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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  178,086 ratings  ·  14,453 reviews
Winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature. A city is hit by an epidemic of 'white blindness.' The blindness spreads, sparing no one. Authorities confine the blind to a vacant mental hospital secured by armed guards. Inside, the criminal element among the blind hold the rest captive: food rations are stolen, women are raped. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who ...more
Audiobook, 0 pages
Published August 6th 2008 by BBC Audiobooks America (first published 1995)
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Virginia Arthur GOOD? Raw, gross, compelling, and disturbing. Incredible if not mysterious writing.
Al Maki For one thing, it's actually realistic. Jorge Luis Borges was blind most of his life and he said the one color he never saw again after he became…moreFor one thing, it's actually realistic. Jorge Luis Borges was blind most of his life and he said the one color he never saw again after he became blind was black. He saw a numinous field that was usually blue. Another thing, if you take the book as a parable, which given the fact that the author was a life long communist seems reasonable, then the blindness could be a result of cultural brainwashing, i.e. the blocking of real information by overloading the eyes, as Bruce Springsteen put it "blinded by the light."(less)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  178,086 ratings  ·  14,453 reviews

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Jun 18, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: identity
When you sit in a coffee shop at the corner of two busy streets and read a book about blindness, you find yourself thinking unfamiliar thoughts, and you believe, when you raise your head to watch the people passing, that you see things differently. You notice the soft yellow light of the shop reflecting off the bronze of the hardwood floors. You notice among the people coming from the train two girls who intersect that line, spilt, call back, and go their ways, dividing into the two directions ...more
Jeffrey Keeten
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
”The advantage enjoyed by these blind men was what might be called the illusion of light. In fact, it made no difference to them whether it was day or night, the first light of dawn or the evening twilight, the silent hours of early morning or the bustling din of noon, these blind people were for ever surrounded by a resplendent whiteness, like the sun shining through mist. For the latter, blindness did not mean being plunged into banal darkness, but living inside a luminous halo.”


We have all
Dec 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with a conscience.
This book left me speechless (which is a rare occurrence). Please enjoy the pictures to illustrate the plot while I recover my gift of rambling.

An unexplained plague of "white blindness" sweeps the unnamed country. Initial attempts to hastily quarantine the blind in an abandoned mental hospital fail to contain the spread. What they succeed at is immediately creating the easy "us versus them" divide between the helpless newly blind and the terrified seeing. Before we know, we are immersed in
Emily May
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia-utopia, 2014
Just imagine that you are going about your daily life as you always do. It's a normal day; nothing out of the ordinary. But then, suddenly, without any forewarning, you go completely blind. One second seeing the world as you know it, the next experiencing a complete and unending whiteness.

Then imagine you go to the trusty health professionals so they can get to the bottom of it... the doctor doesn't know what's wrong with you, but you're confident he/she will figure it out and prescribe
I finished this masterpiece last week and I let it to sink in a little bit before reviewing it. The power of this book was quite overwhelming at times and I had to stop reading for a few days at a time. I do not think there are many books that disturbed me like this one. Maybe Never Let Me Go but there the message was much more subtle.

Some say that the structure of the book makes it very hard to read. I suppose the voice in my head did quite a good job in reading it as I did not encounter any
Renato Magalhães Rocha
Blindness is a great novel by Portuguese writer José Saramago that deals with human's individual and collective reactions when in the face of adversarial forces. With gorgeous prose, this thought-provoking book shows us how our world, ever so concerned and consumed by appearances, would deal with the loss of our most relied upon sense: vision. When it's every man by himself, when every man is free to do whatever he wants without the impending fear of recognition and judgement, we start to feel - ...more
Imagine the most ordinary situation in the world.

People waiting at a traffic light. All of us can see that before our inner eyes, relive thousands of similar situations we have experienced ourselves, without ever giving them a moment of consideration. Thus starts Saramago's Blindness. But there is a disruption. One car is not following the rules all take for granted. The car doesn't move when the light switches to green. People are annoyed, frustrated, disturbed in their routines, but not
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
Update. I said I would never read another Saramago because of his writing style. I did though. All the Names and Death with Interruptions. Both brilliant. But I listened to them. I wouldn't have appreciated them as much if I'd had to struggle through Saramago's idiosyncratic writing style.


