M's Reviews > Blindness

Blindness by José Saramago
Rate this book
Clear rating

F 50x66
's review
Oct 07, 2007

it was amazing

Since this will probably be my last pleasure read for a good long while, I'm thrilled it was such a good one. This was a random purchase at Steimetskys where they were having a buy one, get one half off special on fiction in English (thus justifying - somewhat - my purchase of The Saturday Wife, Khay) - anyway I had never heard of it but the Nobel for literature ribbon on the front seemed a good haskamah so I went with it - wow! One of the most meaningful, profound (read: depressing ;) reading experiences I have had in a while - it is basically a tale of a nameless city (everyone, in fact is nameless, though, Khay, this is a bit better done than 'girl' and whatever else in the nanny books - but admittedly it got distracting, as well as the fact that he doesn't break for dialogue, the only sign that someone new is speaking is a comma and a capital and there is little attribution - a touch shticky and I am still contemplating the significance) where there is an outbreak of white blindness, ie, a person is merrily minding his business when all of a sudden all he can see is white. There seems to be no cause and it seems highly contagious, so the government decides to quarantine the blinds as a means of capping the outbreak - so basically what you have is some Lord of the Flies themes of the struggle within man (animal, survival, brutality etc) as well as the emergence of heroism, but as cliched as that sounds, it is done so well and so poignantly, all the more because the concept of blindness (and white blindness at that) carries with it so many themes and layers of meaning. On occasion I thought he overstepped and made his meaning a little too clear, the symbolism and whatnot, but for the most part it worked as a beautiful allegory and a means of expressing some truly breathtaking philosophy. This was a great companion as my two hour layover in Budapest became five - I couldn't put it down, though it is a coarse book, be warned, but truly worthwhile. It seems he has a follow up, 'Seeing' (go figure) but I suspect it is Mr Bridge to Mrs Bridge. Part of the power of Blindness was that it was its own entity, I think.
5 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Blindness.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by K (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:59PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

K Wow -- sounds interesting. I read about half of another book by Jose Saramago. It was interesting, but it was hard to get through and I got discouraged in the middle. If this one was good, though, I can try to check it out next trip to Sefer ve-Sefel (way in the distant future, thanks to you!;))

message 2: by Shulamit (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:59PM) (new)

Shulamit Hi Margueya
This book was very popular in Mexico a few years ago (3 or 4?) and I did try it out (in Spanish) and just couldn't get into it. It does have wonderful reviews and most of my reader friends in Mexico loved it.

message 3: by M (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

M Hey Khay - I definitely recommend, was so so good - I am happy to lend you mine if I can get it to you otherwise see if it's cheap ... eager to hear about the smell update and everything ...

message 4: by M (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

M Hi, Shulamit - maybe try it again? but I can see it being a love it or hate it ...

message 5: by K (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

K Oh, the smell update -- I was meaning to let you know. We had an exterminator come yesterday, and good news -- it wasn't an animal, just some old food gook that had dripped back into the motor of the fridge and was getting increasingly smelly, and I think the fridge motor was circulating the smell around the kitchen. The exterminator did some procedure to fumigate the smell, and B"H, we're now smell-free.

Please be sure to let me know how it goes with Auslander! Take copious notes, not only on what he says, but on how the audience deals with him -- that might be even more interesting. I just read an interview with him in "The Jewish Week." He's in therapy, but it seems to me he clearly needs more. His background is terribly sad, but I find his bitterness as an adult even sadder; lots of people come from tragic backgrounds and make some kind of peace with it but he is clearly still in the blaming stage.

back to top