The Double

Author: Jose Saramago (2005)

Tertuliano Maximo Afonso is a divorced, depressed history teacher. To lift his spirits, a colleague suggests he rent a certain video. Tertuliano watches the film, unimpressed. But during the night, when his is awakened by a noise, he goes into the living room to find the VCR replaying the video. He watches in astonishment as a man who looks exactly like him – or, more specifically, exactly like he did five years earlier, moustachioed and fuller in the face – appears on the screen, He sleeps badly.

Against his better judgement, Tertuliano decides to pursue his double. As he roots out the man’s identity, what begins as a whimsical story becomes a wonderfully twisted meditation on identity and individuality. Saramago displays his remarkable talent in this haunting tale of appearance versus reality.

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