Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


No title (1995)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,860291340 (4.1)5 / 468

Work details

Blindness by José Saramago (1995)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (234)  Spanish (14)  Dutch (13)  Italian (6)  French (5)  Swedish (4)  Catalan (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (288)
Showing 1-5 of 234 (next | show all)

During an 'art-house movie' day back at school sometime in 2008/2009 they showed us the movie of this novel. It left a great expression on my mind as sometimes I still thought of it. It took me some time though to find out that it was based on an actually book. Since then, I've wanted to read it. Luckily Santa heard of my wish and gave it to me last Christmas.

Started reading almost immediately. It's not an fast reading easy read. But it is certainly a great novel. The story is simply depressing. The lost of eyesight must be terrible, let alone when it happens to everyone at once. It shows how easily this post-apocalyptic and dystopian world can arise. I would call this a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction. ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
Mmmm very very good. I’ve had it for a few years — attempted it once but lost interest. I’m glad I kept it though because this time it carried me through easily.
( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
A great writer, a great fiction, just high level litterature ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 1, 2016 |
Every bit as good as the road and better, this story shows what happens when a whole nation goes blind. A "seeing" woman arises among the blind and leads a small band of followers to the promised land, if you can call it that. Very gripping and sobering, and extremely well written. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
I loved Saramago's Blindness right up to the end. I'm not sure if Blindness was written with Seeing in mind; or if Seeing was written after the success of Blindness. I don't really now if Blindness was commercially successful. Nevertheless, I thought Saramago did a great job of creating a realitybased on the characters environment. The reader never really knows if the white-sickness is world-wide, or just a localized event. The time the characters spent as internees was great. Saramago adeptly described what human beings are capable of if they understand that there are not equalizing outside influences-- essentially describing what some people can be like when no one is watching. I also liked the bigger picture issues Saramago wrote about in the novel-- seeing but not seeing, a society that can only see what is important for the individual and not the collective. I also found the church scene close to the end of the book compelling.
Still, there were a few things that were off-putting. First, was the lack of indication of who was speaking. I get that perhaps Saramago did this to illustrate what conversations may be like for the blind-- but we, the reader are not blind and sometimes the conversations were muddled, but maybe that was the point. Next point of issue is with the ending. The book ended too abruptly for me. It seemed a little too nice and neat to have everyone regain their eyesight within the last few pages of the book, and in the order in which they went blind. The ending felt rushed and almost contrived-- sort of like, Saramago ran out of ideas that would propel the book to a more fitting conclusion. Though, I know someone of Saramago's stature doesn't simply run out of ideas. Which makes the ending more confusing and what leaves me wondering if the two novels Blindness and Seeing were thought of as one continuous story.
Anyway, Blindness is a good book that reflects the human condition in all its depravity when order is dissolved. Saramago's characters are believable and his insights about the human narrative are poignant and disturbing at the same time. ( )
  Jazmsngr | Mar 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 234 (next | show all)
¿Qué pasaría si, un día, nos volvemos todos ciegos por una extraña epidemia? Esto se lo pregunta José Saramago y su respuesta es esta apasionante novela. Saramago teje una apasionante historia que te engancha y de la que no puedes salir porque piensas que podrías ser tú uno de esos ciegos, y quieres saber qué les pasa.

Pero Ensayo sobre la Ceguera es mucho más. http://www.destejiendoelmundo.net/201...

» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Saramago, Joséprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davies, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lemmens, HarrieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mertin, Ray-GüdeÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pontiero, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weissová, LadaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
If you can see, look.

If you can look, observe.

-- From the Book of Exhortations
For Pilar
For my daughter Violante
First words
The amber light came on.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156007754, Paperback)

In an unnamed city in an unnamed country, a man sitting in his car waiting for a traffic light to change is suddenly struck blind. But instead of being plunged into darkness, this man sees everything white, as if he "were caught in a mist or had fallen into a milky sea." A Good Samaritan offers to drive him home (and later steals his car); his wife takes him by taxi to a nearby eye clinic where they are ushered past other patients into the doctor's office. Within a day the man's wife, the taxi driver, the doctor and his patients, and the car thief have all succumbed to blindness. As the epidemic spreads, the government panics and begins quarantining victims in an abandoned mental asylum--guarded by soldiers with orders to shoot anyone who tries to escape. So begins Portuguese author José Saramago's gripping story of humanity under siege, written with a dearth of paragraphs, limited punctuation, and embedded dialogue minus either quotation marks or attribution. At first this may seem challenging, but the style actually contributes to the narrative's building tension, and to the reader's involvement.

In this community of blind people there is still one set of functioning eyes: the doctor's wife has affected blindness in order to accompany her husband to the asylum. As the number of victims grows and the asylum becomes overcrowded, systems begin to break down: toilets back up, food deliveries become sporadic; there is no medical treatment for the sick and no proper way to bury the dead. Inevitably, social conventions begin to crumble as well, with one group of blind inmates taking control of the dwindling food supply and using it to exploit the others. Through it all, the doctor's wife does her best to protect her little band of blind charges, eventually leading them out of the hospital and back into the horribly changed landscape of the city.

Blindness is in many ways a horrific novel, detailing as it does the total breakdown in society that follows upon this most unnatural disaster. Saramago takes his characters to the very edge of humanity and then pushes them over the precipice. His people learn to live in inexpressible filth, they commit acts of both unspeakable violence and amazing generosity that would have been unimaginable to them before the tragedy. The very structure of society itself alters to suit the circumstances as once-civilized, urban dwellers become ragged nomads traveling by touch from building to building in search of food. The devil is in the details, and Saramago has imagined for us in all its devastation a hell where those who went blind in the streets can never find their homes again, where people are reduced to eating chickens raw and packs of dogs roam the excrement-covered sidewalks scavenging from corpses.

And yet in the midst of all this horror Saramago has written passages of unsurpassed beauty. Upon being told she is beautiful by three of her charges, women who have never seen her, "the doctor's wife is reduced to tears because of a personal pronoun, an adverb, a verb, an adjective, mere grammatical categories, mere labels, just like the two women, the others, indefinite pronouns, they too are crying, they embrace the woman of the whole sentence, three graces beneath the falling rain." In this one woman Saramago has created an enduring, fully developed character who serves both as the eyes and ears of the reader and as the conscience of the race. And in Blindness he has written a profound, ultimately transcendent meditation on what it means to be human. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:53 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"A city is struck by an epidemic of "white blindness." Authorities confine the blind to a vacant mental hospital secured by armed guards under instructions to shoot anyone trying to escape. Inside, the criminal element among the blind holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and assaulting 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 twientieth century, Blindness is a powerful portrayal of man's worst appetites and weaknesses--and man's ultimately exhilarating spirit"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
8 avail.
449 wanted
10 pay7 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.1)
0.5 3
1 30
1.5 7
2 116
2.5 29
3 363
3.5 125
4 901
4.5 180
5 1003


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,918,465 books! | Top bar: Always visible