The world's threats are universal like the sun but Ricardo Reis takes shelter under his own shadow.
Back in Lisbon after sixteen years practising medicine in Brazil, Ricardo Reis wanders the rain-sodden streets. He longs for the unattainably aristocratic Marcenda, but it is Lydia, the hotel chamber maid who makes and shares his bed. His old friend, the poet Fernando Pessoa, returns to see him, still wearing the suit he was buried in six weeks earlier. It is 1936, the clouds of Fascism are gathering ominously above them, so they talk; a wonderful, rambling discourse on art, truth, poetry, philosophy, destiny and love.
The greatest of his novels
Lovely...a work of fluent and amazing gracefulness
A capacious, funny, threatening novel
He has created a body of work of luminous power: ironic, intellectually playful, dense and strange
Shows Saramago to be a novelist of the grandest sort...it is a dramatic work of great philosophical weight, filtered through a refined contemplative intelligence