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Seeing

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Seeing is believing!

    I enjoyed this book more than his first, Blindness, (although I did enjoy it except for the ending; kind of a let down after the build-up of the story). However, after reading Blindness, my curiosity made me want to read Seeing, and I'm glad I did. I think Saramago has a very ingenious style of writing, not to mention his unique story plots and characters. His stories are different and a nice read. I'm suggesting it for our next book club since we have already read Blindness. However, you do not need to read the first book to understand this story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2006

    Saramago satirizes politics

    In the 2004 presidential elections, 122 million people, 55.3 percent of the country¿s voting-age population, went to their local polling site to elect the next President of the United States. Of those who voted, only 50.8 percent marked their ballot for President Bush. While turnout was the highest since 1968, more than 78 million Americans who were eligible to vote stayed home on Election Day, which resulted in a Bush victory with just 30.8 percent of the total eligible voters electing him. Flipped around, almost 70 percent of the population eligible to vote did not vote for the man¿a self-described decider¿who holds their fate, and quite possible that of the world¿s, in the palm of his hand. This almost begs the question of what would happen if we held an election and no one came out to vote. Or what if there was another line on the ballot that read ¿none of the above?¿ Someone, of course, would be declared the president, but would he¿or she¿truly be the winner? Would the affairs of state end up in chaos? Could the populace survive? Jose Saramago, winner of the Noble Prize for Literature in 1998, satirizes politics and authority in an eerily similar scenario in his latest novel, ¿Seeing.¿ Set in the same city whose citizens mysteriously lost their sight in his best known work, ¿Blindness,¿ Seeing returns his unforgettable characters back into our consciousness in a tale which begins as a satire on government, the media and a country¿s political system, but turns more sinister with each turn of the page. Four years have passed since the nameless people, living in a nameless city, located in a nameless country (but long rumored to be that of Saramago¿s native country of Portugal), were plagued with blindness. It¿s now Election Day, and government officials and members of the three political parties are concerned as to who the people will select to lead them. A hard falling rain appears to keep every voter at home when the polls open and throughout the afternoon, leaving election officials concerned that no one will come out to vote. Suddenly, at 3 p.m., the rain stops, and precisely one hour later, voters rush to the polls¿all at once¿as if under some universal order to do so. Surprisingly, when the votes are counted, more than 70 percent of the ballots are blank. Government officials call for a second election to be held a week later. Luck appears to be with them on Election Day redux as a ¿golden sun blazing forth against a backdrop of crystalline blue¿ shines upon the city throughout the daylight hours. Voters head back to the polls¿not in a mad and unanimous rush like the week before¿but with each person heading out alone, diligently and with a true sense of purpose. That night, after the polls are closed and the votes are counted, government officials are perplexed to find that 83 percent of the ballots are blank. The election result traumatizes the government, and a state of emergency is declared. Could this be a return to the plague of blindness that gripped the city four years ago? Could the one woman who kept her sight during that period be behind the blank ballots? A police superintendent is assigned to investigate and what follows is a griping tale of government impudence that produces thought-provoking scenarios that make the book difficult to put down. That is, if you haven¿t given up reading the novel after turning just a few pages or browsing through it in the bookstore. Readers unfamiliar with Saramago¿s writing style may quickly lose patience with his paragraphs that run on for pages and pages with stingy use of punctuation marks. ¿Seeing¿ is a literary challenge, as are all of his works. But patience and persistence (and a blind eye toward sentence structure) are rewarded with a searing work that only cements Saramago¿s reputation as a magnificent writer who continues to earn his Nobel Prize in Literature with each word he puts on paper.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2006

    Must read for socially conscientious individuals!

    In this well-woven story of a city that falls victim not only to its desire for clarity, but also to the dark functions of its government, Saramago reveals to the reader in an easy-flow narrative the faulty pilars on which our society may rest. An enlightening book that must be read to better understand its predecesor, Blindness.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2006

    Awe again

    It's never disapointed reading any Saramago's work. It may not be very stunning at the beginning, but as you move on it's getting more and more joyeous and you just fall into the labyrinth that's hard to pull your leg out again. The last few pages are mastery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2006

    A Must Read

    The book was very difficult for me to get into at the beginning because the way the paragraphs were set up but WOW, once you get past the first few pages its hard to put this book down. THe only regret is once you finish reading this book you want to read his other book, Blindness, which seems to tie to this one.

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