Author: Jose Saramgo
Summary: 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 assaulting 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 an 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 is a powerful portrayed of mans worst appetites and weakness - and man's ultimately exhilarating spirit.
My Rating: 7.5/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: The book was good, and it was a great social commentary on society and how it turns on itself and each other during a time of crisis such as this one, showing the sacrifices and actions people take in order to survive, but it wasn’t my favourite book in the genre.
The story it self is good, the idea behind it was interesting, and I enjoyed reading how everyone dealt with the sudden blindness. The characters were well done. I don’t have a favourite character, and I didn’t really connect to one character either, but I think the author did a great job at creating the characters, and how they all dealt with the blindness. The book is very in your face and descriptive in the decline of society. Essentially many of the people lose their basic social skills and become animal like. Which I thought was very clever, and made it seem real - but did feel like it was a little to over descriptive. Details about human waste were, over described; it made for a more realistic story, but there is only so much I can take when that is described. I also found other scenes to be overly graphic. There is a rape scene about half way through that nauseated me. Another example, I could have done with where it was implied, and not described in such detail.
I think that was my main problem with the book, it was a good story, and I enjoyed the struggle of survival. But the detailed nature of it left me uncomfortable - I’ve read books with similar themes happen, but this one was over the top for me. The author is a great author, and the story was a good book, but it was very heavy at times. I’m not turned off by the author, but I doubt I’d read the sequel of the book, I’ll try one of his other works.
Would I recommend it to read: I think I would, it is an interesting story, shows society at it’s worse, and a very interesting social commentary on the animalistic nature of humans, especially when they are caged and treated as like “dangerous” animals. It can be a bit intense at times and graphic, so I would warn some readers, but over all it is an interesting read, and would recommend it.
What to read next: Seeing - which is the sequel to the book, The Road