Alice's Reviews > Blindness

Blindness by José Saramago
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's review
Jul 12, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2008
Recommended to Alice by: Lucy Barnes
Read in February, 2008

Saramago's style was definitely hard to get used to. (Initially, I thought Saramago had written in this style specifically for this book, since it was so fitting, but apparently this is just his style in general.) He uses long sentences and even longer, unbroken paragraphs. He uses no quotation marks or breaks to distinguish between speakers. Often it is unclear who is speaking. This was [fittingly] disorienting in the first few pages or so, but after a while, the writing style really started to propel the story forward, until the momentum was unstoppable.

"Blindness" is about an epidemic of 'white blindness' and the resulting apocalyptic devolution of human society. The story had a timeless, universal, parable-feel, with no names mentioned and no indications of setting. Saramago expertly juggles scenes of absolute, disgusting, sickening horror that demonstrate the extent of human brutality with those that portray the strength of the human spirit.

I came away from the book feeling that there were many thematic layers that I only vaguely grasped, that Saramago had too many insights about the fragility of human nature and society for me to fully comprehend this time around. Definitely worth a read.

Favorite line:
"I don't think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see."

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