Rating: ★★★★☆

Today, I finished reading “O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis” (The Year of The Death of Ricardo Reis in English) by José Saramago, while on a train from Den Haag to Eindhoven, after visiting the Portuguese embassy.

Having read “Memorial do Convento” (Baltasar and Blimunda in English) by José Saramago in the past, his writing style was not unexpected. However, it has been a long time since I read so that made it harder than I expected. Saramago disregards normal punctuation rules and only uses commas and dots. There are a lot of other quirks here and there.

“O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis” is supposed to be one of his best works. For those who know him, Ricardo Reis is one of the many heteronyms of Fernando Pessoa, a Portuguese poet. Therefore, I recommend you to have some background on him before reading this book.

This is a magical realism book, which I have been appreciating more and more over the time. This book follows the life of Ricardo Reis after the death of Fernando Pessoa. Magically, Fernando Pessoa is able to visit Ricardo Reis over the 9 months following his death to create a balance between the time that it takes to be born and the time it takes to die.

I will not talk more about the book. However, I must say I enjoyed it and, even though I wouldn’t read it again, I think that anyone that knows Fernando Pessoa and enjoys magical realism should read this book.

Finished reading: O ano da morte de Ricardo Reis by José Saramago, ISBN: 9789720048820