The Tale of the Unknown Island

Paperback | October 1, 2000

byJose Saramago

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A man went to knock at the king's door and said, Give me a boat. The king's house had many other doors, but this was the door for petitions. Since the king spent all his time sitting at the door for favors (favors being offered to the king, you understand), whenever he heard someone knocking at the door for petitions, he would pretend not to hear . . . Why the petitioner required a boat, where he was bound for, and who volunteered to crew for him, the reader will discover in this delightful fable, a philosophic love story worthy of Swift or Voltaire. "

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From Our Editors

The king that sits in his castle spends most of his time sitting by the door for favours, ensuring he won’t miss out on any offers. As a result, he often misses knocks on the door for petitions. In The Tale of the Unknown Island, a man knocks on the king’s petition door and asks for a boat. To find out what the boat is for and who ...

From the Publisher

A man went to knock at the king's door and said, Give me a boat. The king's house had many other doors, but this was the door for petitions. Since the king spent all his time sitting at the door for favors (favors being offered to the king, you understand), whenever he heard someone knocking at the door for petitions, he would pretend ...

JOSE SARAMAGO (1922-2010) was the author of many novels, among them Blindness, All the Names, Baltasar and Blimunda, and The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:64 pages, 6.58 × 5.04 × 0.15 inPublished:October 1, 2000Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0156013037

ISBN - 13:9780156013031

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Customer Reviews of The Tale of the Unknown Island

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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 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

Extra Content

From Our Editors

The king that sits in his castle spends most of his time sitting by the door for favours, ensuring he won’t miss out on any offers. As a result, he often misses knocks on the door for petitions. In The Tale of the Unknown Island, a man knocks on the king’s petition door and asks for a boat. To find out what the boat is for and who the crew will be, you must read this exciting tale. Accompanying Jose Saramago’s text are illustrations by award-winning artist Peter Sis.