Friday, October 19, 2007

Blindness

The book club met last night and discussed Martha's selection, Jose Saramago's Nobel Prize winner, Blindness. It was an excellent choice for a reading group.

Set in an unnamed city in an unnamed country, peopled by unnamed characters, and written in a style that features minimal punctuation and long sentences, the book succeeds in bringing to the reader some measure of the disorientation experienced by its characters including the first blind man, the eye doctor, the woman with dark glasses, the boy with the squint, etc. It was difficult to read, not because of the style outlined above, but rather because reading the book makes full use of all of the reader's senses, and the unreal, the surreal, all at once become hyper-real. We can hear the voices of the oppressors, feel the slimy excrement on the tile floors, smell the unwashed bodies. We find ourselves on sensory overload.

So well-written, Blindness reminds us that in a crisis of massive social trauma, each of us has the potential to be heroic or self-serving. The book raises questions that come from deep within us, and provides no answers. You can read additional reviews here and you can probably get the book from your library. I heartily recommend it.



2 comments:

Niki said...

Gonna have to check out that book! Just swung by your blog thru Q4P. :) Love your blog :) Niki

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

You always have the best recommendations... I'm looking forward to your full retreat report, too!