Customer Reviews for

Blindness

Average Rating 4
( 250 )
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5 Star

(106)

4 Star

(73)

3 Star

(37)

2 Star

(17)

1 Star

(17)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

CLASSIC

I loved the premise of Blindness. It had a great flow to it, excellent character development (though highly unconventional), and a story that kept one guessing most of the way through.
Though the ending was somewhat predictable, some of the scenes completely off base o...
I loved the premise of Blindness. It had a great flow to it, excellent character development (though highly unconventional), and a story that kept one guessing most of the way through.
Though the ending was somewhat predictable, some of the scenes completely off base on human reactions, and the action often simplistic, the story itself had a cohesiveness that keep me locked in the whole time. Some have described the story as if it were an interpretation of a painting, attributing many facets to it that were not obvious. Maybe I am just shallow, but though it was a great read, I would not rank it up there with "War and Peace"!
I read the book in two sittings, and will do it again. That said, the style of writing best associated with an internet chat room, missing all writing conventions except periods for the end of a sentence, makes the book difficult to read. Though, as you become accustomed to the style it gets easier, it creates confusion as you often find yourself rereading parts to figure out who was speaking, and trying to decide if it was a thought or a spoken word. The minimum amount of paragraphs, even though action, conversations and thoughts among many people take place in one paragraph, make following the threads of the story difficult. Many have said that this was intentional, and maybe it was, but I fail to see how it would have hurt the story to follow normal writing rules. Unfortunately, the sequel "Seeing" is done the same way, and makes even less sense!
All that said, if you like apocalyptic science fiction with an intellectual bent, this is a great book to work your way through. It even has a slight feel of Asimov to it.

posted by Jessi-21 on September 11, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

I did not like this book!

I'm actually surprised that everyone gave it such good reviews. The translation was awkward, which made it very hard to read.


I also kept waiting for someone to be a little more self sufficient! They all walked around like sheep and did nothing to help themselves....
I'm actually surprised that everyone gave it such good reviews. The translation was awkward, which made it very hard to read.


I also kept waiting for someone to be a little more self sufficient! They all walked around like sheep and did nothing to help themselves. They relied on the only sighted person in the story. It was frustrating!
They couldn't cook because there weren't any microwaves? Ahhhh...what did we do before microwaves? The whole book was like that! Sorry, I just was surprised at how weak it was. Good idea that fell flat.

But, what do I know, he won a nobel prize for it!

posted by CPSinPhilly on February 4, 2011

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  • Posted September 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    CLASSIC

    I loved the premise of Blindness. It had a great flow to it, excellent character development (though highly unconventional), and a story that kept one guessing most of the way through.
    Though the ending was somewhat predictable, some of the scenes completely off base on human reactions, and the action often simplistic, the story itself had a cohesiveness that keep me locked in the whole time. Some have described the story as if it were an interpretation of a painting, attributing many facets to it that were not obvious. Maybe I am just shallow, but though it was a great read, I would not rank it up there with "War and Peace"!
    I read the book in two sittings, and will do it again. That said, the style of writing best associated with an internet chat room, missing all writing conventions except periods for the end of a sentence, makes the book difficult to read. Though, as you become accustomed to the style it gets easier, it creates confusion as you often find yourself rereading parts to figure out who was speaking, and trying to decide if it was a thought or a spoken word. The minimum amount of paragraphs, even though action, conversations and thoughts among many people take place in one paragraph, make following the threads of the story difficult. Many have said that this was intentional, and maybe it was, but I fail to see how it would have hurt the story to follow normal writing rules. Unfortunately, the sequel "Seeing" is done the same way, and makes even less sense!
    All that said, if you like apocalyptic science fiction with an intellectual bent, this is a great book to work your way through. It even has a slight feel of Asimov to it.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2011

    I did not like this book!

    I'm actually surprised that everyone gave it such good reviews. The translation was awkward, which made it very hard to read.


    I also kept waiting for someone to be a little more self sufficient! They all walked around like sheep and did nothing to help themselves. They relied on the only sighted person in the story. It was frustrating!
    They couldn't cook because there weren't any microwaves? Ahhhh...what did we do before microwaves? The whole book was like that! Sorry, I just was surprised at how weak it was. Good idea that fell flat.

