras que reparam os fragmentos da vida d...more
Jun 08, 2013 Rita rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: e-book

Esta é a única única palavra que encontro para definir o meu estado assim que comecei este livro.

Assim que começamos o livro, Mia Couto transporta-nos para África, mais propriamente para nenhures, ou melhor para Jesusalém. Enquanto lemos o romance passamos a habitar naquele pedaço de terra abandonado em Moçambique, passamos a ver as paisagens descritas e a sentir os cheiros únicos de um continente mágico. Passamos a fazer parte da história.
É poesia em prosa, é brincadeira com as pala...more
Friederike Knabe

"I was eleven years old when I saw a woman for the first time, and I was seized by such sudden surprise that I burst into tears." This opening line pulled me immediately into Mia Couto's novel, The Tuner of Silences; it raised questions for me from the beginning and these didn't let me go til the end. Mwanito, the narrator, reflecting back on the early years of his life, recounts his experiences while living in the company of three men and his slightly older brother in a remote campside in a sem...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I read this book because it was on the list for the 2014 Tournament of Books. Mia Couto is native to Mozambique and writes in Portuguese, so this is a translated novel.

Each chapter starts with quotations, most from Portuguese-language poets, many of whom I wish had works translated into English. I think most of the time, the quotes the author selected were my favorite parts of the novel. I'm not sure if I didn't really understand what was going on, or if there wasn't anything to understand. Is i...more
«Em criança não nos despedimos dos lugares. Pensamos que voltamos sempre. Acreditamos que nunca é a última vez.»
I don’t know if it was the fantastical elements such as a boy learning how to read and write with nothing more than a pack of playing cards and the labels on crates of weapons or the quasi-poetical language such as “We never really get to live during most of our life. We waste ourselves in a boundless lethargy that we delude and console ourselves by calling it existence.”, but this book made no sense to me. Plus, there total nonsense like, “This is what these black women have that we can never...more
José-contemplates-Saturn's Aurora

No! in the above photo:... he's not the 11-year-old Mwanito; the main character of Mia's book. But who knows?...

Mwanito had been, in a way, "abducted" by his father Silverio. Mother had died, they were living in a city....
And father took his two kids to the jungle. A remote place where he'll forbid kids to pray or to read or write...or even to hug his father. It's the story of a father gone crazy in the wilderness and the attempt by the children (older Ntunzi and Mwanito) to cope with the fact...more
Celeste Corrêa
Jerusalém é um livro que retrata numa linguagem muito poética e original (como é lindo o português de Moçambique ) o mais violento e cego dos desejos humanos: o desejo de esquecer.

Mas, como diz uma das personagens:

“ Não se pode esquecer tudo tanto tempo. Não existe viagem assim tão longa…”


I read this because it was on the short list for the Tournament of Books. The reading experience was similar to reading other novels set in African countries and written by African writers. It felt very foreign and outside of my own experience. And yet I felt an affinity with and understanding of the characters caused by the excellence of the writing and I suppose the translation also.

The other morning I looked up some reviews of the novel and background on the author. While doing so, I realized...more
A man isolates his two children in an abandoned game park in Mozambique. He tells them that there is nothing outside of their border - that the rest of the world has been decimated and they are the only ones left. The younger son, now eleven, has known no other life. The elder son is frequently beaten.

The Tuner of Silences is beautifully written, but that all comes to nought if the story is inaccessible. I felt as though there was inner meaning to be discovered, but I struggled to understand bas...more
For eight years, Mwanito lives with his father, brother and two other men in his father's silent and self-created land of Jezoosalem, while his father waits for an apology from God. Mwanito has been told the rest of the world is dead. He has never seen a woman. Then one day, a woman arrives, throwing everything Mwanito thinks he knows into chaos.

The first half of Mia Couto's novel, set mostly on a deserted game reserve in war torn Mozambique, is achingly sad and atmospherically beautiful. There...more
This one will be battling it out in the 2014 Tournament of Books ( I might not known of its existence if it wasn't on the list. But as soon as I read the description, it sounded absolutely amazing. In Mozambique, a man named Silvestre decides to take his two sons to live in an abandoned game reserve called Jezoosalem. He tells his sons the world has ended, there are no other people left and basically doesn't allow them to do anything: dream, read, write, pray. They are wa...more
I really wanted to love this book. It was definitely seductive - a very evocative and unique atmosphere (a deserted game preserve in Mozambique where an oddly assorted family have taken refuge from the outside world, ruled over by a mad and mystical patriarch - a post-colonial Tempest in a way), and some of the writing was beautifully done. I especially liked the snippets of Portuguese poetry (all of it new to me and much of it hauntingly good) that began every chapter.

But ultimately, the aphori...more
Though it loses steam narratively, the beauty of Couto's language should more than carry readers of this uprooted but dirt-buried family. Like any haunted story there is a horrific past, buried in the minds of those who do not wish to speak of it; there is a man become mad, a place gothically inscribed with the intricacies of secrets, ghosts, and history. More than that, however, there is the pause and explosion of creative language:
Once again, it was Dona Dordalma, our absent mother, who was th
Há uns meses atrás não imaginava sequer vir a ler este livro. Mas a vida assim o quis, e imagine-se só que, quando o recebi pelo Natal, o próprio livro veio parar às minhas mãos por engano! A minha família, baseada na lista de livros que gostaria de receber pela época natalícia, confundiu «Jerusalém» de Gonçalo M. Tavares, com este, de Mia Couto. Foi, portanto uma surpresa. Uma surpresa oportuna.

