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Las intermitencias de la muerte

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  30,359 ratings  ·  3,208 reviews
Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago's brilliant new novel poses the question what happens when the grim reaper decides there will be no more death? On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This, of course, causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration. Flags ...more
Paperback, 274 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Alfaguara
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JP Peste Somewhere around the middle it was boring, but then, when death becomes the main character, it became one of my favourite books. Give it a try. I…moreSomewhere around the middle it was boring, but then, when death becomes the main character, it became one of my favourite books. Give it a try. I think it'll be worth the effort. ;-)(less)

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3.99  · 
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Intermitências da Morte = Death with Interruptions = Death at Intervals, José Saramago (1922 - 2010)
Death with Interruptions (published in Britain as Death at Intervals), is a novel written by José Saramago. First released in 2005 in its original Portuguese, the novel was translated into English by Margaret Jull Costa in 2008.
The novel centers around death as both a phenomenon, and as an anthropomorphized character. A key focus of the book is how society relates to death in both of these forms,
José Saramago's imagination appeals to me: I cherished Death with Interruptions from the first page. It's was not only the author’s incredible creativity or his masterful writing but also the fact that here he deals with something so close to all human beings: death. Who, after all, at some point in life, hasn't asked why do we have to die? The dream of immortality has fascinated humanity forever.
"The following day, no one died."
So simplySaramago begins: in an undisclosed small European co

The dream of immortality has always fascinated humanity. The dream of eternal life has founded religions that changed the shape of the world. What if it were true?
"The following day, no one died."
So begins José Saramago's Death with Interruptions. In an unnamed small European country without any explanations people have stopped dying - an eternal dream come true, right?

What else can we want now, once the threat of unavoidable demise has been removed seemingly forever, once the unstoppable Grim R
I love the cover of this book, the cartoon woman in black, paused on the doorstep of someone's life, her symbolic scythe held aloft. A light switch features in the centre of the illustration as if she might jokingly dim the lights while she fulfills her task. We almost expect to see a grin on her face and the illustrator has kindly left her features blank so that we can fill in that smirk for ourselves. A perfect book cover for a satire about death.
I’m not so keen on the title however; Death At
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with an imagination
Out of the half dozen Saramago novels I have read, this is actually my favorite. It may have been due in part that I devoured most of it while seated upon the sun soaked banks of a river this past July, but this short little work really struck me. It is so unique and imaginative and this book was just a really fun read. Despite it's focus of death and all, it isn't quite as heavy as most of his novels and will make you laugh at the dark abyss of death as most of this novel is actually darkly hum ...more
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lethal But Not Morbid

A great theological/philosophical book of ideas about how human beings deal with death - as a concept as well as their own individual fate. Saramago knows what most of us know but don't know how to say. He knows how politicians and academics and policemen and peasants talk and what they mean when they talk, which is often the opposite of what they say. And his gentle irony accepts the fact that we all lie by inevitable omission every time we utter a sound. So death for examp
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2015-read
Update 2 This book is unique. It needs a whole new genre to itself, fantasy philosophy perhaps. Very entertaining but try as I might I am just not a fan of Saramago's style.


Update 1 Getting bogged in Saramago's extreme wordiness and I could do with a bit more dialogue than this constant narration. There are no characters, or barely, it is all situations. It isn't uninteresting but it isn't gripping or enjoyable either. I hope it improves one way or the other.


I like what Saramago writes
Jr Bacdayan
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jose Saramago’s Death with Interruptions is a fascinating study of death and its implications to humanity. The book can be separated into two parts, the first part is a study of conceptual death or more accurately the loss thereof, and how it would affect the lives of the mortal beings suddenly deemed immortal. Then about two-thirds into the book, death suddenly takes another entity, from a formerly conceptual standpoint we are gradually introduced to death personified. Death is a woman, a beaut ...more
Vanessa J.
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magical-realism, 2015

The following day, no one died.

Oh, humanity, always wishing for what we cannot have. Eternal life, the eternal dream. But what if it came true? What if no one died? Well, this is what happens in this book.

