information. This chance event propels Senhor José into an epic and rationally inexplicable journey to find a woman whom he knows only residence. In Saramago's deft rendering, the hunt becomes everything. Throughout the suspenseful search, Senhor José must be constantly wary of loose-lipped interviewees and the omniscient Registrar's watchful presence. The road of the title of this novel is by a name, a birth date and a former a figurative one that natives of Cape Breton Island take. It is the migratory route from their provincial Canadian, Scottish-influenced home to metropolises like Toronto and Boston and back. MacDonald's nineteen-year-old hero of this novel, Innis Corbett, is one such traveler. Born in Cape Breton, he's lived since early childhood with his widowed, alcoholic mother in suburban Boston, where All the Names is one part vivid realism, one part parable, one part mystery novel and altogether a deeply thoughtful work of literature. Saramago's inspired depiction of the clerk's mind is full of false starts, wild asides and surreal self-reflection. he's enjoyed a life of youthful indul- gence--until he's caught stealing cars and deported to Canada. He is sent to live with his bachelor uncle, Starr, in rural Cape Breton with
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 2001
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