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Blindness

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  125 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Blinded in an accident on his way home from boarding school, John Haye must reevaluate his life and the possibilities for his future. His stepmother—worried that, blind and dependent, he'll spend his life with her—wants to marry him off to anyone who will take him, provided she's of the "right" social class. Contrary to her hopes, John falls in love with the daughter of th ...more
Paperback, 214 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published 1926)
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(showing 1-30 of 865)
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Justin Evans
Feb 19, 2013 Justin Evans rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Let me preface this by saying that Henry Green published this novel, which incorporates a number of highly advanced modernist techniques, in 1926; that this was one year after Woolf's To The Lighthouse, and one year before her Mrs. Dalloway; and that he managed to do this when he was 21. That's an amazing achievement, and more than enough reason for me to look forward to reading his later work.

Unfortunately, I won't be re-reading this one. His use of dialogue is worth plenty of attention (the s
...more
Judith Shadford
Apr 17, 2015 Judith Shadford rated it liked it
A strange little book. British smart-ass kid is blinded in a freak train accident. Section One is his diary from school. All the kids are referred to by initials, few names spelled out. If it hadn't been written during its own era, it would be Central Casting. Part Two picks up the life of a young girl on the estate of John Haye (now-blind boy). Her father is a disgraced clergyman living on gin. They have no money. She retrieves eggs from the unmown grass to augment their diet of iffy bread and ...more
Maryann
Nov 23, 2014 Maryann rated it liked it
Shelves: 1001
John is a student at boarding school and in the middle of his last year, is blinded in a fluke accident. This short novel shows us a bit of his life before blindness, but mostly how he and his family (including servants, because it's that kind of family) adjust.

Green wrote this as an undergrad at Oxford, which explains the accuracy with which he portrays the young man's mindset. He also writes about John and his family's mourning of John's sight in a way that feels very, very real. It's easy to
...more
Sarah
Sep 12, 2012 Sarah marked it as unfinished
No, not that Blindness.

Update:
I know. I abandon too many books...
But I've read too many books about romantic egoists who suffer in some way. I don't have the attention span to read one that isn't even polished. (This was Henry Green's first novel.)

It's not bad though.
Julia
Jun 20, 2015 Julia rated it it was ok
bought/read this purely because I found a really excellent edition of it published by hogarth press at powell's; would not have bothered otherwise. other books of henry green's have been on my reading list for a while (loving particularly) so i also thought it would be funny to read his first, obviously mediocre, book before i read those, and it was funny and it was indeed mediocre: probably interesting if one is a henry green specialist, but otherwise juvenilia is juvenilia, i think. any First ...more
Alexandre Andrade
Sep 27, 2015 Alexandre Andrade rated it really liked it
This novel is severely uneven and certainly less accomplished from a literary point of view than Green's later work. However, Green's uncanny ear for speech and nuances of meaning, as well as his delicate and sensual descriptions, makes this novel more than worth reading. Why the publishers decided to group this piece of juvenilia with his two last ones ("Nothing" and "Doting") in a single volume, and in the wrong chronological order for that matter, is beyond me, but I have to admit that the co ...more
Jamie
Feb 09, 2014 Jamie rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1001-books
While some passages effectively illuminate the nature of blindness and the isolation that ensues, much of Henry Green’s first novel was dull. In short: John is blinded by a shard of glass and proceeds to wallow. And, try as I might, I was just not that interested in hearing about it.

