A driver waiting at the traffic lights goes blind. An ophthalmologist tries to diagnose his distinctive white blindness, but is affected before he ...Show synopsisA driver waiting at the traffic lights goes blind. An ophthalmologist tries to diagnose his distinctive white blindness, but is affected before he can read the textbooks. It becomes a contagion, spreading throughout the city. Trying to stem the epidemic, the authorities herd the afflicted into a mental asylum where the wards are terrorised by blind thugs. And when fire destroys the asylum, the inmates burst forth and the last links with a supposedly civilised society are snapped. No food, no water, no government, no obligation, no order. This is not anarchy, this is blindness.Hide synopsis
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I wasn't very impressed by Saramago's writing style. Since he's won a pulitzer prize, I guess I'm just unable to appreciate his talents. I thought the story just went on and on about the same problems. Would have been better off getting this from the library instead of paying for it.
As far as the book condition: perfect condition and was delivered promptly.
Without explanation, people start going blind. Their blindness is white, which makes it all the more puzzling. The government quickly reacts by quarantining the blind, and using armed soldiers to keep them locked away.
Once people go blind, they're no longer 'people' or 'citizens' - they're 'THE INFECTED'. They're not fed adequately, and not allowed any medicine or cleaning products. The government could sent in workers in biohazard suits to distribute food and basic supplies, and provide medical care, but the government doesn't care. They put soldiers at the gates to the building where the blind are housed, and instruct them to shoot at the slightest provocation.
Very quickly, society inside the quarantine facility breaks down. The blind break into factions, and fight each other over food, valuables, and women.
The blind don't know it at the time, but their breakdown inside the asylum mirrors what is happening in the streets outside, and of course, outside of the book as well.
If you're willing to overlook his punctuation style (i.e. many unnecessary commas, no quotation marks, quotes that flow in the middle of sentences set off by a capital letter) or if you can just get used to it, the book can be very rewarding. The dialogue was beautiful, and at times the language and imagery were utterly devastating. Its message is consistent from start to end, which can be somewhat one-note-ish, but the plot is well constructed and propels the action of the novel forward in spite of an arguably static message.
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