Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Brought to book

Like a bus, you can wait years to be tagged and then loads come all at once. And so it is, that I have once again been tapped on the shoulder and become "it". This time by Mirona at Cheezy Cheeky, to name One Book.

Now obviously I want to regale you with pages about all the fascinating books you should read, to (a) make sure you understand that I've read a lot of books; and (b) attempt to brainwash you into thinking like I do about important world issues, but this does not fit into the rules, which are as follows:
  1. Once nominated, name one book you'd recommend wholeheartedly and explain your choice within one paragraph.
  2. Nominate three people that you'll introduce to your readers in one paragraph.
  3. Let these people know that they've been tagged.
  4. Refer back to the person who tagged you, so that readers can travel back as well.

So, here goes. I've plumped, after much turmoil, for a novel. "The History of the Siege of Lisbon" by Jose Saramago (I read it in the translation done fantastically by Giovanni Pontiero). Saramago is a brilliant writer and I'd recommend all his novels, but this one in particular drew me in and turned me inside out. The story is of a proofreader who changes one word in a text about the siege of Lisbon in 1147, and the ripple effect that this act has - mostly on his own life. It is a love story, it is a study of language and its power, and it is a historical analysis of Portugal. It is, in short, completely and fantastically brilliant. And you should all go out right now and beg, borrow, or steal a copy from somewhere. It starts slowly - but this ends up being part of its charm. Believe me.

So, I'll pass this on to Romerican, who is probably too busy to read at the moment but who could maybe spare a few minutes now Christmas is nearly here; Paul, who is the Internet's most prolific Ulsterman living in Hungary; and Catherine who writes about the Balkans, music and London (not necessarily in that order).


gorgeoux said...

Very inspiring! And odd: I'm going to Lisbon in a few days.

Catherine said...

Ooh, The Stone Raft would have been on my shortlist, but two Saramagos in two tags is perhaps a bit much...!

Anonymous said...

It's a toughie,I'll have to have a long think about my choice Andy...