Saturday, December 13, 2008

198 - Blindness; Jose Saramago

About the Book

A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers-among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears-through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century, Blindness has swept the reading public with its powerful portrayal of man's worst appetites and weaknesses-and man's ultimately exhilarating spirit. The stunningly powerful novel of man's will to survive against all odds, by the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature.

I first read this book in 1999, but since it has been made into a movie recently, I wanted to read it again. The first time, I enjoyed the book, but not the writing style. This time I had the audio version; it was very good. A few things that made this book unusual were that all the events happen in an unnamed city, in an unknown land. None of the characters are mentioned by name. The story evoked a sense of panic or tension, and the author, through this story reflects many of the deepest fears about ourselves. The author seems to be describing a world not simply as it might be but as it is and has been. He shows us the worst of human nature. But in the end I found the book to be an unforgettable lesson about respect and love, about loneliness and despair, about hope and forgiveness.

RATING - 4.5/5 - COMPLETED - 12/12/08


  1. Thanks for the review Diane. I have wanted to read this book for a long time but like you his writing style somehow didn't appeal to me. I will follow in your footsteps and put it on my Audiobook Challenge.

  2. Lilly,

    I have a few of his other books: SEEING, which I think is a sequel, but I find the writing style does not flow well. I may see if the audios are available for this as well :). Thanks 4 posting.


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