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The Double

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  5,915 ratings  ·  497 reviews
The inspiration for the major motion picture "Enemy" starring Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Denis Villeneuve Tertuliano Máximo Afonso is a divorced, depressed history teacher. To lift his spirits, a colleague suggests he rent a certain video. Tertuliano watches the film, unimpressed. But during the night, when he is awakened by noises in his apartment, he goes into the...more
Paperback, 324 pages
Published October 3rd 2005 by Mariner Books (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Brenda
Oct 07, 2007 Brenda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Saramago fans
I should preface this review with a disclaimer that I both love Jose Saramago and magical realism. Adore both, actually. Do not judge my nerdiness. I will loudly and proudly shout to the line behind me at the book store that I cannot wait to read about a magical mountain range. And when the manager has to come over and escort me to the door with my purchases, I'll shout even louder about how much I admire the tale of an old village woman who lived to be 250. And when the manager tells me I canno...more
Zach
Well, I had planned on starting this review with some choice zingers about Saramago shameless burgling the plot of any or every Murakami novel, wherein some workaday shlub, with a boring job and a boring life and crushingly alone in the world, has a chance-or-not-chance run-in with some inexplicable unnatural or supernatural phenomenon which comes to consume him, only with the Portuguese author applying his trademark run-on sentences and incredibly lengthy paragraphs and narratological excursion...more
mai ahmd
يعتمد ساراماغو أيضا في روايته الآخر مثلي على نفس الأسلوب الذي سار عليه في أغلب رواياته في حوار متتابع لا تعرف من هو المتحدث ، وجدت هذه الطريقة نوعا ما في بداية القراءة مشتتة لكن في الحقيقة هي تتيح لعقلك التفكير وربما إعادة قراءة الحوار أكثر من مرة وما إن انتبهت لطريقة ساراماغو المذهلة حتى أعجبتُ بها، إنه يتركك حائرا تتساءل وتعيد لكي تفهم مع الوقت أصبحت تفهم الشخصيات وطريقة تفكيرهم لذلك يصبح الأمر كلغز أنت قادر على حله الأمر يحتاج فقط أن تجتهد وهذا سيجعلك مبتهجا تثني على طريقة ساراماغو الذكية !

حي...more
David
I did not really enjoy Saramago's The Double. To begin with, it's a sloppy handling of a theme which has been done over-and-over, and better done at that: Dickin's The Tale of Two Cities, Poe's "William Wilson," Nabokov's Despair and Dostoyevsky's The Double were all better handlings of the doppelgänger theme than this, I felt. This felt kind of like a more sinister "The Parent Trap" or dropped episode of The Twilight Zone (dropped for being too long maybe). It wasn't bad, I won't say that. Ever...more
Ama
Sep 24, 2007 Ama rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who're fond of magical realism
I figured out the inevitable ending of this book about halfway through it, but getting to the end was certainly not tedious . The language (lyrically translated by Margaret Costa) is full of unusual but vivid imagery ("...she had noticed a kind of embarassed catch in his voice, a disharmony that occasionally distorted his delivery, like the characteristic vibrato produced by a cracked water jar when struck with the knuckles"), and the novel is filled with sophisticated phrases that fit oddly wel...more
Tej
May 10, 2013 Tej rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tej by: Jasmeet
A story of a school history teacher, whose archaic name, Tertuliano Máximo Afonso, is a constant prick and an incessant irritant to him, only dealt with timid avoidance and shameful efforts at courage. This passage paints him well ;

"Tertuliano Máximo Afonso does not belong to that extraordinary group of people who can smile even when alone, his nature inclines him more to melancholy, to reverie, to an exaggerated awareness of the transience of life, to an incurable perplexity when faced by the g...more
Madeline
"The man who has just come into the shop to rent a video bears on his identity card a most unusual name, a name with a classical flavor that time has staled, neither more nor less than Tertuliano Maximo Afonso. The Maximo and the Afonso, which are in more common usage, he can just about tolerate, depending, of course, on the mood he's in, but the Tertuliano weighs on him like a gravestone and has done, ever since he first realized that the wretched name lent itself to being spoken in an ironic,...more
James
It's possible something got lost in translation, but this book struck me as one of those texts that critics go ga-ga over because it's a slightly humorous diatribe that reassures their ideals (Words define the way we think about, you know, everything! Characters in stories aren't actually real; they're just characters in a narrative, like us!).
What could have been a solid 200-some page story about a depressed history teacher's obsession with his anonymous double, found playing a bit part in a f...more
Hugo Emanuel
O tema do "duplo" - ou "doppelgänger" - é relativamente comum na literatura. Um considerável numero de escritores, alguns dos quais grandes vultos da literatura, já o abordaram antes - Edgar Allen Poe em "William Wilson; Nabokov em "Desespero"; Bram Stoker em "Crooken Sands"; Dostoyevsky em "O Duplo", Dickens em "A Tale Of Two Cities" (que ainda não li), só para citar alguns. Tendo em conta não só a quantidade de vezes que este tema foi abordado mas também por que escritores, pode dizer-se que s...more
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 16, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Tata J
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Must Read Books Before You Die
Shelves: 1001-non-core
My 2nd book by the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature awardee, Jose de Sousa Saramago. I am still impressed.

