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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
1,981783,409 (3.67)50
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 Jose Saramago (2005)

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English (64)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (4)  French (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All (78)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
I am not sure if I fully understood the book or not. I will say that it was one of the weirdest and most interesting ones I've read in a while... even if I didn't quite get the end. The last half was definitely my favorite. ( )
  lapiccolina | Jun 23, 2017 |
There’s a lot to take from this book, I enjoyed the narrative a lot, despite the changing voice and point-of-view throughout the story, and while the grammar issues were distracting, the book ended up being an enjoyable, engaging read.

The grammar (I’m awful at it, I admit), but this threw out the conventional rules of grammar out the window, ignoring them completely. The book was filled with long, run-on sentences, a lot of commas, and no quotations or indication of who’s speaking during the parts with dialogue. It was confusing at first, but eventually, I warmed up to the writing style, and it works for the book. I think the author was trying to create a lyrical prose for his narrative, and it did work, it’s beautifully written and told, but the author’s writing style does take some time to get used to, and I can see a lot of people being turned off by the style.

The story itself was interesting, and despite the theme, it wasn’t depressing like I thought it would be. It was philosophical at times, and it showed some interesting ethical choices humans make in a situation like this one, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. Once death rolls in, the story takes a turn, and it had some interesting aspects, especially the focus on her, daily ‘life,’ but I’m unsure how I feel about the ending. I’m not sure what it was, but something felt off about the ending, it didn’t seem fitting to me. I was left unsatisfied.

Other than the issues with grammar and the ending, it was an enjoyable read – well worth checking out.

Also found on my book blog Jules' Book Reviews - Death With Interruptions ( )
  bookwormjules | Jan 15, 2017 |
My first attempt at a Jose Saramago novel, Blindness, didn't go over too well. I got lost in his style of dialogue and didn't care too much for the characters after awhile. However, I felt the need to give one of his other books a chance since he's such a renowned author. I am SO glad I did - Death with Interruptions was such an interesting read. In turn, this book is sad, frightening, and even funny. I absolutely loved the section on a grammarian's criticism of death's writing skills and found myself continuously impressed with the originality of the entire story. This book definitely requires a quiet setting thought - it's easy to get distracted or lost by Saramago's philosophical writing style, but it's definitely worth the effort. ( )
  PagesandPints | Sep 1, 2016 |
Wow. Simply genius.
I can't really put in to words how amazing this book is so I'll just tell you that Saramago managed to write a story about death and somehow portrait her as the most raw and amazingly human character I've had the pleasure to meet. ( )
  FilipaCorreia | Jun 30, 2016 |
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 | May 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Elke roman van José Saramago opent met een paukenslag.Op de eerste bladzijden introduceert hij een hoogst ongewone toestand, die vaak door een even abrupte als absurde ingreep van hogerhand wordt geforceerd.
Zo'n openingszet, die alles op scherp zet en de lezer elektrocuteert, is een geraffineerde variant op het 'er was eens' van het sprookje. Dan is de moraal vaak niet ver weg meer. Dat is soms even slikken, juist bij zo'n geharnast moralist als Saramago. Hier is het dat niet: daarvoor is het verhaal te goed verteld, te geestig ook - en het verlangen dat erdoor gefileerd wordt, het anti-doodsverlangen, te vitaal.
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jose Saramagoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Costa, Margaret JuliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gauld, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kort, Maartje deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rio, Pilar delTranslatorsecondary 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.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:38 -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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