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A stunningly powerful novel of man's will to survive against all odds, by the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature.

“This is a shattering work by a literary master.”—The Boston Globe

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year

A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" which spares no one. Authorities confine the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers—among them a boy with no mother, a girl with dark glasses, a dog of tears—through the barren streets, and the procession becomes as uncanny as the surroundings are harrowing. A magnificent parable of loss and disorientation and a vivid evocation of the horrors of the twentieth century, Blindness has swept the reading public with its powerful portrayal of man's worst appetites and weaknesses—and man's ultimately exhilarating spirit.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780792755005
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Publication date: 08/28/2008
Series: Blindness , #1
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.50(h) x 5.00(d)

About the Author

JOSÉ SARAMAGO (1922–2010) was the author of many novels, among them Blindness, All the Names, Baltasar and Blimunda, and The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This is a shattering work by a literary master."—The Boston Globe
"This is an important book, one that is unafraid to face all of the horrors of the century."—The Washington Post
"Symphonic . . . [There is] a clear-eyed and compassionate acknowledgment of things as they are, a quality that can only honestly be termed wisdom. We should be grateful when it is handed to us in such generous measure."—The New York Times Book Review

Customer Reviews

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Blindness 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 324 reviews.
Jessi-21 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
gettin_picky More than 1 year ago
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.
sweetbowler More than 1 year ago
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!
Maerajean More than 1 year ago
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.
Rachmaninoff_fan More than 1 year ago
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.
BYSkully More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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>
ConstantReaderKD More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
gke More than 1 year ago
This book was a challenge to finish, and then at the end I thought, "Wow! That was weird!" I do not recommend this book.
PerryGood More than 1 year ago
I read Blindness a couple of years ago and have never forgotten it. Simply put, Saramago cuts to the core of what it means to be human and shows how our true values and understanding of ourselves and our positioning in this world come to light in the darkest of moments.
SydneyH More than 1 year ago
This book is great for conversation or book club gatherings. There are many levels to discuss: the basic, thrilling story; deeper questions of morality and ethics; and even deeper, the question of love, loyalty, and the bond between fellow humas. Saramago's writing style is ambiguous, though, and not always easy to get through. This novel is not great for a light beach read, or something to just while away the hours with. Rather, it is a book to engage in and question, maybe even argue with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some of the elements for an interesting novel are present in 'Blindness': characters, story arc, unique prose style. However, Saramago doesn't let the characters and story develop his themes: the novel is peppered with moralistic, pedantic and condescending passages that make it clear the author doesn't trust the reader is intelligent enough to grasp his otherwise relevant themes. 'Blindness' is a self-important and overbearing sermon masquerading as a Stephen King novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brutal at times but with a payoff that makes the violates worth it, Blindness is a bold look at man when he is striped of all his veils and forced to come face to face with his own cruel and weak nature, and through the knowledge of this, find his humanity.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had never read a work by Jose Saramago but was very impressed by this title. The descriptiveness and intricate plotline of the text leaves little doubt as to why the author won the Nobel Prize for Literature. His characters are incredibly vivid, and their responses to the stimuli, both positive and negative, provided by their environment truly brought to light questions about what it means to be a human in the age of modernity. My only complaint, as others have noted, is in the form the author chose to demonstrate. While I could deal well enough with the extended paragraphs, the notable lack of punctuation made the dialogue difficult to follow accurately. Perhaps that was what the author intended. Regardless, I don't think such form entirely did the text justice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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 !!!