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Download The Stone Raft epub

by Jose Saramago

New York 1995 first American edition Harcourt. ISBN 0-15 1851980. Hardcover. Octavo, cloth. Fine in Near Fine DJ, slight rubbing on rear panel.
Download The Stone Raft epub
ISBN: 0151851980
ISBN13: 978-0151851980
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Classics
Author: Jose Saramago
Language: English
Publisher: Harcourt; First Edition edition (1995)
ePUB size: 1524 kb
FB2 size: 1223 kb
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 175
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I read The Stone Raft after Blindness and was immensely impressed by both novels. The story concerns the drift of the Iberian peninsula from the rest of Europe. The premise is intriguing as the stone raft sails into the Atlantic heading for God only knows where. It shifts and turns so that North is South and East is West. This crisis brings together the citizens of Iberia challenged to prepare for the possibility the island will slam into the Azores or Canada or the U.S. possibly leaving cities like New York, Boston and Philadelphia inland. The five main characters are brought together by personal miracles and find solace in each other as they witness this drift. I found myself fighting the scientific plausibility of such a phenomenon until I hit this quote: "We're already traveling on a stone raft." Indeed, the planet drifts through the galaxy just as Saramago's stone navigates the currents of the sea. In Blindness I began to realize that Saramago's writing style, devoid of quotation marks, is the grammar of discovery, of a narration of characters trying to find their ways. In Blindness we are challenged to search the text for hints about who is speaking and where the author is venturing. Such a narrative style suits Saramago well as these two novels deal with the search for meaning in a chaotic universe. Such meaning inevitably seems to terminate with the sense we make out of each other. This is a great and wise novel, which I highly recommend.
Saramago's usual humor tells the story of the Iberian peninsula breaking away and floating to sea. The five main characters are on a journey within the bigger journey of Iberia.
Extremely difficult to read since the author does not respect readers and provides little punctuation. That's his style, like it or leave it.
" all things in this world are linked together, and here we are thinking we have the power to separate or join them at will, how sadly mistaken we are, having been proved wrong time and time again, a line traced on the ground, a flock of starlings, a stone thrown into the sea, a blue woolen sock, but we are showing them to the blind, preaching to the deaf with hearts of stone."
This passage, from the last few pages of José Saramago's novel "The Stone Raft," acts as both summation and re-introduction to the story. I can include it here, and even say that it is critical to understanding the nature of the idea behind this book, without giving anything specific about the book away. All of the things that it describes specifically happen in the first chapter or two. The book's themes, present troughout the story, are summed up elegantly above.

"The Stone Raft" is an impressive novel, in many ways. It is the second of Saramago's books that I have read, "All the Names" being the first. While I found "All the Names" to be well-written, clever, and imaginative, "The Stone Raft" surpasses it easily. It tackles a difficult concept within the first few chapters, an event which changes the world dramatically. I've found that most writers, when beginning with such a concept, either pull their punches and fail to take their story as far as it could go, or they quickly devolve into trite reiterations of common morality and sentimentality. Saramago does neither. His story is one of fantasy, in many ways, but it is a fantasy based in the real world, and Saramago proves himself to be a remarkably gifted fantasist as he carries his story all the way to the end without faltering.
The premise of "The Stone Raft" lies in a seemingly cataclysmic event: the breaking away of the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain) from the rest of Continental Europe. The peninsula (now an island of sorts) simply fractures off and floats away across the ocean. While the larger story of this and its effect on the rest of the world is told as well, the majority of the book focuses on five people who live on the Peninsula, each of whom feel that they are somehow connected to the breakaway. The story follows their journey as they come together, and then of the relationships that develop between them. Through it all, Saramago remains constant to his purpose; whether telling the story of the floating island or detailing the lives of these five individuals on it, his themes and style are maintained.
Mind you, Saramago is not an easy author to read. His themes are challenging, to be sure, but his prose itself is equally so. He writes in long, meandering sentences, embedding key points of story in what might seem at first like a tangent. He eschews the standard grammatical use of quotes and paragraph divisions in his dialogue, so that conversations between characters are read as single paragraphs, with no quotes to tell you when one character stops talking and another starts. These are the ways that polite authors make it easy for their readers to understand their work, and I suppose that means that Saramago is not as polite as many writers. Said simply, "The Stone Raft" (and Saramago's work in general) is not for the light reader, looking for a bit of evening entertainment before they drift off. I'm risking sounding a bit elitist here, but to be perfectly honest, this is deeply challenging reading, and is probably not for just the casual reader. In defying many standard conventions of modern letters, Saramago is placing part of the burden on his readers to adjust to his style of writing.
What's amazing to me is that, despite these difficulties, which would probably be barriers for most writers, Saramago makes it work for him beautifully. He spends time actually establishing his characters, and so even though the standard puncuation of dialogue is absent, conversations can still be understood if read carefully. His sentences, seemingly endless at times, are constructed carefully. Like the partial sentence quoted above, they each hide buried treasure, small gems that collectively add to the value of the story as a whole. In these constructions, he often touches on philosophy, political commentary, history, whimsical humor, all while carrying the story forward. If you just graze over the prose, you'll most likely miss many of the bits of wisdom he plants here and there. "There are endless answers just waiting for questions," is a sentence representative of the need to read this book carefully. Complexity does not necessarily mean skill, but in Saramago's case his complex prose leads to a work of rare beauty. It may well represent a challenge to many readers, but it is a book undeniably worth the effort. The more a reader puts into reading it, the more they are likely to get out of it.
This is not a book to be devoured quickly overnight. Time should be taken to read and re-read some of the passages in "The Stone Raft." The spread of the phrase "We are Iberians too," around Europe, in all its different languages; the elegant device of a blue thread, linking two characters perfectly; from the opening paragraphs to the final pages the book deserves a careful, studious reading. Some books seem to be written out of sheer love of crafting language, while others seem to exist simply to tell a story. "The Stone Raft" is that rare novel which accomplishes both goals admirably.
A line traced on the ground. A dog who does not bark. A flock of starlings. A man who can feel the earth trembling. A stone thrown into the sea. A peninsula that suddenly and inexplicably becomes an island. A blue woolen sock. How are these things connected? "The Stone Raft" does not answer these questions for you, but gives you enough that you might be able to find the answers for yourself. In its pages, while telling a story of an event that literally changes the world, José Saramago explores the mysteries that we all are confronted with every day, and he does so with consummate skill.
"For even if my life's journey should lead me to a star, that has not excused me from travelling the roads of this earth."
exactly as described
Downloaded this in the hotel and enjoyed it all the way through Portugal. I was amazed and gratified to see a building dedicated to Saramago in Lisbon. He is a national hero. The plot stays with you, the writing is excellent.
black coffe
Saramago is always good and this satirical look at the isolation of Iberia from Europe is
a classic. How does the world deal with the peninsula floating off into the Atlantic.
Saramago steers us thru the chaos from the point of view of five rather magical characters.
Tis story is exciting and funny.
This book is one of Saramago's finest. As they say in the business, it's a real page-turner. Don't miss reading this delightful, imaginative tale. One more reason he is a Nobel prize-winner in literature. A gifted word-smith.