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The Cave: Saramago, Jose The Cave: Saramago, Jose The Cave: Saramago, Jose The Cave: Saramago, Jose

The Cave

Saramago, Jose

9,484 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0151004145 / ISBN 13: 9780151004140
Published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A., 2002
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Sylvia's Books (Athen, GA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

STATED FIRST U.S. EDITION, first printing, with a full alpha line. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The condition of the book is NEAR FINE with very slightly bumped spine. The condition of the dust jacket is NEAR FINE with slight shelf wear and a quarter-inch tear to right top corner of DJ. Beautiful collectible copy. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 000439

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Cave

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hard Cover

Illustrator: Translated from the Portuguese By Margaret Jull Costa

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: First American

About this title

Synopsis:

Cipriano Algor, an elderly potter, lives with his daughter Marta and her husband Marçal in a small village on the outskirts of The Center, an imposing complex of shops, apartment blocks, offices, and sensation zones. Marçal works there as a security guard, and Cipriano drives him to work each day before delivering his own humble pots and jugs. On one such visit, he is told not to make any more deliveries until further notice. People prefer plastic, he is told; it lasts longer and doesn't break.
Unwilling to give up his craft, Cipriano tries his hand at making ceramic dolls. Astonishingly, The Center places an order for hundreds of figurines, and Cipriano and Marta set to work. In the meantime, Cipriano meets a young widow at the graves of their recently departed spouses, and a hesitant romance begins.
When Marta learns that she is pregnant and Marçal receives a promotion, they all move into an apartment in The Center. Soon they hear a mysterious sound of digging, and one night Marçal and Cipriano investigate. Horrified by the discovery, the family, which now includes the widow and a dog, sets off in a truck, heading for the great unknown.
Suffused with the depth, humor, and above all the extraordinary sense of humanity that marks each of his novels, The Cave is sure to become an essential book of our time.

Review:

José Saramago is a master at pacing. Readers unfamiliar with the work of this Portuguese Nobel Prize winner would do well to begin with The Cave, a novel of ideas, shaded with suspense. Spare and pensive, The Cave follows the fortunes of an aging potter, Cipriano Algor, beginning with his weekly delivery of plates to the Center, a high-walled, windowless shopping complex, residential community, and nerve center that dominates the region. What sells at the Center will sell everywhere else, and what the Center rejects can barely be given away in the surrounding towns and villages. The news for Cipriano that morning isn't good. Half of his regular pottery shipment is rejected, and he is told that the consumers now prefer plastic tableware. Over the next week, he and his grown daughter Marta grieve for their lost craft, but they gradually open their eyes to the strange bounty of their new condition: a stray dog adopts them, and a lovely widow enters Cipriano's life. When they are invited to live at the Center, it seems ungracious to refuse, but there are strange developments under the complex and a troubling increase in security, and Cipriano changes all their fates by deciding to investigate. In Saramago's able hands, what might have become a dry social allegory is a delicately elaborated story of individualism and unexpected love. --Regina Marler

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