In H.G. Wells 'In the Country of the Blind' the only person who can see suffers great discrimination and has to agree to have his eyes removed and become as blind as the rest of the people who
“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.”
José Saramago’s Blindness can be viewed as an allegory for a world where we see but in fact neglect what is around us. It is a human condition, unquestionable a disease that in contemporary time has only agravated.
"..blindness is also this, to live in a world where all hope is gone."
is more than a dystopian novel, it is a philosophical work that makes us wonder about our
Mar 28, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-hated
Not at all disturbing, not at all compelling and not at all interesting, Jose Saramago's Blindness only succeeds in frustrating readers who take a moment to let their imagination beyond the page. Yes, Saramago's story is a clever idea, and, yes, he creates an intentional allegory to force us to think about the nature of humanity, but his ideas are clearly those of a privileged white male in a privileged European nation. Not only do his portrayals of women and their men fall short of the mark, ...more
We don't know what year it is, we don't know what city it is, all we know is that one minute a person can see, the next minute they can't. It's a white blindness that obliterates all vision immediately and is assumed to be highly contagious.

An early band of affected citizens is sent to a mental ward, in the hopes of containing this sudden epidemic of blindness. Only one among them can see, a woman as unnamed as anyone else in the story, but we come to know her as “the doctor's wife.”

And, since
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

What an irony that a book which holds, loss, filth, loot, stomp, cruelty, disorientation, putrefaction, injustice, helplessness, murder, rape, misery, nakedness, abandonment, death and unimaginable suffering in its bosom, left me with a climactic emotion of beauty, overwhelming beauty! Beauty of what you ask? That of resilience, that of courage, that of insurmountable human spirit which perhaps hits its zenith when it is brutally pinned to the bottommost
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews, kickass

Whether you interpret it as an allegory or otherwise, you will find that most of all Blindness is about being human, and the virtues and vices that define the fundamental human nature.

In a world full of blind people, where the civilization as we know it has completely deteriorated, people are no more identified and judged based on their profession, social status, outward appearances etc. All that remains to distinguish one person from another is one's voice, and the kind of person one is. When
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it, translated, 2017
This book was brutal in the most literal sense of the term. It looks at how humans can devolve into savages when put in certain situations, in this case when a 'white blindness' epidemic breaks out and causes people to suddenly lose their sight for no explicable reason.

Saramago is a pretty harsh critic, it seems, of organized structures like government or religion—and that's most clearly seen in the ways that the affected people create communities, how they respond to crises, and ultimately how
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, nobel
Perhaps only in a world of the blind will things be what they truly are.

Goodness me. The horror. The chaos. These two moist pulpy vibratile objects of anatomy, one on either side of the nose, 'the window to the soul', are steering wheels of the body, the basis of all order in the fragile human world, without which the purpose of evolutionary biology is moot. What would it be like if everyone was struck by an epidemic of blindness, sudden and inexplicable, you and I 'catching' blindness from one
Paul Bryant
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
What kind of a person is it who relishes reviewing the books he hates and quails at the thought of reviewing his five-star books?

It would appear that that could be a description of me. Well, the reason's obvious - it's great fun to boot a bad book and some bad ideas all around this site, a chance for a few jokes, a laugh, a song and a hand grenade, a couple of pints of Scruttock's Old Dirigible and everyone goes home with a smile on their face, no harm done. Not so easy to describe greatness,
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, special
This is not just a book you read, it reads you too. It is not a book that you can shelve, once it is read - it stays with you. Will you dare pick it up, let it stare into your soul?

I read this over 10 years ago and it is still very present in my mind. It has repeatedly come back to me, I have been recommending it and thinking about it. Yes, also worrying a bit more.

Without spoiling it the story is quickly told: blindness spreads like a disease. It is terrifying in that it just happens, suddenly
May 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b-the-good
This is definitely a book that people will either love or hate. It's just that kind of book. Not everyone is going to pick this up and like it. Even the people who end up really liking it, while reading it keep finding themselves putting down the book, looking around the room and sighing in discomfort, wondering if they should really continue. They will though, and they will once again find themselves fully immersed.

Jose Saramago writes this specific story in such a way that you are one of the
Steven Godin
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lent this book back in the late 90's, when I wasn't really an avid reader, barely scraping through five to ten books a year, and I soon quit, because of the annoyance of page after page of run-on sentences, un-paragraphed dialogue and zero quotation marks, What the hell! I thought, I'd never come across this before. I can't be doing with this. Here, have your book back.

Two decades later, and after thoroughly enjoying both 'The Double' and 'All the Names' in the last year or so, I got my
Adam Floridia
Dec 27, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star-books
It is easier for me to lambaste a book when it is a translation; after all, maybe it is not the author who should be held accountable for the text’s flaws. Whether or not the translator is culpable, Blindness indeed has many flaws.

