Blindness

Blindness

Paperback - 1999
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From Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago, a magnificent, mesmerizing parable of loss

A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" that spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and assaulting women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides her charges--among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears--through the barren streets, and their procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. As Blindness reclaims the age-old story of a plague, it evokes the vivid and trembling horrors of the twentieth century, leaving readers with a powerful vision of the human spirit that's bound both by weakness and exhilarating strength.

Publisher: Orlando, Fla. : Harcourt, 1999, c1997
Edition: Harvest edition
ISBN: 9780156035583
Characteristics: 334 pages ;,21 cm.

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List - Translation Turnpike
mhplandrea Jun 29, 2018

Original language: Portuguese


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n
ncs1961
Feb 18, 2019

This account of a society with "white blindness" left me with images I cannot unsee - even after 2 years (perhaps USA 2017-19 is a time especially ripe). Am now reading Camus "The Plague", and realize I must reread to fully reopen the ideas Saramago bloomed in my head. *parting thought - if you are tempted to view bird box, read this instead*

Tigard_HollyCP Feb 15, 2019

At first I had a very hard time getting into this book because of its lack of punctuation and paragraphs. But as I got into it, somehow the imagery became very strong for me, and a couple years after reading it I still have very vivid images in my mind of this book. That's saying a lot, because I read so much I often forget what I've read even 2-3 books later.

a
alexy93
Dec 12, 2018

A vision to human nature. Human nature is presented as being no different, fundamentally, from animal nature – self-serving and ultimately geared towards mere survival. Saramago was a proponent of Hobbes. Thomas Hobbes argued that man is born wicked and must be civilised. Left in a “state of nature”, Hobbes famously argued, our lives would be “nasty, brutish and short”. We would fight continually over power and resources. Deference to authority is therefore an act of self-preservation: we put our faith in strong leaders, and civic institutions such as the law, to save us from ourselves. Recent scientific findings suggests Hobbes was right.

l
LexiLou2
Mar 12, 2018

I'm glad that I persevered past the first 2 sections as this unique writing style makes sense once you allow yourself to let go of the habitual preference for formal dialogue grammar and structure. I didn't finish this book as I found the pacing slowed down half-way through, mostly because I wasn't comfortable in the sheer squalor that became the wards and the plausibility of this being the case became to visceral and depressing. I took lots of little bits away from this book, though. It was thought-provoking.

c
chcgbyrd
Oct 30, 2016

This book is life as it is today with many taking more than they deserve or can ever use leaving others barely to survive or to die from want instead. Man is said to be the higher animal. I doubt it. I had to both read the book along with the audio book to make sense of it.

Brilliantly written and riveting. A powerful story worth exploring and experiencing.

s
soniaregina
Feb 08, 2016

One of the greatest writers of 20th century and one of the best Portuguese literature tittle.

b
BrandonTrotter
Jun 23, 2015

While it takes a little while to get used to the unnerving writing style, Saramago slowly draws his reader in with an immersion rarely seen. The confusion, chaos, and fear of sudden blindness is conveyed with finesse and style.

m
mkchantelois
Jun 02, 2015

Slow to get into, but ultimately brilliant. Haunting. Vivid. A true piece of literary virtuosity.

n
No_Stalkers4Me
Oct 04, 2014

Dark, compelling.

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Age Suitability

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Vonn90
Dec 11, 2012

Vonn90 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Faize
Jun 19, 2012

Faize thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

MargaretMajewski Aug 29, 2011

MargaretMajewski thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Notices

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JLArcand
Jul 25, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

d
dms
Jul 16, 2008

Violence: Women are raped.

d
dms
Jul 16, 2008

Sexual Content: Women are raped. Couples have sex.

Summary

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i
isilme
Sep 16, 2012

From Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago, a magnificent, mesmerizing parable of loss A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" that spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and assaulting women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides her charges-among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears-through the barren streets, and their procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. As Blindness reclaims the age-old story of a plague, it evokes the vivid and trembling horrors of the twentieth century, leaving readers with a powerful vision of the human spirit that's bound both by weakness and exhilarating strength.

j
JLArcand
Jul 25, 2008

A blindness inducing virus sends a society into a panic. When the quarantined escape, they find only a few are left unaffected. What follows is a statement on our dependance on sight to maintain order and boundaries. This was made into a movie in 2008.

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