    But, what do I know, he won a nobel prize for it!

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 18, 2011

    Awkward translation

    A friend recommended this book to me. The premise of the story is interesting and one I would normally like. However, the translation is not very good. The phrasing is awkward and there is not a good use of punctuation. Some of the sentences are more like paragraphs. I found it hard to follow. I rarely put a book down once I start it, but I put this one down after only about 30 pages. I may pick it up again when I have more patience to wade through it because I do think the story sounds really intriguing.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2001

    Another literary work of a genius!!!

    Blindness, compells us to believe that the veneer of civilization runs thin. Saramago is a master story teller who has succeeded in exposing the animal, survival instinct we all possess. It intricately follows the plight of six characters brought together by fate in a what can be described as 'a sea of blindess'. A very shocking revelation as to how delicate our perfectly balanced world is and how quickly it comes crumbling down when it doesn't behave the way we expect it to.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 16, 2012

    This is one of my favorite books. It is difficult to get used to

    This is one of my favorite books. It is difficult to get used to the style of writing at first, but once you get used to it, the rest is pretty easy to read. Definitely gives you a glimpse of human nature and how people really are when no one is looking (or seeing). I recommend this to everyone I discuss books with. You should give it a shot!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2012

    Imagine that you're in your car, stopped at a traffic light; sud

    Imagine that you're in your car, stopped at a traffic light; suddenly the whole world goes white and you're blind. This is how Jose Saramago's award-winning novel opens. With a single man struck by blindness. Eventually this blindness spreads to every person he has been in contact with, from the person who helped him home, to his wife, to the eye doctor he saw and all the patients in his office. It spreads rapidly, prompting the government to quarantine all of those who have been blinded and all of those whom have had contact with the blind. An abandoned mental asylum is chosen as the quarantine location. The internees are guarded by soldiers who are terrified that they too will go blind, treating the blind as little more than criminals, with orders to shoot if the sick and contaminated get too close. The rest of the novel tells the story of what happens within the wards of their confinement.

    This novel surprised me. I had previously heard of it, and thought it was something I might like to read, so I was fairly pleased when my book club made it our August selection. What I had not expected was to be hooked from start to finish. I literally sat up until 2:30 in the morning finishing the book, unable to put it down to go to sleep. Even after I did go to sleep, I laid awake thinking of it. Saramago seems to have a very strong grasp upon human nature which made the book feel real. Given today's society, if some medical crisis of this nature were to actually occur, I could easily see that our own collapse would happen in nearly the same fashion he described.

    Saramago's writing style is experimental. He uses almost no punctuation beyond commas and periods with miles of sentences in between. None of the characters are given names, instead referred to by defining characteristics such as the doctor, the first blind man, the car thief, the man with the black eye patch. For some this could be off-putting. For me it was perfect. I thought that the stylization only emphasized the bleak reality of the blind, their lack of identity and the breakdown of civilization into chaos. However, this could deter a lot of readers, which is unfortunate because if you can past that into the real heart of the story, it is completely unforgettable.

    <i>&quot;Then, as if he had just discovered something that he should have known a long time ago, he murmured sadly, This is the stuff we're made of, half indifference and half malice.&quot;</i>

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2012

    The formatting made this book a bit hard to read, though perhaps

    The formatting made this book a bit hard to read, though perhaps only the ebook is affected. There were very few paragraph breaks, and dialogue was not separated, so it was sometimes hard to distinguish when one person stopped talking and another began.

    Aside from these formatting issues, however, I enjoyed this book. It was compelling. For the first portion of the book, it was easier to keep distance, but because of certain plot developments that I shouldn't reveal, the second half came to feel all too real. I even started worrying that I would go blind as well.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    A Book that challenges the way we view our lives...

    The concept of this book was very interesting. What would you do if you went blind? Where would you go? What would you do? This book is a very scary and realistic view of what would happen if everyone faced an epidemic of blindness. A chilling story, but what happens in this book, could very well happen in real life if an event similar to this were to happen. This is a great book in its own sense, but probably not for the faint of heart. Upon completion of this book you will learn to appreciate our ability to see and realize how much we come to depend on it as a society.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Heard a review on NPR... this was not what I expected

    This book is well written and does generate thoughts about what could happen. It's not what I usually have in my pile of books to read but I heard a lady on NPR rave about how this was the only book she had read or would read more than one time and I thought that was a good recommendation. It did make me think about a lot of things I would never have thought about which I suppose a good book will but it was pretty dark (no pun intended) and had a little to much of the gritty details for me.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2010

    A Surrealistic Masterpiece!

