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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)

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1,607None4,507 (3.66)33
Member:starfox
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, To read
Rating:
Tags:Fiction, Nationality: Portuguese

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Death with Interruptions by José Saramago (2005)

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English (46)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (57)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
Silly. Death stops within a country, but continues elsewhere. Much ado about this and also when it starts again. Quite boring, and an annoying meta-narrator, who breaks in to talk about his own narration. Did not finish. ( )
  ohernaes | Apr 6, 2014 |
Saramago has an interesting run on sentence style, but I found it does not make for "light" reading. Intriguing concept, but with some unresolved plot points. Our maybe I just didn't get it? Kudos to the translator; this couldn't have been easy. ( )
  ylferif | Mar 17, 2014 |
What would happen if death decided to stop taking people for a few months? This is the question central to the first half of the novel. The second half dwells on what happens when death becomes involved in the life of one she is supposed to take. Interesting and entertaining premise. Saramago has pretty much though of everything in this one. I just had a hard time with the lack of punctuation. I'm sure he had a purpose, and does actually comment on his form of prose at one point in the novel. It just makes it difficult to fully enjoy the book. ( )
  joyhclark | Mar 13, 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 | Jan 23, 2014 |
I think this is the first José Saramago book I've ever read: I have no idea if it was a good one to start with or not. It caught my interest from the blurb, and kept it despite the run on sentences, disregard for commas, etc. I have no idea how that mirrors the original, given that of course I had to read a translation, but normally I find it just about impossible to ignore. But I got into the swing of it, here.

The book is alternately absurd, satirical, philosophical and tender: the last two pages left me with an odd lump in my throat. It's not really a characters book -- it has a fairly minimal cast, with only death and the cellist really drawn with any clarity, and basically it's not something I would normally enjoy. But I did, very much. I stayed up to finish reading it, even.

I don't know what else to say about it, except that I felt it was very worth the time it took to get into it. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 28, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
José Saramagoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Costa, Margaret JuliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gauld, TomCover artistsecondary 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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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?"--jacket blurb.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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