The Elephant’s Journey

  • by Jose Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa (translator)
  • Narrated by Christine Williams
  • 5 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A delightful, witty tale of friendship and adventure from prize-winning novelist Jose Saramago.
In 1551, King Joo III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present: an elephant named Solomon. In Jose Saramago's remarkable and imaginative retelling, Solomon and his keeper, Subhro, begin in dismal conditions, forgotten in a corner of the palace grounds.
When it occurs to the king and queen that an elephant would be an appropriate wedding gift, everyone rushes to get them ready: Subhro is given two new suits of clothes and Solomon a long overdue scrub. Accompanied by the Archduke, his new wife, and the royal guard, these unlikely heroes traverse a continent riven by the Reformation and civil wars, witnessed along the way by scholars, historians, and wide-eyed ordinary people as they make their way through the storied cities of northern Italy; they brave the Alps and the terrifying Isarco and Brenner Passes; across the Mediterranean Sea and up the Inn River; and at last, toward their grand entry into the imperial city.


What the Critics Say

"It would be hard to more highly recommend a novel to be downed in a single draft…Simply, this books flows, and keeps on flowing." (The New York Times)
"His most optimistic, playful, humorous and magical book, a grace note written near the end of his life...The Elephant's Journey is a tale rich in irony and empathy, regularly interrupted by witty reflections on human nature and arch commentary on the powerful who insult human dignity." (Los Angeles Times)
"A picaresque romp that gleefully skewers the benighted souls clinging to outmoded worldviews while breathtaking new realities unfold right in front of them." (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Delightful Tale

The Elephant's Journey is fascinating, humorous, and quite enjoyable. I particularly liked the reader's interpretation.
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- Robin Wardle

Clever story grows weary

What disappointed you about The Elephant’s Journey?

It was a clever and humorous story at the beginning but dragged down as it went along.

Has The Elephant’s Journey turned you off from other books in this genre?


Did Christine Williams do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Her narration was adequate.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. I had high expectations for this book.

Any additional comments?

It was a 'trip of fools'.

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- JanBreesmom "Breesmom"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-20-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios