Blindness

Front Cover
Harcourt Brace & Company, 1999 - Fiction - 327 pages
83 Reviews
A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers-among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears-through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century, Blindness has swept the reading public with its powerful portrayal of man's worst appetites and weaknesses-and man's ultimately exhilarating spirit. The stunningly powerful novel of man's will to survive against all odds, by the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature.

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This book has a wonderful premise. - Goodreads
The plot idea is actually pretty good. - Goodreads
For me, it marked Saramago as a truly brilliant writer. - Goodreads

Review: Blindness (Blindness #1)

User Review  - Michael Michaud - Goodreads

I had read and heard an awful lot about this book, so I was surprised, when I mentioned to a colleague that I had just ordered the book, that she advised me to skip it for being an abysmal work of ... Read full review

Review: Blindness (Blindness #1)

User Review  - Shauna - Goodreads

What Blindness lacks in punctuation it makes up for in poop. The word "excrement" appeared so often that I had to do a double take on the rare occasions I encountered the similarly spelled "excitement ... Read full review

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References to this book

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About the author (1999)

Josť Saramago was born on November 16, 1922. He spent most of his childhood on his parent's farm, except while attending school in Lisbon. Before devoting himself exclusively to writing novels in 1976, he worked as a draftsman, a publisher's reader, an editor, translator, and political commentator for Diario de Lisboa. He is indisputably Portugal's best-known literary figure and his books have been translated into more than 25 languages. Although he wrote his first novel in 1947, he waited some 35 years before winning critical acclaim for work such as the Memorial do Convento. His works include The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis, The Stone Raft, Baltasar and Blimunda, The History of the Siege of Lisbon, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, and Blindness. At age 75, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998 for his work in which "parables sustained by imagination, compassion and irony, continually enables us to apprehend an elusory reality." He died from a prolonged illness that caused multiple organ failure on June 18, 2010 at the age of 87.

Giovanni Pontiero (1932-1996) was the ablest translator of twentieth century literature in Portuguese and one of its most ardent advocates. He was the principal translator into English of the works of Jose Saramago and was awarded the Teixeira-Gomes Prize for his translation of The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.

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