The Double

The Double

Book - 2004
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Tertuliano Máximo Afonso is a history teacher in a secondary school. He is divorced, involved in a rather one-sided relationship with a bank clerk, and he is depressed. To lift his depression, a colleague suggests he rent a certain video. Tertuliano watches the film and is unimpressed. During the night, noises in his apartment wake him. He goes into the living room to find that the VCR is replaying the video, and as he watches in astonishment he sees a man who looks exactly like him-or, more specifically, exactly like the man he was five years before, mustachioed and fuller in the face. He sleeps badly.

Against his own better judgment, Tertuliano decides to pursue his double. As he establishes the man's identity, what begins as a whimsical story becomes a dark meditation on identity and, perhaps, on the crass assumption behind cloning-that we are merely our outward appearance rather than the sum of our experiences.

Publisher: Orlando ; Toronto : Harcourt, c2004.
ISBN: 9780151010400
Characteristics: 324 p. ;,22 cm.


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Apr 07, 2015

This novel, by the Nobel winner from Portugal, Jose Saramago, was made into a movie, Enemy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The complexity of the film, pushed me into reading this novel, which then pushed me into reading a long interview of Saramago in the Paris Review. Only upon reading the interview, do I really get a greater understanding of the novel. According to Saramago, he gets an idea that he wishes to explore and he develops a character. Day-by-day, he tries to think what his characters think, while ponder about the initial idea. This is exactly how the book reads. We are actually following the sequence that Saramago follows as he writes the book. In the interview, Saramago, states his belief that Americans like his works less than Europeans because Americans generally prefer simpler writing.

lpr Apr 01, 2012

We struggle with different aspects of ourselves. This is based on those late night wonderings "what would my life be like if..."

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