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The year of death of Ricardo Reis (1984)

by José Saramago

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,499298,861 (4.01)1 / 83
The world's threats are universal like the sun but Ricardo Reis takes shelter under his own shadow. Back in Lisbon after sixteen years practising medicine in Brazil, Ricardo Reis wanders the rain-sodden streets. He longs for the unattainably aristocratic Marcenda, but it is Lydia, the hotel chamber maid who makes and shares his bed. His old friend, the poet Fernando Pessoa, returns to see him, still wearing the suit he was buried in six weeks earlier. It is 1936, the clouds of Fascism are gathering ominously above them, so they talk; a wonderful, rambling discourse on art, truth, poetry, philosophy, destiny and love.… (more)
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English (21)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Eh. The concept was better than the execution. Sorry, but I don't care about Ricardo's bad relationships and moping. ( )
  tronella | Jun 6, 2020 |
Always a big fan of Jose Saramago’s works. His writing style may be frustrating for the more prescriptive followers of grammar, but the context of Saramago’s writing can be deep and superficial at the same time. You know there’s more, but you really have to think about it. ( )
  RoxieT | Nov 9, 2019 |
Saramago's writing is ever beautiful, his stories complex and careful. True to form, The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis is a quiet book with layers upon layers of wonder, meaning, and humanity--Ricardo Reis is a poet/doctor whose distinctive voice and character are both quiet and demanding, drawing in readers and pulling them forward through what unfolds to be a graceful and entrancing story. Stylistically and in terms of story, this is far from being Saramago's most accessible work, but it is worth every moment of reading for those readers who'll venture into it and become lost in its world.

Recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Jul 4, 2017 |
I loved this one my senior year. ( )
1 vote engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
I think I would enjoy Jose Saramago's book so much more if he wasn't so bloody difficult to read. "The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis" could use a lot more paragraphs and a slew of quotation marks.

At any rate, I think Saramago is pretty brilliant and has interesting things to say, though I don't particularly enjoy reading him. I thought Saramago's Baltasar and Blimunda had more of a payoff for the work than this book.

If you're going to read this, do yourself a favor and read up on Fernando Pessoa.... if this weren't a group read where someone pointed me to the Wikipedia entry on Pessoa I would have been completely lost. ( )
  amerynth | May 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Saramago, Joséprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Desti, RitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pontiero, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Epigraph
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Wijs is hij die genoegen neemt met het schouwspel van de wereld
Ricardo Reis
Ik heb in mijn leven altijd angstvallig gezocht naar manieren om niet te hoeven handelen
Bernardo Soares
Als men tegen mij zou zeggen dat het dwaas is om zo te praten over iemand die nooit heeft bestaan, antwoord ik dat ik ook geen bewijzen heb dat Lissabon ooit heeft bestaan, of ik die dit schrijf, of wat dan ook.
Fernando Pessoa
Ricardo Reis werd geboren in 1887 (de precieze dag en maand kan ik me niet herinneren, maar heb ik wel ergens liggen) in Porto, is arts en zit momenteel in Brazilië.
Fernando Pessoa
(Brief van 13 januari 1935)
Ricardo Reis keerde na de dood van Fernando Pessoa terug naar Portugal.
José Saramago
Dedication
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Here the sea ends and the earth begins.
Aqui o mar acaba e a terra principia.
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The world's threats are universal like the sun but Ricardo Reis takes shelter under his own shadow. Back in Lisbon after sixteen years practising medicine in Brazil, Ricardo Reis wanders the rain-sodden streets. He longs for the unattainably aristocratic Marcenda, but it is Lydia, the hotel chamber maid who makes and shares his bed. His old friend, the poet Fernando Pessoa, returns to see him, still wearing the suit he was buried in six weeks earlier. It is 1936, the clouds of Fascism are gathering ominously above them, so they talk; a wonderful, rambling discourse on art, truth, poetry, philosophy, destiny and love.

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