Saturday, 19 March 2016

All the names by Josè Saramago

When I am stressed I need to read something I know I would like, to reduce at minimum the possibility to quit the book after couple of chapters.
This only happen with Saramago and few others.
I open his books and by magic I am in someon else's mind, thinking what he/she is thinking and getting engaged in a new adventure.

In this book Saramago explores the mind of Senhor José, a low-level clerk in the Central Registry, and the only person with a name in the book, all the others characters will be only described with their job/activity or role in the story.
Saramago is like this, he does not waste time in details that do not help the story, and names here are really not important.
-while writing this post I think I have just realized one of the reason I love Saramago: I am very bad in remembering names in books!-
Senhor José has a very monotonous life, with a repetitive, boring work; he lives alone in a basic apartment just beside the Central Registry. To give a bit of spark to his life he collects news on famous person that he carefully organizes chronologically. His predictable and monotonous life will get an unexpected turn when he finds the record card of a woman that for no particular reason catches his attention. From there on, like there was an external will controlling his actions, he will start to obsessively looking for the mysterious woman, finding himself living a different life...

As usual Saramago enters into human brain, feeling and emotions with a simplicity that amazes me every time!

"Strictly speaking, we do not make decisions, decisions make us. The proof can be found in the fact that, though life leads us to carry out the most diverse actions one after the other, we do not prelude each one with a period of reflection, evaluation and calculation, and only then declare ourselves able to decide if we will go out to lunch or buy a newspaper or look for the unknown woman"

Saturday, 5 March 2016

The Modigliani scandal by Ken Follet

I used to read lots of thriller during my teens, I adored them, the engagement, the surprise, the sudden turns, then I stopped and read just a couple for years. But I could not resist to a thriller about Modigliani, which I adore, and moreover by Ken Follet.
The story evolves around the search of a lost/unknown painting by Modigliani, different people are looking for it for different reason, from the cultural one to the economical one. Between fakes and only one original, only one person will be the lucky one to find it.
Overall it was a nice reading, but must admit did not find it very engaging, a bit plain and average.