The day is normal, nothing seems out of place… except people are not dying anymore. Dream come true, right? Well, you always have to be careful what you wish for. When people say they want to live forever, they think youth and health come as granted, but death’s plans were only to give hersel
Saramago’s novels often have the appearance of grand allegories, but they are not. One gets the sense of a writer simply exploring a premise with great freedom and a lack of embarrassment. Saramago allows himself to follow a line of thought to its logical conclusion, even if that conclusion is absurd to the point of ridiculousness. What makes this work is that he does not expect you to suspend disbelief. This is an exercise in conjecture, not realism. Where there are nonsensical contradictions, ...more
Oct 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Saramago's wonderful novel takes the old motif of death taking a holiday and breathes new life into it. Stylistically challenging for the reader with its run-on sentences and eschewing of capitals other than those that are initial, the work demands concentration. For those willing to put some effort into it, however, it becomes an experience very much like thinking the author's thoughts with him. As he leads us through the narrative, Saramago takes time to criticize government, business, religio ...more
Mohammed Al-Garawi
New review:
I gave it another shot and finished after a long struggle. I still stand by my opinion.


Old review:
This is one of the worst books I've ever read in my entire life. In fact, this is the first book I gave up on. What's sad is that the premise behind the book is brilliant and mind blowing, but it's just not flexible to be contained in 200 pages. The book might strike you as a short easy read, but it's definitely not. The punctuatio
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes, This is It! This short-sized and small length book (~ 250 pages) made me knock-out, or, paraphrasing, the small stone overthrows the big cart. It successfully targeted my 'Achilles' heel' (well, each one of us is a potential Achilles). So, in other words, it made me fail the bet I made with myself that I won't read anything else but only Saramago until I'll devour and satisfy myself with all his existing printed out books. That was my Olympic marathon. It was a thing I was proud of, especia ...more
Ammara Abid
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Attention please!
Cease your work and grab this book.
Phenomenal piece of writing.

The most striking line ever to start a novel.

One of the finest book I have ever read.
I bet no one has written anything a bit similar to this.
If you haven't read it yet, you're missing something remarkable.
Hands down to this absolutely fascinating, terribly terrific, painstakingly beautiful, exceptional masterpiece. For me definitely one of the all-time great works. Sir José Saramago i
Tudor Vlad
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
This is something that I did not expect myself to say, but I liked this better than Blindness. They are both heavy books in content, with fascinating concepts. But with Death With Interruptions I feel that I related more easily to the ideas that the author wanted to express.

We all fear death, some more than other. I for one am scared out of my wits of dying. At least when I'm in my brooding moods and start having dark thoughts. So imagine a world in which dying is out of the equation, how would
May 04, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Imagine if people stopped dying in your country; what do you think would happen? What unique experiments would your nation's scientists craft to test the phenomenon? What about the dare-devils? How would the international community react? It'd be major news around the world, that's for sure. And the world's great powers would certainly want in; they'd flood your poor country with spies and outside funding. What about attempts by the terminally ill to emigrate? The potential for a humanitarian cr ...more
Description: On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This of course causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration -— flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home —- families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral parl ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Imaginative and spectacular. What an interesting way to show and humanize death, almost as interesting as the display of our dearest dream and crushing it in economic chaos and emotional disaster, the wish of never dying. An inteligent read without doubt. Fluent and admirable.

Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge 2019: A book recommended by someone with great taste.

La muerte tiene un plan.

Otro autor que puedo tachar en mi larga lista de autores importantes por leer.

Las intermitencias de la
Nancy Oakes
I'm going to pass on a star rating here because I can't come up with something at the moment, but just for the record, this was a fine book. A little disjointed there as one part moves into the other which sort of threw me but overall I enjoyed it.

There's an interview at LA Weekly with the author that I read after I'd finished this book some time back where he says the following:

"It’s not that I’m laughing at death, because no one can laugh at it. But why take it so seriously?"

Like the author
Habiba ALAYA
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated, wish-list
More of 3.75, I enjoyed reading this book but Saramago,in my opinion, left too many loose ends for the book to be perfect
At midnight on January 1, all death ceases. No one dies. People rejoice! Huzzah, no more death! People love this, because if there is one thing people love trying to accomplish in life, it is how to trick death.

