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Death with Interruptions by Jose Saramago
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Death with Interruptions (original 2005; edition 2009)

by Jose Saramago

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2,069813,207 (3.69)48
Member:ghimmelmann
Title:Death with Interruptions
Authors:Jose Saramago
Info:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2009), Edition: Reprint, Kindle Edition, 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 48 mentions

English (68)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (4)  French (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  English (81)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
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 |
What would happen if death decided to take a break? Well, Saramago has some good points as how it would be chaotic to say the least. ( )
  Glaucialm | Feb 18, 2016 |
As the New Year begins, Death decides to take a holiday. It takes a while before people notice that no one is dying--those on their death beds remain suspended in a near death state, those in accidents which should have killed them, remain alive maimed or horribly injured.

After brief rejoicing, people begin to realize that it might not be such a good thing if nobody ever dies: What happens to the funeral and life insurance businesses? What happens to religion without a heavenly afterlife to look forward to?

Fortunately, Death is not on holiday in surrounding countries, and people begin to take their near-dead across the border, where they die instantly. Neighboring countries don't like this, however, and a whole industry of smuggling people across the border to die develops.

Like many of Saramago's books, this book raises a "What if?" question about something that is not possible, and follows it through a winding path to consider issues important to the world today. It is written in Saramago's characteristic style. For the most part it is not plot driven, and initially there are no "main characters". But who could resist reading a book that begins:

"The following day no one died. 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, a successful suicide, not one, not a single one."

Recommended. ( )
  arubabookwoman | Jan 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
José 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.)
Disambiguation notice
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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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