The Elephant's Journey

by Jose Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | September 8, 2010 | Kobo Edition (eBook)

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A delightful, witty tale of friendship and adventure from prize-winning novelist José Saramago

 

In 1551, King João III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present: an elephant named Solomon. In José Saramago's remarkable and imaginative retelling, Solomon and his keeper, Subhro, begin in dismal conditions, forgotten in a corner of the palace grounds. When it occurs to the king and queen that an elephant would be an appropriate wedding gift, everyone rushes to get them ready: Subhro is given two new suits of clothes and Solomon a long overdue scrub. Accompanied by the Archduke, his new wife, and the royal guard, these unlikely heroes traverse a continent riven by the Reformation and civil wars, witnessed along the way by scholars, historians, and wide-eyed ordinary people as they make their way through the storied cities of northern Italy; they brave the Alps and the terrifying Isarco and Brenner Passes; across the Mediterranean Sea and up the Inn River; and at last, toward their grand entry into the imperial city.

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: September 8, 2010

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 054750439X

ISBN - 13: 9780547504391

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from "We can't see ourselves unless we become free of ourselves" Reminiscent of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's "The Little Prince" and Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist," this allegorical novella is a gem. It centers around a man who pleads for a boat to search for an unknown island. But how do you know of an unknown island if it is unknown, asks everyone who hears of the man's wishes? Such is the sweet tale José Saramago wrote with wry and wit, in sentences that run and accompanied with intricate illustrations of Peter Sís, about the journey towards one's dream. It may prove challenging, it may fail, but you might find something of worth, perhaps something even more, along the way. "Indeed, this is the way fate usually treats us, it's there right behind us, it has already reached out a hand to touch us on the shoulder while we're still muttering to ourselves."
Date published: 2011-02-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from pay attention! This book was difficult to stay focused on, but i still enjoyed the concept and hidden truths. To be perfectly honest i feel like i should read it again because i believe it would be easier the second time through, so all i can say is your gonna have to pay attention or else your gonna come out feeling like you missed something. good ending also.
Date published: 2010-04-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Read This Book and Fall in Love with death! OK, Death with Interruptions takes a few pages to get going, but once it does this novel is quirky, witty and profound, all at the same time. It explores what happens if death, personified as a woman, refrains from doing her job. No matter their circumstances, people simply do not die. Of course, there are implications for families of the aged, funeral directors, life insurance companies and “eventide homes” but the implications of eternal life do not appear as one might expect. Further, it is in human relationships, especially those of death herself, that the novel has its greatest appeal . . . but I don’t want to give away the ending. Read it and enjoy it.
Date published: 2009-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A True Master Saramago proves once again why he is the Master. This particular offering revolves around a man named Tertuliano Maximo Aphonso and his discovery of another man who is his double and his search to meet this man. The story is told in true Saramago style, with character's dialogue separated only by commas, for example. It is easy to get attached to the main character and the people in his life, including Common Sense. The story does include an interesting twist at the end. The Double is a great read, one ofmy favorites from this fantastic author.
Date published: 2009-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The same great Saramago One more masterpiece from Saramago; once you discover his style, you just fall in love with it and find simple phrasing a bit boring. The subject in "The Double" is not new in world's literature but Saramago just knows to make it original in his own way.
Date published: 2008-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!! Don't be discouraged by first 50 pages! Since I read Blindness by Jose Saramago, I have been on the lookout for more of his works. Blindness is one of my favourite books and one that I think everyone should read at some point in their life. These works are translated from Portuguese and Saramago has a Nobel prize for his literary works. Tertuliano Maximo Afonso is a history teacher with depression. In hopes of making him feel better, his colleague recommends a comedic movie. Afonso rents this movie, doesn't think too highly of it, and goes to sleep. In the middle of the night, he wakes up with an odd feeling. The movie is playing on his tv and someone that looks exactly like him is acting as the hotel receptionist in the movie. These two don't just look like each other - they are identical. Even their voice is exactly the same. Afonso sets to find out who this man is. When he finally tracks him down, the two engage in a tale of bitterness, revenge, happiness, and finding out who they really are. True to Saramago style, the novel is written with very few paragraphs and periods. All conversations are separated only by a comma. It takes a while to get into this and is difficult to read at first, but don't let this stop you from finishing any of Saramago's works! While I felt that part of the books had been dragged out a bit - for example, there were too many conversations with "common sense" - all that was completely forgiven by the incredible ending! One doesn't really expect twists except in mystery novels, so I was completely shocked by this one! Wow! One of the best-ended books I've ever read!
Date published: 2008-04-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Awful.... highly disappointing Disappointing to say the least. I read (ie. suffered) through over 100 pages of this book and finally could take no more. I was extremely disappointed because I love Jose Saramago's work and have read 4 of his previous novels. I was expecting another great novel. The premise is very interesting in that the main character is watching a video and see's an actor who looks, speaks and acts like him. However the book is filled with the author talking to the reader about points which do nothing but drag on the story, which after 100 pages could have been summed up in about 10-15 pages. HIGHLY disappointing! Read Blindness instead.
Date published: 2005-09-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Challange to Start Moving This little book will change almost all who read it. It is the story of a man who dreams of finding an unknown island. Though many laugh at him, his conviction leads others to believe and take risks. Reminiscent of Paulo Coelho's, The Alchemist, this is a story about following your dreams, and hoping for the best. About learning to not give up and press forward, even through failure and difficulties. Though it is just 64 pages, it will have a deep impact on your heart and spirit. Your dreams will reawaken and maybe you too will be challenged to start forward in pursuing them.
Date published: 2002-05-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant The Stone Raft is good enough to restore ones faith in the power of literature. Jose Saramago seems to have remembered that the basis of any great novel is the story. And this is a great story. One day, the Iberian Peninsula shears off from the European continent and begins to drift across the Atlantic Ocean. A diverse group of Portugese and Spaniards wander across the "island" searching for answers as to why this has occured. What they find are the answers to many important and difficult questions. Fortunately, the "point" of the story never gets in the way of what is a great adventure. Touching, gripping, eye opening and hugely entertaining, this is one of the best novels I have read in years.
Date published: 2000-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great bedtime story I loved this book. In fact, as I waited for my husband, I began reading this book in a Chapters store and couldn't put it down. I bought it even though I finished reading it. It will make a great bedtime story when I have children to read it to...
Date published: 2000-02-08

– More About This Product –

The Elephant's Journey

by Jose Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: September 8, 2010

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 054750439X

ISBN - 13: 9780547504391

From the Publisher

A delightful, witty tale of friendship and adventure from prize-winning novelist José Saramago

 

In 1551, King João III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present: an elephant named Solomon. In José Saramago's remarkable and imaginative retelling, Solomon and his keeper, Subhro, begin in dismal conditions, forgotten in a corner of the palace grounds. When it occurs to the king and queen that an elephant would be an appropriate wedding gift, everyone rushes to get them ready: Subhro is given two new suits of clothes and Solomon a long overdue scrub. Accompanied by the Archduke, his new wife, and the royal guard, these unlikely heroes traverse a continent riven by the Reformation and civil wars, witnessed along the way by scholars, historians, and wide-eyed ordinary people as they make their way through the storied cities of northern Italy; they brave the Alps and the terrifying Isarco and Brenner Passes; across the Mediterranean Sea and up the Inn River; and at last, toward their grand entry into the imperial city.