I liked the concept of exploration of a subject in another medium (the narrator's primary being painting and secondary writing) as well as another attempt stripping an artistic endeavour of its chance happening outcome (have you ever tried to draw something and realise that you drew something too well but you know you cannot repeat it again ) in the first attempt and actually knowing the subject. I kept myself interested just on this single concept but could not continue after half the book. when I read something new of artists or their work, I am inclined to reading more about it. In this book, there are many references to such works as part of the narrator's travelogue. But the accounts lack conviction.
I notice that the previous books I read were nonfiction and this is fiction. I enjoy nonfiction better. Still I cannot believe that the readability would differ so much. But this has happened in the past where I liked Kazuo Ishiguro's 'Remains of the day' and 'The Artist of the Floating World' but not 'Never Let me go'. In Ishiguro's case it was his latest work that did not come together. But in Saramago's case, I like dhis last works best.