Saturday, July 14, 2012

Blindness by Jose Saramago (CBR-IV #27)

Cannonball Read IV: Book #27/52
Published: 1995
Pages: 286
Genre: Dystopian

Blindness is an interesting novel. It starts out with a man who is suddenly struck blind while at a traffic light. A man helps him home (and steals his car), but he also is struck blind later. The original blind man goes to an eye doctor who can't make sense if it either. Then the eye doctor is struck blind. Everyone who is in contact with someone who is already blind is also struck by this odd "white blindess" where all they can see is bright white. 

The quick spread of the blindess causes the government to panic and try to quarantine everyone who is already blind. The "original" group of blind people are among the ones thrown in an old hospital (I think...maybe an asylum?) and sort of left to fend for themselves except for some sporadic and meager food deliveries. The military is outside the gates and shoots anyone who gets too close.

The book is a little hard to read if you have trouble with "train of thought" type writing. There aren't a lot of paragraphs and you have to just kind of figure out yourself when someone starts and stops speaking. There are also no formal names. People are known as "the girl with the dark glasses" and "the doctor's wife". It sort of gives you a sense of disorientation like the blind people, so in a way it works with this novel. 

Overall, I thought it was a good book. I liked the plot and it ended up being different than I thought it would be. There was no "hero". This was as gritty and as dirty as you can get in a dystopian novel. I found it to be fairly realistic as to how society would probably deal with this sort of crisis. No magical cure, no evil government secrets, etc. (can you tell I've read to many YA dystopian books?), just...grim reality. 

No comments:

Post a Comment