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Blindness (1995)

by José Saramago

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Blindness (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,881366449 (4.07)5 / 560
"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)
  1. 203
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (browner56, ateolf, lilisin, petterw)
    browner56: Two harrowing, well-written looks at what we can expect when society breaks down
  2. 150
    The Plague by Albert Camus (amyblue, roby72)
  3. 70
    The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham (infiniteletters)
  4. 60
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (petterw)
  5. 73
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Simone2)
  6. 41
    In the Country of Last Things by Paul Auster (BenTreat, Vonini)
    BenTreat: Both books are personal, tragic accounts of the collapse of civil society.
    Vonini: Same surreal feel, absent government, feeling of people being left to their fates, creeping despair, dismantling of society.
  7. 42
    José Saramago: A Consistência dos Sonhos - Cronobiografia by Fernando Gómez Aguilera (Ronoc)
  8. 20
    High-Rise by J. G. Ballard (bertilak)
  9. 20
    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (petterw)
  10. 10
    Death with Interruptions by José Saramago (Birbuv)
  11. 10
    State of Siege by Albert Camus (colagold)
  12. 00
    Into That Darkness by Steven Price (lkernagh)
  13. 12
    Rhinoceros by Eugène Ionesco (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Surreal epidemic spreads through the population.
  14. 12
    White Noise by Don DeLillo (chrisharpe)
1990s (13)
To Read (29)
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English (290)  Spanish (20)  Dutch (13)  Italian (10)  French (6)  Swedish (4)  Portuguese (Portugal) (4)  Catalan (3)  Portuguese (Brazil) (3)  German (3)  Portuguese (2)  Danish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Finnish (1)  Arabic (1)  All languages (363)
Showing 1-5 of 290 (next | show all)
The person who loaned me this book said it was the most depressing thing he had ever read, but I don't agree. Those already cynical about human nature won't be surprised at the rapid breakdown of society in a crisis.

The book has things to say about leadership and the meaning of community and family and love, but nothing particularly earth -shattering.

I liked the style of writing. Though I see in an end note he died before completing the translation. Now that is a bit depressing.

( )
  dylkit | Jul 16, 2022 |
Dieses Buch wollte ich schon lange lesen - und ich wurde nicht enttäuscht. Zunächst war es schwer, in den Erzählstil hereinzukommen, der aber wunderbar zu der Geschichte passte: Der Text wirkt wenig strukturiert, mit langen Sätzen, nicht durch Interpunktion angezeigte wörtliche Rede, Kapitelunterteilungen. Außerdem haben die Figuren keine Namen. Für mich hat aber genau das das Gefühl, in eine fremde Welt gestoßen zu sein, in der keine der früheren Regeln mehr gelten und in der man das Gefühl hat, im Chaos zu versinken, noch verstärkt.
Erschreckend realistisch finde ich den Umgang der Gesellschaft mit den Erblindeten, die in eine Art Internierungslager gesteckt werden. Allerdings steht der Umgang der Blinden untereinander dem kaum nach - die Bande, die die Versorgung kontrolliert und jede Form von Vorteil für sich herauszuschlagen versucht, ganz gleich wie widerwärtig, ist nicht weniger schockierend.

Ein sehr heftiges Buch - aber definitiv lesenswert. ( )
  Ellemir | May 25, 2022 |
I really enjoyed this book. At times it was a bit confusing to read, due to Saramago not using punctuation to separate the dialogues, but I think this may be Saramago's way of submerging the reader into the story. The story focuses on confusion and disorientation, which is what the writing style also creates for the reader to an extent.

The book definitely provides a look into a society in collapse and what sudden chaos could potentially bring out in humanity. ( )
  RikkiH | Jan 23, 2022 |
Unfinished. I actually gave up on this book exactly halfway through.

I might be at odds with the world here in giving a Nobel Prize winner just 2 stars for what is arguably his magnum opus, but I simply could not finish this book. I did not feel compelled whatsoever to do so.

Pinpointing why is the hard part as I honestly cannot tell why this is so. It might be that Saramago's storytelling did not appeal to my senses, or that I felt like the story did not unfold very well during the first half of the book. Or maybe I just don't like books that focus entirely on one single theme. And I guess it's a combination of all three.

All I can remember is forcing myself to sit down and read a few pages/chapters; and how after each reading session, I grew more distant from the narrative, and more puzzled over the universal acclaim this work has garnered.

Do not get me wrong, though. I do get the point of this book, and as powerful as it was, the story was just not doing it for me. I felt no connection, and no desire to read on after having got the point. Thanks, but no thanks, Saramago.

Note: I think that had Saramago condensed this into a novella (Stefan Zweig, anyone?), I would have been more interested, and more likely to enjoy it. ( )
  nonames | Jan 14, 2022 |
Impressive. Dark (or should it be white) and at time disturbing. Still the people make the best of it and the style of the author grew on me. The lady with the dark glasses, the wife of the doctor and the boy with the squint were quite real in my mind. ( )
  mdleenders | Dec 6, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 290 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (66 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Saramago, Joséprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Desti, RitaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lemmens, HarrieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mertin, Ray-GüdeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pontiero, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weissová, LadaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
If you can see, look.

If you can look, observe.

-- From the Book of Exhortations
Dedication
For Pilar
For my daughter Violante
First words
The amber light came on.
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Disambiguation notice
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"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.

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