But then, also typically, there is an "Oh, shit" moment. As in "Oh, shit; no one dies... that's actually not so great."

Think about no one dying. What do we do with the perpetually dying? All the old and infirm that are just... dying, no relief in sight? Who takes care of them, and for how
On the first day of the year, no one dies. Death is taking a break, working on her tan and sipping cocktails in bikinis on the sunny coast of Algarve. Well, this is only my assumption and, obviously, a faulty one because death, who, as we all know, is a mere skeleton wrapped in a sheet, can't get a tan, not to mention the sight of her in a bikini would deal a massive blow to the tourism industry in the area. A more logical guess would be that she went to a more private place, like Mars. Easier t ...more
Jun 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: portugese
I began reading this shortly after Jack White’s Love Interruption hit the charts with a bullet. Couldn’t get the song out of my head. (It will win a Grammy. You heard it here first).

Oh, the book? Another parable from Saramago. And not one of my favorites of his. Took me three months (with interruptions). Still I never pitched it. death, with a small 'd', comes and goes, and finally confronts a cellist. Play something for me, she says. So he plays Bach's Sonata # 6 for Unaccompanied Cello. Which
Cat  (cat-thecatlady)
first time re reading this after probably ten years. still my favorite book. my heart 💔
Amy Bailey
First of all, it bothers me that writers who don't use appropriate punctuation and rules of correct writing are lauded as geniuses and rebels. Punctuation doesn't convey the message of the book. Punctuation makes sure I can understand what I read. Quotation marks aren't negotiable. That's the main thing that irked me about this book.

Yes, I like the premise. The personification of death was done in an almost humorous way. I have to say, however, I think I liked the second part of the book that r
May 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
What death is I cannot tell and if one day I'm able to do so, I'm afraid I won't be here to spread the word. In the meantime, we can only speculate: whether it is a skeleton, a shadow, an invisible entity. Whatever we think it is, one things for sure: it is the ultimate thing that makes us all equal since it shall fall upon every single one of us. For Saramago it — whoops — she and God are quite alike in omnipresence but definitely not the same and not even related. While Milton wrote terrifying ...more
Roger Brunyate
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Who Needs Death?

This is the first Saramago book that I have read, but it will not be the last. I had previously been put off by the physical appearance of his text—those rectangular blocks of gray print with no indents, no quotations, and very few paragraphs. But what I had not realized was the depth of his intelligence, the brilliance of his invention, or most importantly the extent of his wit. This is a satire, based on the simple premise that Death, or rather the small-d death responsible for
César Lasso
I was frequently tempted to give up the read. I am not a fan of that strange style where you should go through a whole page in search of a single fullstop. By the way, I have the habit of waiting to reach the end of a paragraph before going to the toilet for an occasional pee, but this book is able to give you diuretic disfunctions, since you might have to go through eight full pages before the author decides to change paragraph.

Nevertheless, in the end I found some fun in the love affair of Dea
Hákon Gunnarsson
It's a weird book. I don't know what genre I would place it in, because it's part fantasy, part philosophy, and part humor. Maybe that is beside the point anyway.

The question it begins with is what happens if there was suddenly no more death. One might think that would be wonderful. After all, there are not that many that really want to die. But it comes with certain problems. People will continue to get older and sicker, but they will not die.

This book poses some very difficult questions abou
May 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Admirably translated by Margaret Jull Costa, this novel by the Portuguese Nobel Prize in Literature winner, José Saramago, is odd indeed. Odd, as well as amusing, thought provoking, and compelling. In a small landlocked country, death has ceased and no one can die, although that does not mean that they cannot linger indefinitely at death’s door. What at first seems wonderful quickly becomes a nightmare as the terminally infirm begin to accumulate. Some professions are distraught - undertakers, h ...more
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José de Sousa Saramago (pronounced [ʒuˈzɛ sɐɾɐˈmagu]) was a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, playwright, and journalist. He was a member of the Portuguese Communist Party.

His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor rather than the officially sanctioned story. Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize f
“Whether we like it or not, the one justification for the existence of all religions is death, they need death as much as we need bread to eat.” 247 likes
“One cannot be too careful with words, they change their minds just as people do.” 163 likes
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