With Blindness as the first, I can now say that Mr. Saramago has a distinctive writing style: he uses long sentences, at times more than a page long. He also uses periods sparingly, choosing instead a loose flow of clauses joined by commas. Many of his paragraphs extend for pages without pausing for dialog, which Mr. Saramago chooses not to delimit by quotation marks; when the speaker changes...more
Patrizia O
Il protagonista, l’uomo duplicato, è Tertuliano Maximo Afonso, professore di storia che casualmente scopre di avere un doppio del tutto simile a lui. Un uomo identico. Questa scoperta lo sconvolge e sente che deve assolutamente conoscere il suo doppio per riuscire a essere se stesso. Compagno di questa avventura è il Senso comune che, impietosamente, svela allo stesso Tertuliano la pochezza di certi comportamenti e le banali scuse che spesso gli uomini si inventano per nasconderli a se stessi. S...more
Lori
I quite like Jose Saramago's ideas and story lines, but I find some of his novels very difficult to get through. This being one of them. The first 150-200 pages were hard work, the author tends to overcontemplate, side track his thoughts and expand on the simpliest of things. The last 100 pages or so were the payoff... the story was weaved together much tighter, more focused, and flowed a bit quicker. (hense the 3 stars)

For anyone new to Saramago, I would recommend breaking him into chewable chu...more
سلطان
الترجمة العربية لهذه الرواية العجيبة، صدرت تحت عنوان: الآخر مثلي، وهي ترجمة لا بأس بها.الأمر الوحيد الذي كان مزعجا في الطبعة العربية هو حجم الكتاب وقطعه، الذي صدرت به أغلب إصدارات سلسلة الجوائز في الهيئة المصرية العامة للكتاب.
أما فكرة الرواية العجيبة والعظيمة في الوقت نفسه، فتنتمي إلى عالم الكاتب العبقري جوزيه ساراماغو.
هذه الرواية مبهرة في فكرتها، في بنائها وسرد أحداثها، في غرائبيتها وخاتمتها.
ساراماغو كعادته، يغوص في اعماق النفسية البشرية، ليبني من ادق تفاصيلها
المهملة أحداثاَ مهمة، رغم إسهاب ال...more
Guido
E' vero che il tema del doppio è stato affrontato più volte nella storia della letteratura, da parte di autori illustri e celebrati, nei modi più diversi; d'altra parte, per talento e inventiva, Saramago non ha nulla da invidiare a questi, e si vede. Nel suo caso, il racconto dell'uomo e del suo doppio si sviluppa in un modo molto moderno e incalzante, quasi come un giallo. Difficile, come al solito, paragonarlo agli altri suoi romanzi: lo stile è inconfondibile, così come l'impareggiabile misto...more
Armando
This book is great: Saramago takes an incredibly simple and very well established literary theme and works it out at the level of narrative in a nearly mathematical way. The story is really a painstaking exhaustion of each possible movement and action. And Saramago theorizes it really well as he goes along too, alternately comparing the "moves" of the narrative to the "moves" of a chess game, or to literally physical movements: car crashes and bodily destruction. "The Double" is really really sm...more
Sandra
Tra i libri di Saramago che ho letto finora è quello che mi è piaciuto di meno, l’ho trovato piatto e a tratti noioso, privo di quelle peculiarità che mi hanno fatto apprezzare Memoriale del convento e soprattutto L’anno della morte di Ricardo Reis, quelle bellissime e profonde riflessioni disseminate tra le righe, quel miscuglio di storia e fantasia, di uomini e fantasmi che creano un’atmosfera magica ed ammaliatrice. In questo romanzo si parla della scoperta dell’esistenza di un sosia, un perf...more
Fabian
INFURIATING.

Incredibly hard to read! This was a self-inflicted punishment by an insipid reader trying to introduce himself to a compulsively revolting writer!

Saramago, who is, like his name suggests, a "mago", or wizard, SINGLEHANDEDLY diminishes the joy that reading brings, makes it all one self-assured, self-serving CHORE.

