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Seeing

(Blindness #2)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  16,318 ratings  ·  1,410 reviews
On election day in the capital, it is raining so hard that no one has bothered to go out to vote. The politicians are growing jittery. Should they reschedule the elections for another day? Around three o' clock, the rain finally stops. Promptly at four, voters rush to the polling stations, as if they had been ordered to appear.

But when the ballots are counted,
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Paperback, 307 pages
Published April 9th 2007 by Mariner Books (first published 2004)
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Fritz In my opinion it doesn't really matter. The events of Blindness only become important at the moment they are also explained.

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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  16,318 ratings  ·  1,410 reviews


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Renato Magalhães Rocha
I chose José Saramago's Seeing as an October read because Brazil held Presidential Elections on October 5th (1st round) and October 26th (2nd round, since no candidate received more than 50% of the valid votes the first time). Brazilian voting system is similar to that of the book's unnamed place in that it is compulsory. We've had the closest race ever, with elected President winning by 51.6% against second place with 48.4%.

The book's story begins precisely on Election Day. Only the race wasn't tha
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Mark André
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels-i
Powerful. Sinister. Cynical. Idiosyncratic. Sagacious. Fun.
Modern, imaginative, well written. This guy's got game!
Karl
Set in an unnamed city, once again Jose Saramago creates an impossible sitiuation in order to write about the human condition. Jose Saramago was a humble genius, one of the rare few writers who could talk about the trival and mundane and make them seem so magical and important.

As usual, he sets out to explore and joust with preconceived universal truths and every day notions, and exposes them, flips them on their heads, re-affirms familiar and age-old truths because in his own words
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Luís C.
An astonishing political fiction of the 1998 winner of the Nobel literature.

It comes to a capital where the people decided to vote "white", more than 80%. What will the government do? We are looking for culprits with spies and informers? Attempting a publicity campaign? And if the army were sent? But vote at its option, is not an inalienable right?

It's full of humor and caricatures of politicians and is also full of reflections on democracy, rights and duties as citizens,
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Tony
May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seeing is a sequel to Blindness and it is essential to read Blindness first. Blindness introduces the character ‘the doctor’s wife’ who is one of the great characters in literature. You have to read about her in Blindness before you read about her in Seeing, where she remains a wonderful character, but less fully drawn.

I think Blindness is a great book, a classic, and it has stayed with me since I put it down. So, I resisted reading Seeing. That’s just me. And, through 70 pages of Seeing I was unimpressed. Sometimes Saramago can be difficult; and I don’
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scott
Oct 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: linguists and poetry luvvas
I've read about half of Saramago's books now. This one is the sequel to Blindness, which was by far my least favorite (brutal, mundane, and mostly pointless). I much preferred "Seeing". I would not consider Blindness a prerequisite either. Of course lots of people disagree with me and loved Blindness...

I finished this book continually astonished with the author's ability to put words together but still wondering what it was all about. He narrates like an abstract painter or a dancer,
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Gumble's Yard
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novel takes place four years after “Blindness” in same capital city.

On a rainy day of nationwide local elections – there is almost no turn out in the Capital until 4 when en masse there is 100% turnout. Having initially panicked the authorities congratulate themselves on this unprecedented display of civil duty only to find that 75% of the ballots are blank. Confused and angry the government orders a re-ballot a week later, this time there seems no order to the voting but 83% of the ballot
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MihaElla
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For many good reasons, besides being a brilliant dark and dense piece of text, this novel seems very actual to my state of mind. Not precisely within the same circumstances and effects (thank, god) but still it feels to go in line with some of the events that happened in my own country in the last 30 years (since we are again a free democracy) and I felt very strange about it.
To be perfectly honest I feel as if I was lost in the middle of a minefield. But, is there a reason to be worried? Well,
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M
Jul 11, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: pessimists who love political satire.
Harder to get into than Blindness. There just isn't a whole lot of action in the first hundred pages of Seeing. A lot of pontification about the electoral process and the mechanics of politics, but nothing much really happens. I feel like Saramago was a bit too in love with his satire for a bit too long in the narrative, but that's just my take. It does pick up after that, and comes to a conclusion that is probably right for the book, but one that I didn't exactly love.
******
HERE BE SPOIL
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Chloe
Sep 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Jonathan Swift or Dr. Strangelove
Recommended to Chloe by: Lorena Koyfman
Shelves: fiction
Those looking for a sequel to Blindness will be surprised. While Seeing carries with it some of the same characters as Blindness, it is an entirely different beast of a book. Rather than the touching tale of survival that made its predecessor so acclaimed, Seeing is satire of the highest quality.