First: In order, one must assume, to make the reader’s experience as tantamount to the characters’ as possible, there are no names and no quotation marks to indicate speech. That’s fine enough, but he chooses not to use periods either, that makes almost every sentence,
I can *almost* slip this book into that enormous category that is zombie-fiction, but alas, no. There are no zombies here.

There are, however, an increasingly large number of people going blind until there is only one left.

Chaos ensues... one heartbreaking step at a time.

Simple concept, of course, but in this case, it is brilliantly executed. The writing is clear and transforms us every step of the way from our modern society into a cold cinder of civilization, with the fall of humanity
Ram Alsrougi
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shocking and enormous the universe of the Portuguese writer - the bright universe you are called to live through a fantastic story that is horribly unlikely to real.

This famous book begins with a pandemic of blindness somewhere-anywhere, which is unexplained and extremely unprecedented, rather transmitted, so that in a few days the society of suddenly and abruptly blind and helpless people is created.

This society is quarantined by prominent governmental actors and the rule of law that is still
Mar 15, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Like Stephen King without all the punctuation.
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Whoa! This will be a bit scatterbrained. Maybe I will come back later and try to really give this the long, well-thought-out review that it deserves, but right now I am too busy basking in a mix of discomfort and disorientation.

Somewhat important fact concerning this book and my review and rating of it: I saw this movie first, and felt that it (to be totally clear) fucking sucked*, but was fascinated by the plot enough to randomly pick up this novel one day when I so happened to pass a
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I had been idle on goodreads for several months due to a form of torpor arising from being workaholic. I had been toiling hard at my work to impress my superior and, concomitantly, get a hike or promotion (God knows why! No matter how much I get persistent in shunning the beaten track of life, I again get sucked back to it as if the common-place life is a giant blackhole, always ready to engulf back those who go astray from it). One day, 18th feb 2016, I started reading Blindness by Jose` ...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014

I’ve read more than my share of post-apocalyptic novels where humanity is suddenly wiped out by a sudden plague or enslaved by aliens, attacked by zombies, buried under snow or under volcanic ash. I have even read one about people going blind overnight in The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. Yet, none of them managed to touch me so deeply and to disturb me out of my comfortably numb daily routine as Jose Saramago’s account. There are no teenage chosen ones to pull us back from the brink of
Χαρά Ζ.
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

In the first half of this book i was constantly thinking "We are fucking animals". I found everything that was going on to be disturbing and disgusting. You know that feeling, the one that you feel like you want to vomit a little bit. The thing that frightened me the most was that i got used to it while the book was progressing. I didn't mind anymore.
It is pretty clear. If we ever get to be in this situation that's how things will go. Or even worse.
In the second half we get to relax
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, portugal
Saramago's Nobel prize is well-deserved: His writing is edgy and inventive, and while this is certainly no feel-good-lit, it is absorbing and fascinating. "Blindess" is a daring novel about human nature that avoids clichés and doesn't shy away from drastic descriptions. The story is more of a thought experiment: In an unnamed city, people suddenly start to go blind. The condition is spreading like an epidemic, and in an attempt to contain the disease, the blind are locked into a former mental ...more
Johann (jobis89)
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Perhaps only in a world of the blind will things be what they truly are.”

An unexplained mass epidemic of blindness spreads throughout a city, afflicting almost everyone, as civilisation begins to fall apart.

First things first, this book has an incredible premise and story but you gotta be prepared to put in a little elbow grease to get it! Unless, of course, you are used to reading walls of text with no speech marks and long-ass sentences that go on for half a page...

That is honestly my only
Rakhi Dalal

I read somewhere that this work of Saramogo, when published, was compared to Camus’ The Plague by many critics. Perhaps it is owing to the portrayal of a city facing an endemic in both works. On this account, the comparison is permissible. However, in my view, both works stand apart from each other. The reason primarily being that whereas The Plague, through an endemic, successfully brings forth the idea of solidarity among humans for a survival in an otherwise absurd world, Blindness on the
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Play Book Tag: [Poll Ballot] Blindness by José Saramago - 4 stars 14 22 Feb 19, 2020 03:22PM  
Did the doctors wife actually go blind at the end? 43 1371 Jan 01, 2020 01:30AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Can you add bookcover? 2 28 Dec 27, 2019 01:53PM  
Around the Year i...: Blindness, by José Saramago 5 72 Nov 21, 2019 02:25PM  
Stumbly blindly through Saramago's prose 1 9 Nov 11, 2019 07:48AM  
Stumbly blindly through Saramago's prose 1 2 Nov 11, 2019 06:52AM  

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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

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Blindness (2 books)
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“If I'm sincere today, what does it matter if I regret it tomorrow?” 2156 likes
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