    Mr. Saramago manages to destroy the structured society that we all know and believe in. This book is powerful, unique, sad, and disturbing. It touches the philosophical side of all the readers. It's eloquently written with vivid characters that makes you truly "feel" that you are in the novel itself. This is truly one of my favorite books.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    See the world differently

    Perhaps the greatest novel since John Fowles's DANIEL MARTIN. Like Camus's THE PLAGUE, BLINDNESS establishes an extreme situation - in this case, a whole nation becomes blind - and through the situation tells us (the reader) about humanity. The rape scenes in the middle of the book are a little difficult to stomach but worth pushing through to get to the tear-jerking scene in the church, which for whatever reason reminded me of a similar scene at the end THE ATHEIST'S CHURCH (though thankfully that one didn't make me cry). All in all, along with the other novels I've mentioned here, BLINDNESS is one of my favorites.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2009

    Difficult, but worth it!

    I read this book nine years ago, and have never forgotten how powerful the story is, and how difficult it was to read. No matter how horrifying and depressing the characters lives became, I could not put it down. This book will make you think, and is great for group discussions. You won't forget it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    Boring

    Did not understand the story.

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2003

    Good ideas, difficult style

    I am an avid reader, and a good one, but I found Saramago's style annoying and unnecessarily difficult. If the style was meant to slow you down, or make you feel like a blind person, okay, I get it, but it also became tedious. Punctuation and the conventions of 'he said, she said' exist for a reason--to clarify words into identifiable sentences with meaning. I do not agree with the business style of today that discourages long sentences--but long sentences lose their meaning without the indicators of punctuation to guide the reader. Perhaps the problem was exacerbated when the translator died before proofreading was done?? In any case, though I appreciated the message that chaos is only a moment away, I found the ending rather simplistic (although how could one end this?) and overall, only finished this book because it's for discussion by my book club.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2002

    A sometimes disturbing yet thoughtful novel

    The novel Blindness really illustrates the difference between sighted and non-sighted. Although there are many blind people all over the world, what would happen if, suddenly, everyone were to go blind? The book is more than a story of universal 'disability' but of government, power, and what would happen if we all had to, basically, start over and live as our clan-living ancestors did thousands of years ago.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2014

    Difficult to read - love/hate relationship with this book!

    I loved and hated this book at the same time. If I were going by the story alone, I loved it. It was very intense and I couldn't put it down. The writting style however, made the book far less enjoyable then it could have been. I understand the authour was trying to set a certain tone but I think it worked against him. Some reviewers seem to think this was to be blamed on how the book was translated but I think this was not the case. It was intentionally written this way. I could handle the long run on sentences and strange paragraph structure, but the lack of quotations and clearly defined dialouge drove me nuts! It happened all too often that I was completely immersed in the book, hanging on every word, until i would come upon a lengthy section of dialogue. It was often confusing, trying to keep track of who was speaking or even how many characters were involved in the conversation. More than once i had to go back and re-read several pages to make sense of it all. Not necessarily the worst thing in the world, but it completely disrupted the flow of the book form me. It just felt so unnatural and unsettling to read in this manner. Would have been much more enjoyable otherwise. There were several times I considered just giving up on the book completely but that's not something I like to do. Am I glad I read it? Yes. But I would never read it again, would not reccomend it to anyone, and wouldn't have read it in the first place if I known these details.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 20, 2013

    Finished, but was a challenge

    This book was a challenge to finish, and then at the end I thought, "Wow! That was weird!" I do not recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    at the end everyone starts to see again

    at the end everyone starts to see again

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2012

    No

    BOOOOO

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    This book is a classic.

    This is a great read. Beacause it is translated from Potuguese, the text can be a little choppy, but I thought the translator did a god job. I saw the movie first, which did it great justice, but the novel does have some twists that are different, especially in the second half.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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