Jose Saramago, the Portuguese novelist and winner of a Nobel Prize for literature, has just published a new book, The Double.
A New York Times book review describes it as “clever, alarming and blackly funny, even though its central premise is a literary cliché.
I’ve read three of his other books—The Cave, All the Names, and Blindness—and look forward to reading this one as well, though I’ll probably wait until it comes out in paperback.
I agree with the book review that Blindness is the author’s masterpiece; in fact, I’d rank it up there as one of the top 10 novels of the 20th century. Here’s more from the review:
“Blindness” is a truly frightening account of what happens to so-called civilized values when a mysterious affliction strikes everyone in the world blind, except for a single person. In even his bleakest works, however, there is a note of dark laughter – the same note that sounds through Kafka, Celine and Beckett, who are Saramago’s direct literary ancestors.
Surprisingly for an atheist, Saramago imbues all of his works with a redemptive quality and a hope that outlasts even the darkest, most despairing situations. I highly recommend him.