Mar 6, 2010

7) The Stone Raft

Original Title: A Jangada de Pedra
Turkish Title: Yitik Adanın Öyküsü
English Title: The Stone Raft
Author: José Saramago
Pages: 352
Rating: 5/5
I mentioned in an earlier post that the company I work in has a library. Unfortunately, the books are mostly about engineering and electronics (because I work in a company that produces electronics stuff for the army). I would be happy to have more options to choose from but it is very limited in ours. Actually, I’m thinking of talking to the director of the library to have a “book collection campaign” within the company. We are almost 4,000 people. That should work. Anyway, this book of Saramago was standing all alone on a shelf when I saw it. Then, I remembered how much I liked his other book, “The Blindness”. There was nothing else left to do but to borrow.
The Iberian Peninsula breaks away from Europe and drifts out into the Atlantic, until it stops at a location off the Azores, half way to North America. When the peninsula breaks away, five people in five different parts of the peninsular do stuff, which they believe cause the event: Joana Carda scratches the ground with a stick and the mute dogs of Cerbere begin to bark; Joaquim Sassa throws a stone heavier than himself into the sea; Pedro Orce makes the earth tremble with his feet; Jose Anaico becomes the king of starlings and Maria Guavaira hosts these strange people in her house. The five people together with a nameless dog and two horses start a journey full of weird events.
The narrative technique of Saramago was unusual and quite complex. When I was reading it, I felt as if I wasn’t reading it myself but rather I was listening to a story. Who was the story teller? It is hard to tell as sometimes it was one single person and sometimes it was like three or four people talking all together. I had once read that Saramago is considered as the greatest living author of our time by many critics and this book is a solid proof for this argument, which I strongly support.


  1. This sounds like an interesting book. I'm a bit nervous about trying this author ... I've heard his books can be a difficult (but rewarding) read. I'll have to check out "Blindness" I think.

    And I was stopping by to welcome you to the Take Another Chance Challenge. I hope you have a good time with it and I look forward to reading your posts.

  2. Thank you for being the first to comment on my new blog. If you haven't read any books of Saramago, I think "Blindness" would be a warmer welcome to his world than this book. (BTW, I'm not talking about the content but his narrative technique).