Starting at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s, in an unidentified country in an undetermined year, in José Saramago’s new novel, “Death. José Saramago prefaces his newly translated novella, Death with Interruptions, with two epigraphs: a prediction and a supposition. “We will know less and less. Ted Gioia reviews Death With Interruptions by Jose Saramago at Great Books Guide.

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Yet in the second half of the novel, Saramago shifts gears entirely. This is done in a distinctive, multi-voiced style, skilfully maintained in Costa’s translation. Perhaps his greatest novel, The Gospel According to Interruprions Christ, takes a simple twist – Jesus was the son of Joseph, not God – to explore matters of belief, duty and sin.

It almost seems like a different novel altogether, except that the mystery that runs through both halves is the same. The New York Times. Contact Ted Gioia at tedgioia hotmail. I love how lyrical his writing is, and I think he always picks such interesting premises to explore!

Saramago has a knack for confronting the reader with something he is not prepared for, and thereby pulling him into the reality of the text. The concept is not a new one.

September Summer Summary: However, in an effort to kill more kindly, death will now send a letter to those about to perish, giving them a week to prepare for their end.

I completely understand wanting to save it. When you do decide to dig in, enjoy. What a thoroughly ingenious idea.

First released in in its original Portuguese, the novel was translated into English by Margaret Jull Costa in The most fully developed character in this novel is the personification of death, who is, at best, a one-dimensional protagonist.


And then, mid novel, there is a turning point, when a powerful man receives a mysterious violet envelope. Meanwhile, across the border, death continues to claim its victims as before. I hope you enjoy whichever you start with! The end result is a book that never quite coheres. I think it would depend even more than usual on the narrator.

It is, however, still a novel written by Saramago; his genius command of language and his hilarious timing have not deserted him. My All-Time Favorite Authors.

Death with Interruptions by José Saramago | Quarterly Conversation

The violet-envelope-encased letters create a frenzy in the jise, as people are not just returned to dying, but also must face the specter of receiving one of these letters and having their fate sealed with it. Saramago tackles these questions and more as this incredibly unique and creative tale unfolds.

We are now back in Fredric March territory, and the focus shifts from the macro level of the first half of the book to the specific situation of a small cast of characters. This web site and its sister sites may receive promotional copies of review items and other materials from publisher, publicists and other parties.

Death with Interruptions is shorter, though, so I started with that one. It really is ingenious, and so well executed. For fans of his previous works, Death with Interruptions is worth reading if only to slip once again into his densely structured syntax. This sounds absolutely fascinating and a must read. I definitely think Saramago is destined to be a classic author.

It sounds like I need to grab this one as well, as the synopsis sounds dearh very intriguing to me. In the first half of his book, Saramago is less interested in how specific characters deal with the disappearance of death than, as noted above, with the group dynamics that ensue.

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Like Terry Pratchett’s memorably stoical skeleton in Mort, Saramago’s death is often very intrrruptions. Everyone says his stuff is unique and different but so worthwhile. He avoids the capitalization of proper names of people or places, and especially of his protagonist “death” who emphatically insists that her name be written lowercase. My favourite is Blindness whicj I loved for its emotional impact, but it sounds as though this book is just as clever as The Double. Death investigates the case of this mysterious, and seemingly immortal musician, and soon finds herself hopelessly attracted to her intended victim.

Thoughts on “Death with Interruptions” by Jose Saramago

I want to read everything else Saramago has ever written, because I suspect that at least a few of his other novels must be as clever as Death with Interruptions. Death reemerges not long thereafter, this time as a woman named death the lowercase name is used to signify the difference between the death who ends the life of people, and the Death who will end all of the Universe.

I am in love with this book. Fortunately, about halfway in something happens: I think of him as a classic author and he is definitely on my list for the upcoming year!

Hold the grim reaper

I, too, worried about his style being inaccessible and was pleasantly surprised! I have a long history of loving experimental fiction! Death discovers that, without reason, this man has mistakenly not been killed.