Stephen Durrant's Reviews > El viaje del elefante

El viaje del elefante by José Saramago
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's review
Feb 12, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: elephant-s-journey
Read in February, 2011

Saramago was a great writer, but this is not one of his better efforts. His account of an Elephant's journey from Lisbon to Vienna, accompanied by an Indian caretaker and escorted part of the way by the Archduke Maximillian, is apparently based upon a true story. The novel is slight, at least in comparison with other of Saramago's works, but does have moments of Saramago's typical charm and humor. I will not forget, for example, his criticism of Jesus's miracle of driving the demons into pigs as not one of the Lord's better efforts (it "could be put down to inexperience, occurring as it did before the cogs in the mechanism for performing miracles were properly oiled"--p156). Yes, indeed. I could never quite figure out the point of that miracle. Anyway,"Elephant's Journey" is at times diverting, but anyone who has not read Saramago would do better with "Blindness" or, one of my favorites, "The Double."
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