Blindness by José Saramago
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
One of my favorite types of literature and movies are zombie or its-the-end-of-the-world-so-what-do-we-do-now? plots. Blindness is just that: a great tale of what happens when the world goes to hell in a pretty little hand basket.
Blindness starts in an unnamed town was assume is in Europe at an intersection where the light is turning from red to green. The cars move but for one. Behind the wheel of this car, a man has suddenly gone blind. Eventually, a passerby offers to help him home. This "good samaritian" is discovered to have stolen the keys to the First Blind Man's car and, subsequently, his car. The First Blind Man's wife comes home and after explaining his problem, they go to an eye doctor.
Slowly, everyone the man has come in contact with goes blind. Everyone lost people come in contact with go blind ... and so on ... and so on.
Oddly, this is not a normal blindness. The blindness is not black. It is white almost as if someone hasn't turned off the light but filled the world with the brightest white light possible.
In the early days of the epidemic, the governement of the country decides to take the Doctor, the First Blind Man and others and seclude them in an old unused asylum. After behaving like human beings for a minimal amount of time, the novel and it's characters take a very Lord of the Flies's turn.
This novel was hard for me to keep reading in the middle. Even with all it's action, I found myself thinking that there were other books waiting for me to read so why couldn't this one get over all ready. I was wrong though. When I got to the end, I found myself weeping and pondering some deeper meanings of the book. It's a great book. I would suggest anyone who has read The Road or Lord of the Flies should give Blindness a chance.
Now off to see if my library has the DVD of the movie!
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