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All the Names

Narrated by: Traber Burns
Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Senhor Jose 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 routine. But one day, when he comes across the records of an anonymous young woman, something happens to him. Obsessed, Senior Jose sets off to follow the thread that may lead him to the woman-but as he gets closer, he discovers more about her, and about himself, than he would ever have wished.

The loneliness of people's lives, the effects of chance, the discovery of love - all coalesce in this extraordinary novel that displays the power and art of Jose Saramago in brilliant form.

©1997 Jose Saramago (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"Alternately farcical, macabre, surreal and tragic, this mesmerizing narrative depicts the loneliness of individual lives and the universal need for human connection even as it illuminates the fine line between the living and the dead." (Publishers Weekly)
"This haunting, strangely moving novel is uplifting despite the tragic nature of the woman's life; Saramago's true theme here is how compassion ultimately rules human behavior." (Booklist)

What members say

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  • ron
  • 2012-02-20

effortless abstract conections

If you could sum up All the Names in three words, what would they be?

jose is a natural writer, he has the rare ability to connect words into the breath of actuality.in this rather dry setting,and contained life of the main character, he serves us all the names, the issues, that frame consciousness.

Who was your favorite character and why?

the dead teacher...

What about A. C. Fellner’s performance did you like?

excellent

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

the whole book in every detail is the cage of consciousness. and the fight to penetrate the paradox of its consequences

3 people found this helpful

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  • R. Klein
  • 2020-02-21

Very engaging story

Saramago has an interesting way of writing. It's not filled with thrills, but it is highly detailed and profoundly engaging. This book paints a picture of a quiet, nondescript bureaucrat who seems lost in a bureaucracy. But he finds meaning in an almost meaningless personal pursuit that leads him into a labyrinth that keeps the reader enthralled. In an effort to learn more about a person with whom is has no connection other than a curiosity that emerges when her file card accidentally sticks to another he's pulled from a file box, the protagonist takes more and more bold and unconventional steps toward solving the mystery of the woman whose card has suddenly given his life a purpose and meaning..

The book explores the loneliness of individual lives and the need for human connection.

The book is slow, purposeful and detailed as it follows the protagonist deeper and deeper into the absurdity of his pursuit. And it is expertly and beautifully narrated - especially given the unusual writing style of the author.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-10-09

Enjoyable

An enjoyable read for those who who enjoy "Words" and those who ponder life death, loneliness and human interaction.

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  • A.Z.Irving
  • 2019-10-06

Favorite story from a favorite writer.

I can read this a thousand times and love as much as I did the very first time. This one by Saramago was true art.

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  • Marron Keady
  • 2019-06-20

All the Names??

I felt compelled to finish reading the book, hoping that by the end either I would be able to figure out what the book was really about, or the author would just come out and tell me.
At the end I felt like a person who lives on the edge, never quite understanding the life I am living. Perhaps that’s what the author had in mind.
Too far above my head.

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  • Diane
  • 2019-04-05

Excellent

Kafkaesk kind of existential inquiry. One of the best books I’ve ever listened to. Narrator was perfect for this story. I have a feeling listeners will either like it or not; no in between or maybes.