Another magical realist book by José Saramago, author of Blindness. The central premise is that the Iberian peninsula silently and serenly away from the European mainland, and Gibraltar, and starts drifting out to the Atlantic. Three men, two women, and one dog are burdened by a sense of responsibility for this for the reason that extraodinary things happened to them all at the time of the split- one felt the ground shake, hard, for several seconds, one threw an enormous boulder further than he possibly could have out to sea, and one finds himself followed everywhere by hundreds of swallows.

With the characters Saramago takes you through the book, as the island changes direction, moves about, is wanted by the US for the 53rd state, etc. Written in Saramoga's highly distintive style- that of using only commas and full stops, and translated into English from Portugese by Giovanni Pontiero, his regular translator- this book is by turns comic and thought provoking, and like all other Saramago's work, an essential read.

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