26 November 2012

Book Review: Blindness

The most disturbing part of Blindness by Jose Saramago isn't a society that is struck by an epidemic of "white blindness," but that his description of the unraveling of that society is something that could actually happen.

The story is really about a band of seven - some of the first who were struck by the blindness and how they cope as their country grapples with the epidemic, which includes interning the first group of people at a vacant mental hospital. Six of the people in the group are blind. One is not. Although the entire country (and maybe world) goes blind, one woman maintains her sight and shepherds the group during their time in internment, when they experience indescribable misery, to their "escape" and eventual  quest to survive.

Without giving the ending away, it is interesting to think about how a civilized society would react to something like white blindness - a disease that seems not to have a cause or a cure. And if everyone regained their sight after one such epidemic, how would society re-organize itself. A thought-provoking read.

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