The main strength of this novel is Green’s subtlety in developing his characters. John’s self-absorption is not stated, it’s shown through a budding relationship that is the high point of the novel. To ease his bored
...more
John M.
Sep 02, 2014 John M. rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
Ostensibly, this is the account of a John Haye, young English public schoolboy who is blinded in a freak accident. Along with the account of his convalescence we are introduced to his stepmother and the domestic servants at John's ancestral home, Barwood.
The perspective abruptly shifts to Joan Entwhistle, the somewhat slatternly daughter of the town drunk, a defrocked vicar. The squalor in which she and her father live is in direct contrast to the stuffy propriety of Barwood.
When John shows a pr
...more
Jon
Jul 23, 2011 Jon added it
The very young Henry Green's first novel (which, oddly, includes characters named Greene--did he still think of himself as Henry Yorke when he wrote this?) is precocious, sometimes claustrophobic, different from his later work while suggesting the brilliance to come in LIVING, LOVING, and my two favorites, PARTY GOING and CONCLUDING. Two of the main characters, a father and daughter, are named Entwhistle and there's a reference to a troublesome Moon family. No Daltrey or Townshend, though....Iro ...more
Curious Squid
Sep 14, 2012 Curious Squid rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 1001-books
The story is of a 17 year old boy named John who is blinded in an accident on the way home from boarding school.

Set in the English countryside of the 1920's, the book starts out before the accident, and then proceeds to after the accident.

I find the concept of going blind terrifying, and it made me think about how one would cope with such an event. I can't imagine how hard it would be to go through for both the person and their family members/people close to them, and suspect it would be easy t
...more
Michael
Jan 15, 2016 Michael rated it it was amazing
Clearly an apprentice work when compared to the glory to come but a damn fine one nevertheless. We see Green experimenting with techniques not only current at the time, but that he would later mold into his own unique take on how to tell a story in the most honest way possible. His empathetic handling of the central characters is particularly good and unlike many other contributors here, I didn't find their dialogues (interior or otherwise) anything but compelling. Great job from a great genius!
Alejandro
Jan 16, 2012 Alejandro rated it it was ok
Henry Green is a difficult author. He's a modernist in the Woolf tradition and the free indirect discourse verges from beautiful and elegiac to frustrating and hard to follow. "Blindness" tells the story of John Haye, an upper class English teen who is blinded in an accident while on a train, heading home for the holidays. He tries his best to cope with his new handicap while building a strange, not easily defined relationship with the daughter of the town drunk, in spite of his stepmother's wis ...more
Jennifer Barbee
May 25, 2011 Jennifer Barbee rated it liked it
While I loved the subject matter, and even, intellectually, really liked the way it was approached with the differing P.O.V's and moderate stream of consciousness delivery, I have to admit I found it a more difficult read than I expected. I sought this out because of its place on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list, which is more or less my go-to when I run short on ideas for my next read. I'm not sure that I agree with this book's continued placement on that list above some of the ...more
Deodand
Jan 29, 2010 Deodand rated it it was ok
I was expecting this to be better. I didn't care much about the characters, they seem like a bunch of milquetoasts. And that has nothing to do with Britishness!

I was also annoyed by the plot summary on the back of this edition. It gives away the whole story! If I wasn't motivated to finish this before, I certainly am not now. I will probably throw it in my school bag and pull it out when I'm waiting for the train.
Jenn
Jul 01, 2012 Jenn rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
This novel is a little uneven, but it was his first, and he wrote it when he was an undergrad, for Pete's sake. It's certainly worth reading, especially if you're interested in Modernism and can be patient with stream-of-consciousness. It's not as challenging in that respect as some of Woolf and Joyce, but the quicksilver shifts of point of view require fast attention.
Annie
Jul 18, 2007 Annie rated it really liked it
"Blindness was written by Green in the early 1920s when he was a young man, and as such stands as a good companion piece to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise."

http://superfastreader.com/blindness-...
Dan Honeywell
Sep 17, 2014 Dan Honeywell rated it liked it
Although the first part of this book is really good, the diary excerpts from John's time at school, the middle and latter half drug terribly.
Betsy G
Jan 18, 2008 Betsy G rated it liked it
I read this by accident while trying to read the more famous book Blindness. It was hard to get through, that's all I say.
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Henry Green was the nom de plume of Henry Vincent Yorke.
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