Blindness - Jose Saramago

The thing that tempted me to buy this book was the fact that is was named as one of the most disturbing books in various internet lists. I began reading only to realise that the way in which it is written is entirely odd.

I don't know if it's down to the fact that this, originally Portuguese, book's translator died part way through translating but the book has very little punctuation or paragraph breaks. I actually think it's a stylistic choice, which serves the purpose to thrust you into this world and into the craziness of what the characters are experiencing.

To cut a long story short, a blindness epidemic has begun and those who are turning blind are being chucked into an asylum and quarantined from the rest of the world. We see the story omnisciently following a few of the first people to be taken into quarantine. We never find out their names they are simply described as 'the first blind man', 'the doctor', 'the girl with the dark glasses' and so on.

My apologies for sounding like an English student (I'm not an English student although I once was) but I believe the reason for the lack of punctuation and breaks in the text is to throw you into the world of these people who can simply hear voices being thrown at them along with all the sounds of the world around them. Maybe.

Once you get past looking at a wall of text and instead begin to read you find you soon begin to get into the story and never really miss conventional punctuation, except for maybe once or twice when it's a struggle to realise who is talking. Although this adds to how you feel the confusion of these blind characters.

It is a bit disturbing, there's struggle, rape, death, faeces and all manner of grossness. It shows the complete break down of humanity and that people will do anything to survive. It's well worth reading if you can put up with the writing style.

It's now been made into a film, I'd very much like to see it. A friend told me it was a weird film, I wouldn't expect anything less.

Buy on Amazon


Post a Comment

Think about what you are going to say. Praise and sympathy always welcomed. Trolls are only fun if they are witty.