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The Notebook Hardcover – April 6, 2010
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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
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Top customer reviews
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