Man, I hated this book. The story could be a novella, would be an amazing and silly and cool one at that, but in novel form... all Saramago does is throw words and strings of...more
Lisa
The Double, by José Saramago, is very entertaining reading. It’s the story of a most ordinary man, a teacher of history, who one night, watching a video, sees himself as he was five years ago on the screen. He becomes consumed by anxiety about this double, and his quest to deal with the problem of who owns his identity is, in the hands of this master storyteller, a remarkable story. To see the rest of my review please visit http://anzlitlovers.wordpress.com/201...
Slim Khezri
A fascinating, fascinating story, that I read it twice. It's one of those plots where you don't see the end coming. That's the kind I like. A secondary school history teacher rents a video out of boredom and discovers among the bit actors his double. Like waves spreading on the surface of a pond, the effects of this startling discovery spread far beyond the initial shock and surprise. The book is well written, with a unique narrative style in which the omniscient narrator repeatedly comments on...more
Steve mitchell
Saramago is saramagood


good book. psychological thriller meets doppelganger and the switcheroo.
some questions should go unanswered and vengeance plus cowardice so
etc.especially pays.
Simona
Quando si parla di Saramago per me è difficile essere razionale, ma questa volta cercherò di trascendere la parte emotiva e concentrarmi su quella razionale per scrivere un commento riguardo questo libro.
Il tema del doppio è stato affrontato da molti scrittori: da Dostoevskij in "Il sosia" sino ad arrivare a Freud e si dice che ci siano sette persone simili a noi nel mondo. Il tema del doppio è affrontato anche da Saramago in questo libro molto interessante e inverosimile, sotto certi punti di...more
El Avestruz Liado
El autor de esta reseña decidió visitar una librería tras haber sido informado de la existencia de un "sucesor espiritual" a la obra “Todos los nombres” con el sugerente título de “El hombre duplicado”. Difícil no percatarse de lo provocativa que es esta noción “sucesor espiritual” ya que, como todos sabemos, no hay anima alguna en un objeto, pero esto omitiría flagrantemente aquella consideración en la que es el alma del escritor la que queda plasmada en cada página, aun cuando nadie les pregun...more
M
I have an odd relationship with Saramago - I first met him when I read Blindness, which blew my mind, and so from here on in whenever I see a book of his I think, well this will be brilliant, and then I read it, and I find that yes, parts of it are, but a lot of it is annoying, and I still feel like I can't give him fewer than three stars because, I mean, he wrote Blindness!
Anyway. The Double is like that - parts of it are really cool and bigger parts, I think, are not. It's about a depressed ma...more
Rebecca
Mar 11, 2008 Rebecca rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: postmodernists and lit nerds
Although he's not very well-known in America, Jose Saramago, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998, is no doubt a literary master of the 20th/21st century. His writing is powerful, confident, amazingly intricate, and sometimes almost dizzying in its profound intellectualism, and all of this comes across even in translation (Saramago writes only in Portuguese).

The type of intellectualism in Saramago's work (here I'm referring not only to The Double, but also to The Cave) is not the pompo...more
محمود حسني


فكرة عبقرية أفسدها ساراماجو بطريقة سرده المملة في هذه الرواية ..

أنا أعرف ساراماجو .. أعرفه في العمى وانقطاعات الموت .. كان ممتاز في العمي وجيد جدا في انقطاعات الموت .. ولكن في هذا العمل كان سيئا ..




Tom Lichtenberg
This is my second book by Saramago and again I find myself reading it as much for the author as for the story. I love getting lost in his digressions and asides, in the way he makes conversations flow, in the furious arguments his characters carry on inside their heads. He makes the most out of the plot device but in many ways its more about the ingredients than the dish, including the savory confrontations with 'common sense' and the narrator who pretends to be 'merely transcribing the thoughts...more
Mircalla64 (free Liu Xiaobo)
L'uomo kafkiano

Tertulliano Maximo Afonso, e già qua bisogna cominciare a capire che il tipo non è un essere ordinario, è un professore di storia. Un giorno gli capita di vedere un film e là dentro scoprire un tipo uguale a lui. Il tipo si chiama Antonio Claro e quando i due si incontreranno il più classico dei topoi verrà confermato...

gustosa variazione sul tema del doppio, questo L'Uomo duplicato è soprattutto un esercizio sopraffino di stile, la scrittura è superbamente postmoderna, come non n...more
Gertrude & Victoria
The Double is a witty and humorous work on identity and human nature. Saramago's ability to capture our imagination with his unusual themes demonstrates his versatility as one of the greatest writers living today. In addition, his prose is replete with elegant phrasing; he has created his own idiom.

In this novel, the main character Maximo Alfonso, a history teacher and lonely individual comes across a person who looks exactly like him in every way possible. This exactness being an astronomical c...more
Rafaela
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tancredi
"Quanto più ti travestirai, tanto più assomiglierai a te stesso."

Ora che ho finito il mio primo romanzo di Saramago e mi tocca commentarlo, mi viene un'immediata ed inevitabile ansia da prestazione.

Cominciamo con il rispondere all'implicita domanda: perché solo quattro stellette? In effetti, se le meriterebbe tutte e cinque. Ma voglio arrivare al prossimo romanzo con la possibilità di essere stupito ancora di più, travolto ancora di più.

La seconda domanda implicita è: perché cominciare proprio d...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...
Blindness (Blindness, #1) Death with Interruptions The Gospel According to Jesus Christ All the Names Seeing (Blindness, #2)

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“Reading is probably another way of being in a place.” 204 likes
“Chaos is merely order waiting to be deciphered” 178 likes
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