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The Notebook Hardcover – April 6, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; 1ST edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844676145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844676149
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nobel Prize winner Saramago offers a rare glimpse into his personal life with the publication of a year's worth of blog entries, assembled in diary form. Encouraged by his family, Saramago agreed to blog about any and everything he had to say. What has emerged is an incredibly poetic and realistic glimpse into our world, often, but not always, through a political lens. Not only does he comment on emerging policies in the United States, he writes exceptionally moving pieces concerning the Middle East, Italy, and many other regions of the globe. Saramago also tackles less harrowing topics; in one anecdote he describes the beauty of Lisbon and his affection for the breathtaking city. He reserves his kindest words, however, for recollections of and gratitude for his friends and mentors, usually other literary giants. Though Saramago's political pieces shine, he doesn't ignore other aspects of society voicing concern over the increasing acceptance of violence in the media and the home. Beautifully crafted and honest, Saramago's latest volume is elegant in tone and style and clearly conveys a legend's take on our evolving society.
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“The most gifted novelist alive in the world today.”—Harold Bloom

“Saramago is one of Europe’s most original and remarkable writers ... His writing is imbued with a spirit of comic inquiry, meditative pessimism and a quietly transforming energy that turns the indefinite into the unforgettable.”—Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times

“Saramago is a writer, like Faulkner, so confident of his resources and ultimate destination that he can bring any improbability to life.”—John Updike, New Yorker

“In the craft of the sentence, Jose? Saramago is one of the great originals. His prose is a voice that envelops all voices: it is like the universe’s immanent murmur ... No one writes quite like Saramago, so solicitous and yet so magnificently free.”—Steven Poole, Guardian

“I’m hard pressed to think of another writer who makes me stop as Saramago does, to go back and discover the meaning of history or allegory in all its wild newness.”—Julian Evans, Financial Times

“Fascinating and smart and provocative, and a lot of fun to dip into.”—New York Times

“The book presents an intelligent twist on the blogs-turned-books phenomenon, proving that the two mediums are compatible beyond social curios and cultural gimmicks ... The Notebook is a unique glimpse into the candid ruminations of one of the most talented living writers.”—Flavorwire

“Impenitently enraged and tender.”—Umberto Eco

“His blogs... reveal an often sharp, sometimes mischievous, engagement with the world.”—Maya Jaggi, Guardian

“A bittersweet delight.”—Boyd Tonkin, Independent

“The world is poorer without Saramago, but these notes are a testament to his energy.”—Tom Payne, Daily Telegraph

“Given that most blogs that make it to print seem to involve someone sharing too much information about their sex lives, there’s something refreshing about Saramago taking the form to a more elevated plain, crafting apercus on all manner of subjects.”—Metro

“A provocative miscellany of occasional pieces.”—Financial Times

“Cogent, deft and brisk ... the deeper you delve, a broad, humane political philosophy begins to emerge.”—Sunday Herald (Glasgow)

“Saramago enjoys picking up a passing thought or an incident and running with it, confident in his political outrage, calm in his appreciation of friends, considered in his aphoristic criticism of culture.”—Times

“One of the fine things about The Notebook is that it prompts a reappraisal of Saramago’s fiction ... One can admire the enormous risk Saramago has taken. Rather than place himself and his words above the collective shout, he let himself become a part of the roar, an equal standing and writing citizen. This is the gift he gives us in these blog essays.”—Quarterly Conversation

More About the Author

JOSE SARAMAGO is one of the most acclaimed writers in the world today. He is the author of numerous novels, including All the Names, Blindness, and The Cave. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
One of the century's finest writers has died. José Saramago was an author who began writing late in life but in the time he wrote he managed to share with the world some very disturbing thoughts and yet at the same time make those disturbing thoughts into very beautiful literature. Few who have read BLINDNESS, ALL THE NAMES, SEEING, DEATH WITH INTERRUPTIONS, THE DOUBLE, to name but a few of his works, will ever forget the impact his writing had/has on us. This book THE NOTEBOOK takes on a different kind of strange journey - a remembrance of the time when reporting in the media meant communication of the world as it was happening. Not everyone will agree with all of his thoughts, but no one will deny they should not be addressed.

Now, with our information fed in bits, chips, and pixels on such wildly diverse formats as Twitter, Facebook, TV talk shows and reality series we must face the fact that reportage of the quality found in these essays is a thing of the past. Unless...unless more people will read this book, remember Saramago, and start to think again. José Saramago will be much missed. Grady Harp, June 10
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kimmo I. Rosenthal on June 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Absolutely wonderful. Commentaries on world matters, George Bush, the economic crisis, religion, and much, much more by one of the greatest living writers. Erudite, literary, compassionate, provocative. Compare these with the commentary currently available...well, there is no comparison. If you love his novels, you will find the Notebook as compelling. If you have not read his novels perhaps The Notebook will serve as a good introduction. Then, I would suggest All the Names, whose themes resonate in some of these brief, but weighty observations.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By melina zora on October 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
You would think that this book was writen by a man in his prime, so vivid is the prose, so fresh the ideas, so vibrant the writer's voice urging the youth to abandon their passive attitude and use their fervour and flame to change the world! Indeed, Saramago remained active to the end, a spokesman for human rights, unwavering in his beliefs and uncompromising in his stance. This book is what it claims to be, namely a notebook, a type of diary where Saramago writes his thoughts about events which made an impression on him, much of which expresses his political views on events and politicians. He describes G.W.Bush as being abysmally ignorant...veering towards the absurd. He does not mince his words when it comes to expressing his opinions and talks about people and topics many would regard as controversial. There are about 150 separate topics listed according to date, starting from September 2008 and ending in March 2009.

Although he was left wing he does not hesitate to critisize the left, saying they have no idea where they are actually heading. In his unique way he tackles varied topics, from religion and the Catholic Church to people he respects and admires like Rosa Parks. He expresses his hopes and aspirations for president Obama, analyzes the Palestinian situation and even gives a "recipe" on how to kill a man. It is a short concise book whose content is lucid and succinct. Irrespective of your own feelings about the issues he deals with in his book, his brilliance as well as his alertness of mind make this book invaluable reading. I can but feel gratitude for such thinkers who help broaden my own spectrum of thought.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on October 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was unfamiliar with Jose Saramago until I began reading this set of essays to prepare for a trip to Portugal. Since he is a Nobel Laureate, I wanted to get a feel for the his way of thinking. He's quite outspoken in his opinions, which are very political, and I can understand why he is not well known in this country, since he has some very unpleasant things to say about US politics.
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By Alan L. Zinn on August 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love to read the long, long sentences in his novels. The Notebook is from his blog - short and to the point.
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