Sunday, August 9, 2009

Blindness by Jose Saramago

Blindness begins with a man going blind at a stoplight with an unknown type of "white blindness." He goes to an opthamologist to get his eyes checked and in hopes for a cure to the blindness which doesn't happen. Shortly thereafter all of the patients that were in the waiting room and the doctor himself go blind with the same instant white blindness. When news of this gets out, the government declares an epidemic and rounds up all of the blind internees and anyone who came into contact with them, to put them in an old, out of use mental aslyum. From there the story progresses, following the blind through their struggles to survive in a rapidly deteriating environment which no one can see except the doctor's wife. Blindness is one of those books that will stick with the reader for a very long time.

I'm not sure that I have the words to adequately review this book and do it justice. The reader knows from the beginning that this isn't going to be a light, happy read just from reading the book flap. But it is more than that...the author creates such a dark, intense atmosphere within the story that it completely drew me in and made me feel like I was there at times. I'm going to admit though that I didn't always want to read this knew that there were bad things that were going to happen. And part of it was just waiting for them to happen. Another interesting aspect about this book is that we are never given the names of the main characters. The characters decide for themselves soon after they go blind that names are no longer important and focus more on other things.

This is a book that just begs for discussion in so many ways. I would love for anyone who has read this book to share your thoughts on it in the comment section. It is hard to say I loved it or even enjoyed such a dark book but I did find it to be a worthwhile read. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone though because it is not an easy read and some of the things that happen to the characters are pretty horrible. I did have questions at the end that were left unanswered. One of them was who was the narrator? At times it felt like the narrator was one of the blind and at other times if felt as if he/she was someone else completely. I have another question that would be open to debate but it is a spoiler so maybe I'll talk about it in the comment section.

All in all, a worthwhile read for me and a book that I won't be forgetting about anytime soon.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 (I debated on giving it a 5/5 but I just couldn't quite give it a 5 star rating...)
Challenges: 100+ Book challenge, Support Your Library challenge, New Author challenge, Year of Reading Dangerously challenge


  1. Sam, I have this book on my TBR pile and MUST read it... it was highly recommended by both my brothers and I still haven't read it. Thank you for your review. I'm moving it up!

  2. This one didn't really work for me, but I'm glad you liked it so much, Sam!

  3. This book sounds too creepy for me, but I've heard it's very well done. Glad you liked it!

  4. Hilcia- Just be warned that it isn't an easy read...and please come back and tell me what you think when you finish :)

    Nymeth- Just out of curiousity, what didn't work for you? I would love to hear more of your thoughts on it.

    Ali- It is dark and a bit creepy. And the writing style is different which I completely forgot to mention in my review...but it is well done IMO!

  5. Glad you enjoyed Blindness. I almost NEVER read a book twice (Blindness was an exception) so very different. Great review

  6. Diane- You read this book twice! I'm amazed as it was a difficult journey for me at parts...but I'm still really glad that I read it!

  7. Great review, I have this in my TBR. I need to be in the mood to read it since its a heavier type of book.

  8. Naida- I know exactly what you took me at least 3 checkouts from the library before I even opened the book :)

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  10. Hello there,

    I have a question for the webmaster/admin here at

    Can I use some of the information from this post above if I provide a link back to this site?


  11. Jules, I've gotta ask out of curiousity what you want to use it for :) ??? Just wondering....LOL!

  12. I know you read this a while ago, but I just listened to the audiobook version this book.

    Such a dark and disturbing book. It's amazing how quick civilization disintegrated into basic animal living.

    I am totally interested in what your unspecified question is.


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