Jesusalém é o nome de um país imaginário. Todos os países do mundo são imaginários, criados pelo home...more
I finished this book today and I don´t really know what to think. I´ve enjoyed it, but somehow I need a reason, a point, for this story, and I can´t really find it. The book probably doesn´t need a point, sometimes a point isn´t even needed, but for me right now there needs to be a point. So in that respect, it´s not the book, it´s me. But that doesn´t mean that the book isn´t any good, because I believe it is very good for the right reader at the right time.
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Mwanito, o afinador de silêncios é o personagem principal desta comovente história.
As frases de Mia Couto são belíssimas e é isso que marca o livro.

Em silêncio nos quedamos... a saborear o seu desfecho.

"E todo o silêncio é música em estado de gravidez."

"Viver é cumprir sonhos, esperar notícias."

"A cegueiras é o destino de quem se deixa tomar de assalto pela paixão: deixamos de ver quem amamos. Em vez disso, o apaixonado fita o abismo de si mesmo."
I wasn't sure what this book was about, but it was on the short list for the Tournament of Books, and coming in at around 224 pages I knew it would be a quick read. What I wasn't prepared for was how beautifully poetic and dream-like the writing was even when describing some pretty horrific events. There were lines in the story that made me pause and relish the beauty and sadness of the writing.

"You were once a good teller of stories, father. Now you are a story badly told."

The Tuner of Silence...more
Cláudia Lopes
uma metáfora sobre como o não ultrapassar dos maus momentos pode enlouquecer, ensurdecer,emudecer e cegar... muito bom
Pedro Marques
Grande livro, com um enredo imaginativo e deliciosas expressões em português “modificado” que só um africano conseguiria inventar como: “Desconsegui” (Zacaria Kalash a explicar, com uma só palavra, não ter conseguido matar a portuguesa), ou “Tive as minhas mortes, felizmente, todas elas passageiras” (novamente Zacaria). Simplesmente, genial!
Carla Rodrigues
Este é apenas o segundo livro que leio do Mia Couto, tendo sido o primeiro "A Varanda do Frangipani", mas já percebi que tenho de ler muito mais deste escritor moçambicano. É simplesmente maravilhoso.

Este "Jesusalém" não é fácil de descodificar: uma família incompleta, sem a figura (central) materna isola-se do mundo por decisão do pai, Silvestre Vitalício, que na sua loucura (ou não) cria uma nação, Jesusalém, onde a sua palavra é lei . Leva o seus filhos, Ntunzi e Mwanito, que relata a históri...more
Two stars -- it was okay. I don't read a ton of literature in translation, so for me, this was a stretch I probably wouldn't have taken if not for the Tournament of books. The author was born in Mozambique and this was originally written in Portuguese.

The snippets of poetry that begin each chapter make more sense in that context, but I found myself impatient with them, as they were so much more touchy-feely than the rest of the text that they didn't feel organic.

The first lines are pretty pheno...more
3.5 I liked the poetic language and the dreamlike feel of this novel set in Mozambique and translated from Portuguese. It reminded me a lot of My Abandonment by Peter Rock, about a girl and her father living in Forest Park in Portland.

The Tuner of Silences is about a father who takes his sons to live in the middle of a national game reserve, where he tells them the rest of the world has died, they are the only people, and they are waiting for God to come and apologize to them. The first sentenc...more
Dizem-se coisas muito grandes, em formas muito simples...
Read this because of its inclusion in the Tournament of Books. Not even really sure what to say, very flowery writing, overly poetic and lots of craziness. Basic story had potential, father takes sons into a deserted game reserve to live, telling them the rest of the world is gone. For most of the book we don't really know why, the mother is dead, killed by father? we don't know. The book didn't work for me. The poetic insights into life and love were abundant, but that doesn't make for a good s...more
This was one of those books that starts off with great promise. I'm drawn in immediately, the characers are fascinating, the story makes me want to know more. Where are they? Why? What really happened? The first 1/3 of the novel reads like dystopian fiction, weaving reality and self-imposed myth in an amazing and layered way. We are talking five star read, here!

And then CRASH.

Everything interesting about the novel crumbles and it becomes overwrought, dull, and, I have to say it, boring.

Weird, a bit difficult, but worth it. Closer to poetry than prose. It's a book of loss and mourning.

"Fury is just a different way of crying."

"At night, his tongue would unfold like a snake's. He would wake up with the taste of venom in his mouth, as if he'd been kissed by the devil. All because a soldier's slumber is a slow parade of the dead."

"Family, school, other people, they all elect some spark of promise in us, some area in which we may shine. Some are born to sing, others to dance, othe...more
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Journalist and a biologist, his works in Portuguese have been published in more than 22 countries and have been widely translated. Couto was born António Emílio Leite Couto.
He won the 2013 Camões Prize for Literature, one of the most prestigious international awards honoring the work of Portuguese language writers (created in 1989 by Portugal and Brazil).

An international jury at the Zimba...more
More about Mia Couto...
Sleepwalking Land O último voo do flamingo Um Rio Chamado Tempo, Uma Casa Chamada Terra Venenos de Deus, Remédios do Diabo A Confissão da Leoa

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“Quem viveu pregado a um só chão não sabe sonhar outros lugares.” 30 likes
“A vida é demasiado preciosa para ser esbanjada num mundo desencantado.” 26 likes
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