How does a government respond when 83% of voters in the capital cast blank votes? With typical heavy-handedness and increasing degrees of ridiculousness. There must be a conspiracy at work, the government thinks. That much
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Stela
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Stela by: Ema
In the capital of a Portugal-like country, the very city infected, four years ago, with the blindness disease, it is election day. The representatives of the three main parties, p.i.t.m. (the party in the middle), p.o.t.r. (the party on the right) and p.o.t.l. (the party on the left) are waiting impatiently for the citizens to come and vote, for a heavy rain seems to keep everybody inside their homes. However, when all morning and afternoon pass without anybody showing up, the organizers start t ...more
Caterina
Oh, José Saramago -- I do not know whether to feel more hope or despair. Seeing was slow to get going, in part because, at first, there were really no characters. I suspect this was intentional, as the nameless people of the novel only emerge and become interesting as their consciences awaken and they become more than just the furniture of the political-military bureaucratic complex. About halfway through, the novel picks up and becomes the moving and compelling story of a man who becomes aware -- beg ...more
Sandi
I found this book far less visceral than Blindness which made me enjoy it a lot more. Whereas the first book showed how base humans become when left to their own with no policing Seeing shows how base a government becomes.

Set anywhere in Portugal and at anytime in the modern world this somewhat dystopian tale tells us how a government deals with an unusual mass occurrence. It's voting day and close to 80% of the population of the capitol city have decided to turn in blank ballots.

At
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Sarah Armstrong
Feb 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Reading Saramago is a lot like reading Faulkner. Once you get into his sentence structure and lack of punctuation, it's an entertaining read and you feel smarter when you're done. Like all the book reviewers say on the cover, this is a fascinating look not only at the people in government but also at how they react to crisis. As with Blindness, the book that precedes Seeing, this book left me asking, "so what happened?" or "how did it end?" Guess that's up to me, but I hope there's a third book ...more
Charlaralotte
Feb 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Charlaralotte by: I did, after reading "Blindness."
Shelves: read-in-2008
Searing. Devastating. Haunting. Brilliantly satiric.

If you don't like long paragraphs with the dialogue embedded instead of pulled out as quotes, then you might get frustrated.

This book is so painfully true about the nature of all governments--the farcical nature of relations between superiors & inferiors; the personality clashes that have far-reaching implications for innocent people, the subversive spin control of the media by desperate officials overstepping their powers,
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David
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Like Blindness, Seeing is an exploration of a 'what if' scenario. For an unstated reason, 83% of the population casts blank votes in national elections, and continues to do so in subsequent 'runoff' elections. This causes a flurry of activity by the government (hinted to be the author's home country, Portugal) which becomes increasing nefarious and dark. The capital is put under siege by its own government, and when this fails to warrant a response from the docile populace, the government evacua ...more
Emad Attili
Feb 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
description

“As my cat would say, all hours are good for sleeping.”.
WELL, I HATE CATS! AND I DON’T LIKE THIS NOVEL AS WELL!
description

I loved José Saramago in Blindness, and I expected I will also love him in this sequel.
BUT …….

description
description

The idea is pretty good. But the flow of events was really tedious. I didn’t enjoy it at all!
AND … The ending shocked me! I don’t know how to describe this nosleeping.”.
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Claudia
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-to-a-saramago
A Brilliant political satire.
Marc
It is the wet dream of every anarchist: a society without government, without coercion and repression, where everything runs by itself, where everyone knows his place and does his duty. In this book Saramago outlines such a situation in an unnamed capital. The city is completely abandoned by the government, in a panic reaction because in two successive elections the citizens had voted blank. The focus is not so much on the anarchist virtues, but on the cramped and especially cynical way in which ...more
Ana
obnouxiously good. no matter what Saramago writes, there's such a fine humor threaded through the book's fibers that you can't help but laugh out loud at his witty sarcasm. he knows people, he understands their most criminal thoughts and he unleashes it on paper. i always feel, when i finish a Saramago book, like getting out of a good lecture from an outstanding professor.
Weinz
Nov 09, 2009 rated it it was ok
Oh Jose, I'm disappointed in you. You bit off more than you could chew and knew it. You had grandiose ideas and were on the way to succeeding but got lost along the way. Alas, you still construct beautiful sentences and speak volumes with your words so we will meet again.
Larry Bassett
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, political
The author of Seeing, Jose Saramago, won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998. He said at the Nobel Prize Banquet:

