The Tale of the Unknown Island by Jose Saramago

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Synopsis

A man went to knock at the king's door and said, Give me a boat. The king's house had many other doors, but this was the door for petitions. Since the king spent all his time sitting at the door for favors (favors being offered to the king, you understand), whenever he heard someone knocking at the door for petitions, he would pretend not to hear . . ." Why the petitioner required a boat, where he was bound for, and who volunteered to crew for him, the reader will discover in this delightful fable, a philosophic love story worthy of Swift or Voltaire.
 

About Jose Saramago

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JOSÉ SARAMAGO (1922-2010) was the author of many novels, among them Blindness, All the Names, Baltasar and Blimunda, and The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
 
Published October 5, 2000 by Mariner Books. 70 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Tale of the Unknown Island

Kirkus Reviews

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This delightfully cryptic fiction incorporates vivid imagery, aphoristic concision, superbly wry dialogue, and subtly layered levels of meaning: it’s variously “about” complacent bureaucracies resistant to change, visionaries who are both courageous enough to reach beyond and unable to see the mu...

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Publishers Weekly

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Winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature, Saramago (History of the Siege of Lisbon) departs from his signature dense, inventive linguistic style and historically encompassing subjects to offer a s

Nov 01 1999 | Read Full Review of The Tale of the Unknown Island

Publishers Weekly

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The man's tenacity happily coincides with the monarch's fear of a popular revolt, which results in the king begrudgingly granting the man a seaworthy boat with which he can sail to find ""the unknown island."" A philosophical discussion about whether such an island exists or is findable precedes ...

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Project MUSE

Indeed, in the first page of The Tale of the Unknown Island the reader finds satiric references to the bureaucracy so characteristic of Iberian regimes, a bureaucracy still alive in the Spanish -- and Portuguese-speaking -- Americas, although fortunately not in good health.

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