Natasha Oliver's Reviews > Blindness

Blindness by José Saramago
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Mar 07, 09

bookshelves: magical-realism
Read in March, 2009

This is the first book I've read by J. Saramago, but I have quickly become a fan.

Pros:
Writing style. As many of the other reviewers have pointed out, his sentences can go on for a paragraph and his paragraphs can go on for pages, but if you pay attention it is not difficult to follow along. I also found it intriguing to read this novel because it did not to follow the mainstream format for writing.

Plot. Without spoiling it for you, I loved how I remained on the proverbial "edge of my seat" trying to anticipate what was going to happen next. I'm always struggling to find the perfect balance between a novel that's well written and contains insightful prose and one that has a great plot that grips you from page one. I feel that too many novels have one or the other. I believe that this book is a marriage of the two.

Characters. I love how their names are unimportant. It reminds me of McCarthy's The Road. In novels like these it works. The narrator of Blindness is a character himself, which brings another interesting aspect to this novel.

Dialogue. Like The Road, there are no delimits for character conversations, but again, I find this unique and interesting. I also felt like it reflected real conversations. Most times we speak over one another, and since Saramago's characters are blind, they wouldn't be able to see the visual cues to know that someone is about to say something or someone is simply taking a pause.

Cons:
Well, I think it's easiest to sum it up like this: If you didn't like the pros, then they are your cons.

It is not a cookie-cutter novel that adheres to the traditional grammar rules or the typical publisher's genre mold (i.e. must have happy ending, must wrap-up all loose ends, must have young & pretty female characters and tall and strong male characters). This novel is not dumbed down for the masses--though it is also not a difficult read either.

It has been a very long time since I've read a novel that has gotten me as excited as Blindness has, and I hope it holds true for you.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Sidney (new)

Sidney This definitely sounds like I would like it and like it should be on my reading list. I guess I didn't realize the recent "Blindness" movie was based on a novel.


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