In this half-century, obviously governments have not morally done for human rights all that they should. The injustices multiply, the inequalities get worse, the ignorance grows, the misery expands. This same schizophrenic humanity that has the capacity to send instruments to a planet to study the composition of its rocks can with indifference note the deaths of millions of people from starvation
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Nigeyb
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book shortly after having completed 'Blindness'. 'Seeing' is a sequel to 'Blindness'.

At first there appears to be little to explicitly link the two books. This book's premise is a subconscious revolution whereby the inhabitants of a city start to behave in a curiously collective manner - 83% of them cast a blank ballot at a general election. This inevitably creates confusion and panic within the government.

Like 'Blindness', part of my pleasure in this book was due to Saramago's unu
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Brian
Feb 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Resurrecting themes initially explored in his epic "Blindness" (which I highly, highly recommend), Saramago's unusual sequel starts of with just as much bang: Election day in an unnamed city in an unnnamed country, and the polls are empty. All of a sudden, directly following an intense rainstorm, everyone in the city arrives to cast their votes at once. Upon counting these votes it is discovered that 7 out of 10 are blank. A vote is recast, spies are integrated into the general populace to deter ...more
Justin
Jan 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who've read Blindness
Like the other Saramago books I have read, this sequel-of-a-sorts to Blindness was a truly unique reading experience. Now in my third go-round with his distinctive writing style - minimal paragraph breaks, no punctuation to indicate conversations and no character names other than "the so-and-so - it's much less challenging than my first Saramago experience (Blindness).

While this isn't a straight sequel, I would recommend reading Blindness before Seeing. While the latter is full of po
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Lori
Sep 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
As the "Somewhat" sequel to Blindness, this book follows the same townspeople, 4 years later, around election time. Believed to be under the "spell" of the one woman who did not go blind during the afflicted period 4 years earlier, the voters come out late, as if instructed to do so,and a shocking 80% have posted blank ballots.

The goverment once again reacts atrociously, and places the townspeople under lockdown, and begins an investigation. However, where this book varies from the first... we
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Amy Shields
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I'm still reading this book - it's not one that I can leisurely browse while also keeping an eye on the baby and answering my daughter's "why, mommy?" questions with the other part of my brain. In other words, it's a worthwhile read. So appropriate during this election season. His language never ceases to impress and amaze me. The sentences are so long and wonderful, it's like eating truffles; you just want to bite in and see what's inside each one and eat it slowly, and then reach out your hand ...more
Bookaholic
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as exciting as blindness but still pretty good!
Jelena Jonis
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written satire on the radicalism of democrasy.
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“The declaration of a state of emergency for which they had both had such high hopes, had produced no perceptible shift in the desired direction, for, since the citizens of this country were not in the healthy habit of demanding the proper enforcement of the rights bestowed on them by the constitution, it was only logical, event natural, that they had failed even to notice that those rights had been suspended”
--
“He did all this with great/>“He/>“The
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Chad
Oct 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
In his recent fiction, Jose Saramago takes preposterous concepts and explores their effects. Blindness, Saramago’s 1997 offering, concerns a plague of white blindness that afflicts an unnamed city. Set four years later, Seeing revisits this same anonymous city, and a new white plague has struck. This time, the disease is political instead of biological. The capital city holds its first election since the white blindness, and more than seventy percent of the ballots are blank. This causes governm ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: please add cover to book 3 32 Jul 11, 2018 04:23AM  
End of the book 3 43 Mar 31, 2018 01:53PM  
مناقشة رواية البصيرة 1 17 Jan 26, 2015 04:20PM  
کوری بهتر بود 2 28 Sep 12, 2014 05:27AM  
تعليقي على الرواية 1 28 Jul 30, 2010 12:51PM  
حیف بود! 1 15 Jun 18, 2008 03:05AM  

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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 for
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Blindness (2 books)
  • Blindness
“As my cat would say, all hours are good for sleeping.” 92 likes
“Oh, I'm not just going too far, I've arrived.” 58 likes
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