All the Names

All the Names

Book - 1999
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Senhor José is a low-grade clerk in the city's Central Registry, where the living and the dead share the same shelf space. A middle-aged bachelor, he has no interest in anything beyond the certificates of birth, marriage, divorce, and death that are his daily preoccupations. In the evenings and on weekends, he works on bringing up to date his clipping file of the famous, the rising stars, the notorious. But when he comes across the birth certificate of an anonymous young woman, he decides that this cannot have been mere chance, that he has to discover more about her. Under the increasingly mystified eye of the Registrar, a godlike figure whose name is spoken only in whispers, the now obsessed Senhor José sets off to follow the thread that leads him to the unknown woman-but as he gets closer to a meeting with her, he discovers more about her, and about himself, than he would have wished. The loneliness of people's lives, the effects of chance and moments of recognition, the discovery of love, however tentative-once again José Saramago has written a timeless story.
Publisher: New York : Harcourt, c1999
Edition: 1st U.S. ed. --
ISBN: 9780151004218
Branch Call Number: FIC Saram 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 238 p
Additional Contributors: Costa, Margaret Jull


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Aug 27, 2018

This is a wonderful book about the importance of small things in life and how small things can become overwhelming in importance. The way the author connects and links images is altogether unexpected and magical ways takes my breath away. Nothing much happens yet so much does. One of my lifetime top 100! Five stars.

Jul 05, 2016

This wonderful book follows Senhor Jose as he tracks down a mysterious woman, discovering her life and about her in general. The story is simple yet provides a deep look into what drives us as human, plus how our views of the world inform and either do or don't comply with the natural workings of the world.

The characters are wonderful, the themes well-executed, and the dialogue superb. I highly recommend this book.

Sep 28, 2015

The eyes and mind of the reader whip along the lengthy sentences relentlessly. Much of the story is rather banal nut the effect of the technique makes its presence felt in the last hundred or so pages.

bradleydargan4life Apr 14, 2011

in my top three saramago novels, and that is saying a lot! very entrancing, character oriented, and as easy to read as saramago can be.


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lpr Apr 27, 2012

In a grotesque, fascist, soulless place, an unlikely hero exerts the power of love with the sparsest of reasons. Saramago exerts a path of descriptions, so that the reader can fall in love with a stranger too, knowing just how far our powerful hearts will go to connect and maybe love. A challenging read for anyone that doesn't habitually love strangers. The fireworks have to come from inside the reader not the text.

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