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Death with Interruptions by Jose Saramago
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Death with Interruptions (original 2005; edition 2008)

by Jose Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,671664,288 (3.65)38
Member:njah
Title:Death with Interruptions
Authors:Jose Saramago
Other authors:Margaret Jull Costa (Translator)
Info:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2008), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Death with Interruptions by José Saramago (2005)

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» See also 38 mentions

English (54)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Con la solita eleganza di linguaggio e pensiero, ineguagliati che io sappia da altri, S. riesce ad affrontare una ipotesi semplice, ma abusata, e difficile da gestire, e lo fa con leggerezza sorridente, così come noi ci troviamo ad essere, leggeri e sorridenti nel leggere le avventure di un mondo che *mai* sarà, ma che piacerebbe che fosse, almeno nella prima e nell'ultima delle ipotesi. Una incantevole prova da affiancare a 'Death' (N. Gaiman), che parla di argomenti simili ma lo fa con la propria cadenza, assai diversa da quella del letterato portoghese, che tuttavia completa un argomento sul quale sarà difficile leggere qualcosa di completamente nuovo - a meno di non affacciarsi a testi più sensazionalistici o medici, come ad esempio 'Stecchiti', (M. Roach). ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
Interesting premise, drags a bit when focused on the government response to Death's diappearance, then perks up when Death reappears. ( )
  AThurman | Dec 7, 2014 |
Death with Interruptions is an imagined love letter, of sorts, from death to mankind. Jose Saramago magically blends traditional realism with characteristics of myth and fable, to make an elixir to post 9-11 blues. He proclaims that life will be wasted by those who live in order to not play too many wrong notes. Recommended to Fans of M. Night Shyamalan. ( )
  Gregorio_Roth | Dec 5, 2014 |
READ IN DUTCH

A few months ago I read Saramago’s dystopian book Blindness. Someone recommended to me another of his novels, and as I was intrigued by the story I really wanted to read it.
It starts when suddenly no one dies anymore in an unnamed country probably somewhere in Europe. This isn't as good as people first expect because people may die no longer, but they still get seriously ill, get car accidents et cetera.
It wasn’t really what I expected, though I did like it. The story is very ‘cold’, as the point is to tell us what happened after people stopped dying. It’s mostly a summation of situations where we are told how specific people react to them. Like for example, what the doctors should do with all the patients who will never recover nor die? This makes that the book almost reads as a report.
( )
  Floratina | Sep 25, 2014 |
This was a very different (for me) kind of book in style. Starting on the first day of the new year, in a Catholic landlocked country, no one died. This story is about how this impacted all parts of society from the royal family to peasant families, and government and business. After a while, death (with a lower case d) allowed people to die and would inform them a week ahead with a letter on violet colored paper. Except one person's letter kept coming back.

The style takes a little getting used to. Sentences go on for paragraphs, paragraphs go on for pages, dialogue lacks punctuation. Since this is a relatively short book the style was not a difficulty. ( )
  mamzel | Aug 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
José Saramagoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Costa, Margaret JuliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gauld, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kort, Maartje deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
We will know less and less what it means to be human.
- Book of Predictions
If, for example, you were to think more deeply about death, then it would be truly strange if, in so doing, you did not encounter new images, new linguistic fields.
- Wittgenstein
Saberemos cada vez menos o que é um ser humano.
Dedication
For Pilar, my home.
First words
The following day, no one died.
No dia seguinte ninguém morreu.
Quotations
This fact, being absolutely contrary to life's rules, provoked enormous, and in the circumstances, perfectly justifiable anxiety in people's minds, for we have only to consider that in the entire forty volumes of universal history there is no mention, not even one exemplary case, of such a phenomenon ever having occurred, for a whole day to go by, with its generous allowance of twenty-four hours, diurnal and nocturnal, matutinal and vespertine, without one death from an illness, a fatal fall, or a successful suicide, not one, not a single one.
At most, it might push them toward the place where death presumably was, but it would be pointless, futile, because at that precise moment, as unreachable as ever, she would take a step back and keep her distance.
One cannot be too careful with words, they change their minds just as people do.
By the way, we feel we must mention that death, by herself and alone, with no external help, has always killed far less than mankind has.
it makes no difference because everything will have but one ending, the ending that a part of yourself will always have to think about and which is the black stain on your hopeless humanity.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago's brilliant new novel poses the question -- what happens when the grim reaper decides there will be no more death?

On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This of course causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration—flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home—families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots.

Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets, and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small d, became human and were to fall in love?

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0151012741, Hardcover)

On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This of course causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration—flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home—families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots.

Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets, and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small d, became human and were to fall in love?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:04 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This, understandably, causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, funeral directors, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration - flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home - families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral directors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots. Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets, and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small d, became human and were to fall in love?… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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