Blank Gaze

Blank Gaze

3.85 (904 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Description

In a village in the Portuguese region of Alentejo, against a background of severe rural poverty, Jose Luis Peixoto weaves a mesmerising tale of men and women hardened by hunger and toil, but prey to love, jealousy, violence and the overwhelming power of dynastic fate. Jose, a taciturn shepherd, sees his happiness slowly crumble away as the 'devil' tells him he is being cuckolded. Old Gabriel, aged 120, offers wise counsel, while a different kind of love story develops concerning Siamese twins joined at the tips of their little fingers. Unable to live without each other, their tender communion is shattered when one of them falls in love with the local cook. And, of course, there is the Devil himself. Peixoto has written a book of haunting beauty. There are touches of the magical but this is not magic realism. Peixoto deals in archetypes as his characters seem driven by a fate beyond them to fulfil their roles in a never-ending cycle of violence, retribution and death. The village is a unique, richly textured world but it could be a village in any impoverished rural setting. Its characters are universal as are their hopes in the face of hardship. Love may be a luxury but there are moments of the greatest tenderness among even the most unlikely lovers.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 142 x 218 x 30mm | 399.16g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 074758947X
  • 9780747589471
  • 1,076,515

Review quote

'You read and breathe as if you were downing a bottle of life in one gulp.' Le Figaro 'Jose Luis Peixoto is one of the most surprising revelations in recent Portuguese literature. I have no doubts that he is the safe promise of a great writer.' Jose Saramago 'Peixoto comes from the world of poetry and of the theatre. And this can be sensed here. His pages, purified in the lyrical prose that makes them unique, introduce us to a rural space burned by the sun, inhabited by the singing of the cicadas and suspended in a mythical time where each action has a biblical inevitability.' Vogue Italiashow more

About Jose Luis Peixoto

Jose Lui s Peixoto was born in 1974 in the Portuguese region of Alentejo. A journalist, poet and literary critic, and a heavy metal fan, he teaches languages and contemporary literature. Published and acclaimed in many languages, Blank Gaze won the Jose Saramago Prize in 2001.show more

Rating details

904 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 31% (280)
4 37% (338)
3 21% (190)
2 7% (66)
1 3% (30)
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