Dystopian Society discussion

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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris (chris83) I'm apprehensive about this one. I might have to skip over some of the violence. I distinctly remember taking it off a shelf at the library with some excitement and reading the description. I put it back, kind of disappointed that I knew I wasn't emotionally prepared for that sort of thing.

I ended up seeing the movie but skipped the unbearable scenes. I will probably end up doing the same in the novel.

I debated not reading it but I think I will. I really enjoyed the movie with the exception of the parts I couldn't watch. I think the book is probably better as is the case with most movie adaptations. The premise is so tantalizingly horrible!


message 2: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 34 comments The book is incredible. Saramago has a unique way of portraying violence without being overtly graphic. this is a master at work. Good luck.


message 3: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
I am about 40% into the book - at first I found the style, with no quotation marks when writing dialog, a little disconcerting, but I have gotten used to it. It does suck you in - how very scary to me, to be totally blind! I find this much scarier than some "scary" books.


message 4: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
Has anyone read Seeing? It's on Kindle Unlimited, and I have a little OCD about reading ALL of a series.


message 5: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 34 comments Jane wrote: "Has anyone read Seeing? It's on Kindle Unlimited, and I have a little OCD about reading ALL of a series."

It is very good.


message 6: by Chris (new)

Chris (chris83) Jane wrote: "Has anyone read Seeing? It's on Kindle Unlimited, and I have a little OCD about reading ALL of a series."

This is turning out to being a very gripping novel so I'm pretty likely to pick up the sequel!


message 7: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
Agreed! I'm almost done (90%?) and I grabbed it on Kindle Unlimited.


message 8: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
I finished the book last night. (view spoiler)


message 9: by Gabriel (new)

Gabriel Boutros | 19 comments I can understand why people would have trouble with the violence of this book, but avoiding the "hard parts" is like being told how delicious a dish tastes without ever eating it. What made this book so brilliant, and so difficult to read, was Saramago's unblinking (no pun intended) description of the depths that humans can sink to when times are desperate. And yet, it is never gratuitous, and none of the characters, good or evil, ever lose their humanity. I never saw the movie because I doubted that any visual representation could equal the effects the book had on my imagination. Years after reading it I'm still so disturbed by what the story depicted I'm hesitant to read Seeing.


message 10: by Matthew (last edited Feb 16, 2015 12:14AM) (new)

Matthew Henderson (breakfastbutty) I finished it the other day. It took a little while to digest, I felt the beginning was great, but some bits seemed disjointed - I kind of lost track of the time frame during it, which seemed it should have been important as the only external contact was the recorded message and meals. I thought the minimal use of punctuation and lack of names was good and added a great deal to the feel of the story, and helped it to be much more interesting and intense. I thought the development of the events was really well done, but the enthusiasm for faeces seemed stronger than the desire to develop the characters more deeply. All in all I didn't enjoy it that much, but it has definitely left an impression of the viciousness and misery it presented.


message 11: by Jane (last edited Feb 16, 2015 08:17AM) (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
Jane wrote: "I finished the book last night. [spoilers removed]"
I didn't have a problem with the violence - I didn"t find much. Yes, some forced sexual acts, and a few gunshots. But I agree with Matthew in that there was much more (and more graphic) descriptions of bodily eliminations than violence. Urine, feces, and blood....lots of that. I was left with a stench - I can almost smell what that place and that city smelled like. Disturbing.


message 12: by Papaphilly (new)

Papaphilly | 34 comments Matthew wrote: "I finished it the other day. It took a little while to digest, I felt the beginning was great, but some bits seemed disjointed - I kind of lost track of the time frame during it, which seemed it sh..."

I believe the idea of disjointedness is part of his story. Losing your sight suddenly will disorient you. I think it part of his literary brilliance to cause you to lose track of time and fell what the characters are going through.

By the way, the movie is just awful. It just doesn't work at all, although there are some good scenes.


message 13: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
I totally agree with the losing track of time & disjointedness - and then the one sighted person forgot to wind her watch and that put her on almost the same level as the blind (although she had the advantage of seeing day vs. night). I think it added a lot to the story.

I have not seen the movie, but I looked it up on Amazon, and the cover looks like I pictured the doctor & his wife & the mess & chaos of the city.


message 14: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Henderson (breakfastbutty) Yes, the watch seemed to be so important. I thought there may be some other parts you would hold on to - like the regular authoritarian messages or meals - it threw me more because much of that section of the story was with the narrator following the only seeing person. I think that added to the feeling of helplessness.

I totally agree with nearly being able to smell the city. Very vivid writing!


message 15: by Mikhaeyla (new)

Mikhaeyla Kopievsky (mikhaeylak) | 26 comments You guys have convinced me to keep reading. I'm still pretty early on in the book and the lack of speech attribution and punctuation makes my head hurt, but I agree that the narrative voice is interesting and compelling. Will give it another chance...


message 16: by Jane (new)

Jane (janeinri) | 420 comments Mod
I just finished Seeing last night. Sorry I bothered. Boring, dark, depressing...none of the hope or even beauty of the human soul we see in Blindness. JMO


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