Sarah's Reviews > Death With Interruptions

Death With Interruptions by José Saramago
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's review
Apr 20, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction
Read in February, 2009

This is a strange and difficult little book. Set in a small Catholic land locked fictional country, death decides to stop killing at the first of the year. Locals celebrate at first, but after a few months weary of the growing number of sick, elderly and injured who can not die. Death is a possibility in other countries, so some take their forever-dying relatives across the border (often with the aid of the maphia). The first half of this book is about how the government, maphia, church and royal family all react to the interruption in dying.
Written without paragraphs (even the dialogue) the first half is both boring and difficult. We don’t meet death until the second half, and by then the no paragraphs gets easier and the subject matter suddenly more interesting with the focus on the one character. Death decides to start killing again, but gives people one week notice, until she meets a cellist who simply won’t die.
I would have a pretty hard time recommending this book to most people. I am glad I finished it, but it is work. Even though I don’t mind a challenge, I found this more work than necessary for a pleasure read.
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