Book Review

Blindness by Jose Saramago

Blindness by Jose Saramago

1998's Nobel Prize winner for Literature, Jose Saramaga, has, with his superb novel Blindness, written one of the finest European novels of the last few years. Portugal's best known writer - but like many Nobel winners hardly a household name - Saramaga has created a formidable and beautiful body of work deserving (and receiving) the very highest recognition. From the sublime, humanistic, perspicacious The Gospel According to Jesus Christ to the intelligence and metaphysics of The Cave Saramaga challenges, warns, argues but also - and this is of fundamental importance - entertains and enlivens through the truth of his transcendent and highly-cultured fictions.

Suddenly, whilst stopped at a red light in his car, a man goes blind. A 'white evil' obliterates his vision plunging him into light as fathomless and impenetrable as the darkest night. A crowd gathers and one man is kind enough to see him home. It is not long, however, until an epidemic of the new blindness causes the government to act in the most authoritarian and fearful of ways, throwing many of the recently disabled into a mental asylum, guarded by scared, trigger-happy soldiers, left to fend for themselves...

Whilst Lord of the Flies might seem an immediately similar reference (morality tale where civilised group degenerate to state of nature), Saramago's work has both more craft and more acuity than Golding's nasty little tale. Blindness is a luminous piece, and a wonderful starting point for readers seeking a scrupulous and wise guide to these injudicious and myopic times.

-- Reviewed by Mark Thwaite on 19/09/2004

Further Information
ISBN-10: 1860466850
ISBN-13: 9781860466854
Publisher: The Harvill Press
Publication Date: 02/09/1999
Binding: Paperback
Number of pages: 320

Readers Comments

  1. alice pulido says... Saturday 12 July 2008

    The book is moving and i even cried upon reading it.The way the story was positioned will make you think that its can really happen in the real world and the way the government,soldiers and those in power is in itself is very frightening.If a disease such as this will inflict everyone in today's world its not far from happening the way people was reduced to becoming animals blind or not.

  2. gemma zoey says... Monday 03 August 2009

    This book is absolutely stunning, I was floored when I read it a few years ago. I wanted everyone I knew to read it. Trying to sell it in the bookshop I work in is not always easy, Saramago's books don't move that fast and mainly because any description, especially of this title is difficult not to sound so dark and oppressive that it puts people off. However your review is excellent, has given me a way in to convince people to give it a chance. Perhaps the very way it defies description is in its favour.

  3. the way the story is presented made me think about the most important Q of life which is the Q of being. the novel is not only an interesting story but it is the story of how human beings react facing different issues in life. when the story goes on, it is no more a fiction but it is the complicated system of the human psyche and the way it treats. it is a limitation that make humans decide which side of their nature to follow!

  4. Maddy says... Monday 25 April 2011

    it"s a good book from cover to cover not something I would read again and again but still good.

  5. tahereh mansouri says... Friday 07 October 2011

    it was one pf the best books i have ever read....when i was reading i imagined every scene of this book and it was so hard for me but when i think more i know now all of us are blind to see our real world that is not far from the world of blindness....please read it.

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