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|Print List Price:||$15.99|
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The Cave Kindle Edition
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“Nothing about The Cave feels like the work of either an old man of 80 or a world-famous author playing it safe. . . . It is yet another triumph . . . for Portugal’s, or even the world’s, greatest living novelist. Read it.” —The Washington Post Book World
“As with Proust, to be drawn into a Saramago sentence is to be drawn into a world that takes shape out of a maze. . . . His human voices wake us and we live.” —The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
- ASIN : B003ZSISVW
- Publisher : Mariner Books; 1st edition (October 15, 2003)
- Publication date : October 15, 2003
- Language : English
- File size : 1056 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 322 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #343,702 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This is a very well-written book and quite engrossing. I read Margaret Jull Costa's translation of the original Portuguese. The plot is interesting and the characters well drawn. The protagonist's means of making a living is humble but satisfying to him, and the grim setting of a sinister and unrelenting dystopia rapidly encroaching on his livelihood is unnerving.
Suggest to arm yourself beforehand with an understanding of Plato's Cave, that the ending may strike you as profound rather than leave you in confusion.
One of the most interesting qualities was the writing style used. I don’t think Saramago used quotation marks for dialog at all. The conversations were all within long, flowing paragraphs, and it took me a couple of pages to realize. But that technique was really satisfying and it “flowed” so well. Stream of consciousness, I suppose. Engaging and effective. Amazing writing.
Highly recommended, loved it.
The story of The Cave is sufficiently interesting to keep the reader involved, but Saramago tells it at a snail’s pace. He begins with an overly detailed description of the potter’s delivery route to the Center. Then a stray dog shows up and joins the family, an event which is dwelt upon for quite some time. It feels as if the story takes forever to get started, when all the while it is slowly growing on you. The reader becomes very fondly engaged in the family dynamic between the three main characters, and the details of the ceramic processes and techniques are surprisingly fascinating. Despite the slow-moving plot, the prose often takes the form of rapid-fire dialogue between the family members in discussions that are often overly protracted and repetitive. There is also quite a bit of interior dialogue, and Saramago very insightfully relates the thought processes of his characters, even the dog. The book has no chapters, and the prose is written in long run-on sentences devoid of punctuation but for commas, forming paragraphs that go on for multiple pages. Dialogue is presented the same way, without quotation marks and with only commas to separate one character’s speech from another. These stylistic choices make for an annoying lack of clarity at times, but they do serve to speed up the reading pace.
For much of the book’s length, the reader finds himself wondering why Saramago chose to title this novel The Cave. About halfway through the book, a cave is briefly mentioned, but it hardly seems worthy of being the novel’s namesake. At some point I began to suspect that perhaps the title might end up being a reference to Plato’s allegory of the cave (from The Republic), and sure enough, eventually that turned out to be the case, and in a very heavy-handed way. After having spent so much time wading through long, circuitous conversations, waiting to find out what the novel is actually about, the climax is disappointingly vague and forced, a metaphor taken too far and too literally. If you are not familiar with Plato’s allegory, then you’d better read up on it, or you will not have a clue as to the point of the novel.
Overall the merits of The Cave outweigh its faults. I quite enjoyed the relationships between the family members (including the dog), and Saramago’s depictions of the Center amount to a beautifully executed dystopian vision of corpocracy that approaches the level of genius in its balance of satire and foreboding. The Cave is not Saramago’s best-known novel (that would be Blindness) and it probably isn’t his best novel, but it is satisfying enough to make me want to read more of his work.
This book must be a bit to deep for me where the message of the writer is lost on my simple
Mknd. The book is about a potter that lives in some similar but alternate reality where he sells his wares at a utopian city (or something to that effect) called the Center. At a point the Center stops purchasing what the potter crafts and the rest of the book drones on about how the potter, his daughter and some other characters handle this change. If you are into contemplating the dangers and evil of capitalism, importance of family and many other philoshical aspects, this is the book for you. There is little action and pages slide by with little to nothing happening but immersion in the characters inner monologue. I found it boring, most of the reviews here disagree. However those reviews are indicative of the book and its sluggish pace. My best description is that this is one of those books that you have to like to prove to others how cultures you are