Monday, September 7, 2009

Books: Blindness by Jose Saramago

This book had been recommended to us several times, but for some reason, it took us quite a while to get around to reading it. Written originally in Portugese, Blindness is written in a stream-of-conscious style reminiscent of Faulkner or Joyce. With a Nobel Prize in Literature, we were certain that one of Saramago's most famous books would be interesting, but we didn't expect to enjoy it as much as we did.

Blindness is set in any city in any country in the world. Slowly, an epidemic spreads through the city, systematically striking everyone with 'white blindness' wherein the afflicted can see nothing but a blinding white light. It's an interesting story about human nature, pathos, disability, and the fragility of civilization. We have long thought that humans depend far too much on their sight, when smell is such a better sensory. Also, the 'dog of tears' made an excellent character.

Quick vote: This is such an excellent book, and a quick read as well. We're going to be picking up the sequel Seeing soon, so watch for our subsequent review of that!

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