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The Double

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  7,290 ratings  ·  608 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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Eduardo A. Saramago has explained this earlier:

«As you know, when we speak, we don't use punctuation. We pause [to breath] and even, as I say in my books, the…more
Saramago has explained this earlier:

«As you know, when we speak, we don't use punctuation. We pause [to breath] and even, as I say in my books, the only two punctuation marks are the full stop (or period, in American English) and the comma, are not punctuation marks, they are a pause, a brief pause and a long pause. In the end, as I often say, to speak is to compose music» - in Expresso, 2004.

«(..) I see myself as an oral narrator when I write and that the words by me written ought to be read as well as to be heard. Now, the oral narrator doesn't need punctuation, speaks as he was composing music and uses the same elements as a musician: sounds and pauses, highs and lows, some, brief or long, others.» - in Cadernos de Lanzarote – Diário II (1994)

I translated it as best as I could from the following link:

Community Reviews

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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
Ahmed Oraby
أنا بيتهيألي ممكن أموت دلوقتي وأنا في قمة السعادة
قمة الجمال
قمة العبقرية
خيال ساراماجو العجيب وأفكاره الجهنمية
تعليقاته المضحكة
قوة أسلوبه
عمق الفكرة
متعة الرواية
فن السرد
رواية خرافة
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 !

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
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
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
"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
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
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
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

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
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
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
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
Aba Mafalba
Το τέλος σε αποζημιώνει.
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
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
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
"...tell her the whole story from the beginning, about this extraordinary singular, astonishing, and never-before-seen case of the duplicate man, the unimaginable become reality, the absurd reconciled with the reason, the final proof that for God nothing is impossible, and that the science of this century is, as someone said, a fool."

This is, a tale of double existence, a meditation on words, on numbers, on identity, on the self and existence of being.
And a damn great thriller.
The tale, befo
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
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
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
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.
He de decir que el estilo de Saramago no tiene muchas variantes y puede llegar a ser tedioso después de haberlo leído más una de vez, y más (como en esta obra) cuando el núcleo de la escritura abarca preguntas respondidas por preguntas sin llegar nunca a una respuesta, algo así como una versión cruda y sesuda de Haruki Murakami. Y es precisamente que este autor me vino a la mente ya que constantemente durante mi lectura tuve que constatar que se trataba de Saramago y no de Murakami porque eran c ...more
Beatrice Santos
I'm awful at doing reviews and i feel like i never say anything anyone hasn't already said in their reviews but i'm doing this one because i need to put my astonishment in words once i have no other way of dealing with it.

Fist of all, this is Saramago's first book that really got my attention in terms of plot. I also had liked "All the Names" but this one is far beyond my favorite so far. The plot is genius and the end leaves you screaming for more.
This is one of those books where you end it, pu
A history teacher watching an otherwise forgettable movie inexplicably recommended by a colleague of his realizes that one of the bit actors in the film bears a striking resemblance to himself. No, more than a striking resemblance, he appears to be his exact double. The teacher is fascinated, resolving to identify and locate his double.

This book was a perfect example of why I both love and am bothered by Saramago's works. The ideas behind his books always interest me, but they too often become b
I picked this up in Peru while on holidays. Something to read while I lazed on a secluded beach in the north. Really the perfect environment to read... but this book was a real struggle.

The first two thirds of the book was just so slow and unmemorable, I kept having to read passages over and over again and i'm still not sure whether it's his writing style or it was because I was so bored that it wouldn't sink in. It really didn't get good until the final third when the pace picked up.

The ideas i
Colin McKay Miller
José Saramago’s The Double is a good short story. Problem is, it’s encased in a meandering novel.

The novel focuses on Tertuliano Maximo Afonso, a depressed school teacher who rents a movie and discovers that one of the minor actors looks exactly like him from five years ago—a double—except with a mustache. While most people would go, “Neat, that looks like me with a mustache,” Afonso becomes greatly disturbed. Though the narrator—a voice that has a lot of character itself—defends his actions by
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
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The Movie - Ebemy 3 42 Dec 19, 2014 07:41AM  
  • Dining on Stones
  • Islands
  • Adjunct: An Undigest
  • Thursbitch
  • Shroud
  • Schooling
  • In the Forest
  • That They May Face The Rising Sun
  • The Light of Day
  • Small Remedies
  • Gabriel's Gift
  • Vanishing Point
  • The Heart of Redness
  • Spring Flowers, Spring Frost
  • Celestial Harmonies
  • The Red Queen
  • Nowhere Man
  • The Lambs of London
José de Sousa Saramago (pronounced [ʒuˈzɛ sɐɾɐˈmagu]) was 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 fo
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.” 227 likes
“Chaos is merely order waiting to be deciphered” 226 likes
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