I have heard a lot about Saramago, I remember when I used to work in a bookstore, his novels used to literally fly off the shelves and I was always a bit curious to see what he’s about. Well here we are!
Raimundo Silva is a lonely proof reader, one day in a fit of fancy he decides to insert a negation in a book about Lisbon’s 1147 siege that he is correcting. In a way by doing this he is altering history. He then hands the proof in.
Eventually his mistake is discovered, however instead of being reprimanded, his boss, Maria Sara asks him to rewrite Lisbon’s siege to his liking and in the process they fall in love with each other as this new history develops.
Despite his popularity I do not find Saramago an easy writer to digest, his sentences are long and unwieldy but his plot structure is so addictive that ou cannot help but read on in order to see what will happen next, plus the premise of history being manipulated is fantastic and the love sub plot is a sweet addition. I do admit though that at times I felt that the novel dragged but I did soldier on and I was satisfied.
I’m not going to say that this book is going to be a favourite of mine but I am definitely intrigued and there are two more Saramagos in the list so we’ll see how I fare with them.