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This account of a society with "white blindness" left me with images I cannot unsee - even after 2 years (perhaps USA 2017-19 is a time especially ripe). Am now reading Camus "The Plague", and realize I must reread to fully reopen the ideas Saramago bloomed in my head. *parting thought - if you are tempted to view bird box, read this instead*
At first I had a very hard time getting into this book because of its lack of punctuation and paragraphs. But as I got into it, somehow the imagery became very strong for me, and a couple years after reading it I still have very vivid images in my mind of this book. That's saying a lot, because I read so much I often forget what I've read even 2-3 books later.
A vision to human nature. Human nature is presented as being no different, fundamentally, from animal nature – self-serving and ultimately geared towards mere survival. Saramago was a proponent of Hobbes. Thomas Hobbes argued that man is born wicked and must be civilised. Left in a “state of nature”, Hobbes famously argued, our lives would be “nasty, brutish and short”. We would fight continually over power and resources. Deference to authority is therefore an act of self-preservation: we put our faith in strong leaders, and civic institutions such as the law, to save us from ourselves. Recent scientific findings suggests Hobbes was right.
I'm glad that I persevered past the first 2 sections as this unique writing style makes sense once you allow yourself to let go of the habitual preference for formal dialogue grammar and structure. I didn't finish this book as I found the pacing slowed down half-way through, mostly because I wasn't comfortable in the sheer squalor that became the wards and the plausibility of this being the case became to visceral and depressing. I took lots of little bits away from this book, though. It was thought-provoking.
This book is life as it is today with many taking more than they deserve or can ever use leaving others barely to survive or to die from want instead. Man is said to be the higher animal. I doubt it. I had to both read the book along with the audio book to make sense of it.
Brilliantly written and riveting. A powerful story worth exploring and experiencing.
One of the greatest writers of 20th century and one of the best Portuguese literature tittle.
While it takes a little while to get used to the unnerving writing style, Saramago slowly draws his reader in with an immersion rarely seen. The confusion, chaos, and fear of sudden blindness is conveyed with finesse and style.
Slow to get into, but ultimately brilliant. Haunting. Vivid. A true piece of literary virtuosity.
Although at the beginning I was frustrated with Jose Saramago's style of writing (very stream of consciousness), I slowly became accustomed to it and now 'Blindness' is probably one of my favorite books conceptually. This is a tale of being lost amidst criminal debauchery & finally finding solace with the right group of people. Well worth reading.
I've read a few books by the late Portuguese Nobel winner Jose Saramago, but this is by far the best. He's sometimes described as a fabulist and compared to Calvino, Eco and Murakami. This novel, about an unnamed city, struck by a plague of blindness, feels something like J.G. Ballard rewriting Camus's "The Plague." It is both a powerful, resonant allegory and a visceral novel about regular people in extraordinary circumstances. It was made into a film several years ago. Followed by "Seeing."
Incredible! Powerful! An unusual style of writing, but once I adjusted it draws you into the story of base human nature - and I found myself wondering... what would you do, who would you become? A MUST READ! I look forward to reading more of Jose Saramgo!
This book is very good and one of those that makes you think "What would I do in this situation?" However, the translation is a bit awkward. Trying to convey subtle meanings, the text gets weighed down. Also, there is an over abundance of using an idiomatic expression and then discussing the relevance or accuracy of it....almost once per page...gets a bit annoying.
This book is difficult to read. The style is often confusing (and I assume that's a direct translation, not just the translator's quirk), but far more important is the disturbing subject matter. I almost put the book down permanently when the plot involved the gang rape of dozens of women -- it was disturbing and disgusting, but I read on because I needed to know that everyone turns out okay in the end. This book is a philosophical study of human nature on many different levels, and also a study of the nature of language, of vision, of governance, and much more. Having read the book, I have absolutely no desire to see the movie -- in fact, I wish I could erase some of the mental images this book evoked.
What happens when everyone becomes blind? Does human decency prevail over evil, does society crumble, who survives and at what cost? Only one unnamed woman remains sighted as a strange white blindness overtakes the city. She leads her "family" to safety and describes the hell that prevails when the laws and norms of society fall to chaos. Terrific read!
I couldn't read past the beginning few chapters. Too distressing to read the esperiences of the people going blind. Very well written with an interesting style of making the dialogue all run together without punctuation. It adds to the tension of the story.
The writing style is very different - not a lot of paragraph breaks and extremely long sentences - but it's a very interesting idea. I felt drawn to the scary plot and the interesting perspective. I had a hard time finishing it though, simply because the writing style was so hard to follow and not always as engaging as it could have been.
Poetic and BOOOOOORRRRRIIINNNNGGGG...It is written beautifully romantic...which appealed to my Neruda side. The feelings are described so thoroughly that there is no other way to feel except how the pages describe. The words throw you into scenarios in your past where you may have felt the same way (or similarly). Which is nice...
BUT the plot happens like a slow movie you want to fast forward. Not that I'm a "Fast and the Furious" fan or something like that...but when i see "action" in the description of a book...I expect "action". That's what I get for having expectations. After a while did not care what happened to most of the characters because I could not relate to them or because I was not interested enough in them. Therefore, after a while I no longer cared what happened in the book. At times I fell asleep while reading this book too.
BUT of course this is just me and I am positive I am in the minority here. I read this book because a friend read it, knew I liked apocalyptic type books and recommended it to me.
OH, and if you have a thing AGAINST run on sentences, stay away from this book.
One of the best books I have ever read in my life. Eye-opening and real. It is amazing.
excellent read....haunting too...stays with you forever...read it over 10 years ago, and I still think about it...
LOVED IT. It is interesting and thought-provoking and definitely worth the read.
This book is EXCELLENT! Do not miss this Nobel Prize in Literature 1998 winner! It is a great comment on how our society works, showing what happens when a whole society experiences "white-blindness." Saramago's writing is near-perfect in this one! (Read: 2000, 2003, 2005)
I didn't like the style of writing which was used in the book because I found it confusing at times. I thought it was an interesting story, but not to the point where I couldn't put it down
I viewed the movie first and was very impressed,but surprised by the negative critical reviews. I then read the book, and found the George Orwell-like story, and fabulous prose would be difficult to capture on the screen if shown literally. I tend to read fast, skim and skip, so I had to slow down to savour and understand his meaning and run-on sentences. He will not be confined by grammar, punctuation or sentence structure. A terrifying could-happen reality which testifies to man's fragile civilized behaviour. Yet it ends on a positive note that we are all capable of rising above our blindness and seeing the beautiful world as it could be and really is.