All the Names Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of All the Names

Senhor Jose is a clerk in the Central Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths. This ordinary bachelor civil servant collects details of famous people as a hobby. By chance one day he picks out a card belonging to an unknown woman whilst collecting details about the famous people. An obsession with finding out about the woman begins and soon Senhor Jose is forging investigative letters from his boss the Registrar. He goes to the address on her birth certificate and meets an old woman in a ground floor flat who turns out to be the unknown woman's god mother. She has not had contact with her since the girl was at school. Armed with the school's details Senhor Jose breaks into the school one weekend to look at the unknown woman's record cards. He catches flu that weekend and must uncharacteristically take time off work. However recovered during routine filing he discovers that the unknown woman has died. He goes to the General Cemetery to find out details of her death and visit her grave. On his return he finds the Registrar in his house and the Registrar says he has been following Senhor Jose's progress and urges him to destroy the unknown woman's death certificate so that she will always be alive. This book delightfully explores the anxieties and tribulations of Senhor Jose's obsession.   
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The review of this Book prepared by John Marcel

Chapter Analysis of All the Names

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   humorous Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Life of a profession:    -   bureaucrat Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   search for family/history Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Hispanic/Latinic


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () Europe    -   Yes City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Jose Saramago Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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