Customer Reviews for

Blindness

Average Rating 4
( 245 )
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(105)

4 Star

(72)

3 Star

(37)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(16)

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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 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 5 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 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 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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  • 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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  • Posted May 19, 2010

    Getting Through The Darkness

    One evening on the way home from work, sitting in his car at a traffic light, a man is suddenly struck blind. Not the blind we think of as everything going dark, but all he sees is white. He is taken to a doctor then home to his wife. Soon the blindness has spread from the man to his wife and the doctor and a girl with dark glasses who was waiting in the office. Their contact are similarly afflicted. Only the doctor's wife is untouched.

    When all the blind people are shuttled off to an asylum to protect the populace, the doctor's wife feigns blindness so they won't be separated. It is in the handling of the afflicted and breakdown of society both inside and outside the asylum that remains with me to this day.

    Instead of distancing the reader from the people in the story, the lack of names seems to draw one in closer. I may never have been as connected to a character as I was to the doctor's wife as she tries to take care of the group in her charge and maintain her secret, through some of the most brutal moments I've ever read.

    Ultimately, though, this a book of great warmth, triumph and even beauty. It's well worth the walk through the dark places.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007

    An instant favorite

    Having known nothing about Saramago before I began reading, I was immediately turned off by his unconventional (to say the least) writing style. Initially, it is easy to get lost, as Saramago uses no quotation marks to separate dialogue, and full sentences are at times separated by only a comma. Once the reader becomes accustomed to this style (it takes only a few pages), the story immediately becomes fascinating. The action literally starts on page one (where the first episode of 'blindness' occurs), and the reader is left guessing - and at times hoping - what will happen next. As the tale itself unwound, I found myself not only within a savage story, but one told with an incredible degree of wisdom. I now recommend this book to nearly everyone I know.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2005

    Deserving of the Nobel Prize

    I was hesitant about reading this book...a Noble Prize winner can be a bit intimidating. But this book wasted no time catching my interest. The odd punctuation, the nameless characters...made it hard to put down. It's nice to read a book that actually requires some thought. The depth of these characters runs deep, deeper than in any other book I've ever read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2004

    A book lover in Oklahoma

    Wow. I have been thinking and thinking about the plot of this book. As I go through my day I imagine what would if it struck me right here right now. I have wondered about how the story would have played out differently or in my city. Where would be the ideal setting for this tragedy to occur? In short, the story got under my skin and lingers much like the visual memory of the doctor's wife. Compelling, horrifying and redeeming. In this book lies truth.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2004

    Less Is More

    Saramago's novel captures the fear of a group of people when a strange Blindness takes over and does it without much grammatical structure. Saramago contemplates the psychological aspect of how humans deal with survival while mixing in drama, fear and suspense of the mind. I loved this book because it made me feel and think, a characteristic not many books can claim they have. It is a MUST-read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2004

    A Book That Wrabs Your Heart

    Jose Saramago's Blindness is book I shall remember deep in my age, and age old blindness if possible. A man of deep sentiment and disdain, perhaps even disgust for the hypocrite. The prose and style while unusual never the less accomplishes the mission. Reaching for your attention, Saramago commands the respect of any book lover in the world. Money well spent, you'll thank me later fellas. While fluidly profound and critically aware, the writer display the layers of his imagination, so carefully in tune with ours, the reader. Must Not Miss !!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2003

    Amazing

    I read this about a month ago, and I am still thinking about it. It really makes you consider the horrors that people are capable of both inflicting and surviving. Saramago's style is deeply descriptive -- he makes you see, hear and smell this world. The tone of the book reminded me of Kafka's greatest works. READ this, but be prepared to be distracted by it even after you've finished it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2003

    In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

    This book is one of my all-time favorites. From the author of a well-deserved Nobel prize, the writing in this book is truly amazing. Saramago keeps you riveted cover to cover. I've read it nearly a dozen times and it still keeps me on edge. It's such a powerful story of the emotional and literal collapse of society as we know it, and the anonymity of it is scary. It's as if the author is warning you, don't think this can't happen in your city, to you. Plague is the ultimate equalizer, it no longer matters what you were before, only that you are infected or in danger. Blindness is the first book in what Saramago calls 'an unintentional trilogy.' The other two, All The Names and The Cave, are also excellent, though perhaps not the of the same caliber as Blindness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2002

    Your brain will never forget

    The novel is a literary lightning bolt that will burn the soul. Saramago weaves a web that will leave the reader trapped like his unnamed characters. Everything from war to water to people to religion to government to wealth to sex to soap will be in question after reading this work. Will Saramago's art really change the way you look at war and soap? You decide.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2002

    An amazing piece of literature

    Blindness is such an amazing book that every page makes you think about the importance of our eyes, and everyone else's. They do not only guide us, or show us in an ontological way the structure of the world; they are the windows to the feelings of mankind. Hence, Saramago states the following question--what will happen to our feelings when we have lost our eyes? A HIGHLY recommended book. It will make you value all aspects of life... Even life itself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2014

    Thought provoking!

    The fact that we are so dependent on our eyes as a society, and how swiftly society can fail due to a lack of just one of our senses. Just one sighted person with a strong moral sense can mean life or death- makes you think....

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