The Double

by José Saramago


The inspiration for the major motion picture "Enemy" starring Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Denis Villeneuve Tertuliano Máximo Afonso is a divorced, depressed history teacher. To lift his spirits, a colleague suggests he rent a certain video. Tertuliano watches the film, unimpressed. But during the night, when he is awakened by noises in his apartment, he goes into the living room to find that the VCR is replaying the video. He watches in astonishment as a man who looks exactly like him-or, more specifically, exactly like he did five years before, mustachioed and fuller in the face-appears on the screen. He sleeps badly.

Against his better judgment, Tertuliano decides to pursue his double. As he roots out the man's identity, what begins as a whimsical story becomes a "wonderfully twisted meditation on identity and individuality" (The Boston Globe). Saramago displays his remarkable talent in this haunting tale of appearance versus reality.

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Was Saramago eindeutig fehlt sind Anführungszeichen und Absätze, dafür hat er zu viel an Weitschweifigkeit und nicht nur seine Figuren sind Meister der Introspektion, auch der Erzähler selbst reflektiert über das Erzählen, das Wesen des Romans usw. Die ersten zwei Drittel des Buches vergehen so mit viel Wind um wenig Handlung, auf der Zielgeraden nimmt das Buch jedoch richtig an Fahrt auf. Die letzten Seiten machen es wirklich lesenswert. Die Idee des Doppelgängers, die anfangs noch wenig spannend, umwerfend, spektakulär oder innovativ ist, wird hier mit beißender Ironie bis zuletzt ausgekostet.

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