• It is extremely funny. Old Saramago writes with a masterfully light hand, and the humour is tender, a mockery so tempered by patience and pity that the sting is gone though the wit remains vital... a series of contained miracles of absurdity, quiet laughter rising out of a profound, resigned, affectionate wisdom

    Ursula K Le Guin, Guardian
  • José Saramango wrote his final book with great panache

    Margaret Reynolds, The Times
  • Here is a book as serious as it is charming; amid its ironies runs a sustained pleas for the subversive workings of the imagination: "every elephant contains two elephants, one who learns what he's being taught and another who insists on ignoring it all". Thank goodness for that'

  • A novel of wit, warmth and wonder

    Yann Martel
  • Here he has seized the opportunity to turn an unlikely tale of a transalpine hike into something far larger even than its elephantine subject.

    Amanda Hopkinson, Independent

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