The Double

The Double

Book - 2004
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Tertuliano Máximo Afonso is a history teacher in a secondary school. He is divorced, involved in a rather one-sided relationship with a bank clerk, and he is depressed. To lift his depression, a colleague suggests he rent a certain video. Tertuliano watches the film and is unimpressed. During the night, noises in his apartment wake him. He goes into the living room to find that the VCR is replaying the video, and as he watches in astonishment he sees a man who looks exactly like him-or, more specifically, exactly like the man he was five years before, mustachioed and fuller in the face. He sleeps badly.

Against his own better judgment, Tertuliano decides to pursue his double. As he establishes the man's identity, what begins as a whimsical story becomes a dark meditation on identity and, perhaps, on the crass assumption behind cloning-that we are merely our outward appearance rather than the sum of our experiences.

Baker & Taylor
Renting a recommended video to ease his depression, divorced history teacher Tertuliano Maximo Afonso is unsettled to see a man in the video who looks exactly the way he looked five years earlier, and when he decides to find his double, he learns a difficult lesson about the impact of experience on one's identity. 60,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
A history teacher rents a video on the recommendation of a friend. Not a great fan of cinema, he watches the film unmoved, but wakes later that night unaccountably troubled by something he has subconsciously viewed. He gets up to watch the film again and discovers, to his horror, an actor who could be his twin, identical in every way except for the moustache he himself has not worn for five years.
Telling no-one of his discovery and wrought with anxiety, Tertuliano Maximo Afonso embarks on a quest to find the actor. By a process of elimination, and watching countless films, he manages to identify the "double" and secretly plots to make contact. But how will the struggling actor feel when confronted out of the blue by a man claiming to be identical to him in every way? A man proclaiming himself to be the original and the actor a duplicate?
Saramago's new novel explores the nature of individuality and examines the fear and insecurity that arise when our singularity comes under threat, when even a wife cannot tell the original from the impostor.

& Taylor

Renting a recommended video to ease his depression, divorced history teacher Tertuliano Maximo Afonso is unsettled to see a man in the video who looks exactly the way he looked five years earlier.

Publisher: Orlando : Harcourt, c2004
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780151010400
Characteristics: 324 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Costa, Margaret Jull


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Apr 07, 2015

This novel, by the Nobel winner from Portugal, Jose Saramago, was made into a movie, Enemy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The complexity of the film, pushed me into reading this novel, which then pushed me into reading a long interview of Saramago in the Paris Review. Only upon reading the interview, do I really get a greater understanding of the novel. According to Saramago, he gets an idea that he wishes to explore and he develops a character. Day-by-day, he tries to think what his characters think, while ponder about the initial idea. This is exactly how the book reads. We are actually following the sequence that Saramago follows as he writes the book. In the interview, Saramago, states his belief that Americans like his works less than Europeans because Americans generally prefer simpler writing.

lpr Apr 01, 2012

We struggle with different aspects of ourselves. This is based on those late night wonderings "what would my life be like if..."


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