I truly hated this book. It was written to be disturbing. If you like hopeless, depressing books that give you nightmares this is the book for you. I think listening to it was probably worse than reading it because you couldn't skim. Characters have no names, few redeeming characteristics and no hope. Avoid it!
Jose Saramago is an ok writer. I was hoping for more though. What an interesting concept. Jonathan Davis did all he could to save it, but eventually the book fell flat. Perhaps it is the translation that kills it. I found the same problem with 100 Years of Solitude.
the original idea of the story is fascinating.
His performance was fine, the book just didn't have enough to compel me to care.
No. You'll be hard pressed to finish this book, I wouldn't waste my time with another translation.
The development of the plot was initially Intriguing. The book even kept my attention through about the first hour of the incarceration and exploration by the blind. Then it became as stale and reeking as their living environment. I wish some of the negative reviews had been available before I had purchased this sad book. It is simply too tedious to slog through the second half.
The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
Such a disappointment. I don't know if it was the translation, but I doubt it. I have read a lot of Spanish lit and am usually ok with its pedantic and preachy tone, but I found this book nearly intolerable. I can't claim to have spent any time, myself, finding out from a blind person what blindness is like, but it seems unlikely that Saramago checked any of his assumptions about blindness with actual blind people. They are portrayed in the most insulting and inhuman ways in this book. They wait for the one sighted individual in the story to help them with everything from cleaning their own bodies to providing entertainment. "If only there were a working radio" laments one character over and over, as if going blind has also stopped her from being able to sing. And don't even get me started on the public health aspects of the story. The idea that a doctor would wait overnight to report a possible epidemic of blindness to the medical authorities is ludicrous, that people would immediately be quarantined and abandoned without sanitary facilities, food, water, etc is absurd, and that only one person would be untouched by such an epidemic is ridiculous. There have been much better books exploring the breakdown of society because of nuclear or biological catastrophe, if that was what the author was attempting. I would recommend "A Canticle for Liebowitz" by Walter M Miller, "Oryx and Crake" by Margaret Atwood,"Dies the Fire" by SM Stirling, "Speech Sounds" (short story) by Octavia Butler.
Some folks found the book thought-provoking as a parable of man's inhumanity to man, or blindness standing in for our isolation from one another, but I disagree that this was a parable. For an actual parable about blindness, interested readers should check out the fabulous play "En la ardiente oscuridad" by Antonio Buero Vallejo, in which the blind really do lead the blind. Now, THAT'S a parable.
I'm not blind, thank God, and don't have any opinions about whether or not this a rant about blind people. I just didn't like his style. The way I read it, the author definitely has an attitude and I wasn't comfortable with it. Blind or sighted, I would not recommend it.
This is heavy-handed at best. Authors make choices and, well, these choices seemed poor. Now a Nobel winning author deserves some amount of appreciation for their ability to reach out and do something new and really ground-breaking.
Honestly, I simply couldn't find it. I've read some of the text as well and I think that the irritating way that this is composed is perhaps even amplified in the reading. Good concept, poor execution. I don't need to have my head bashed against the point, either. Not subtle no matter how you look at it.
I can't believe he would even think blind people would even act this way. I am a blind person and can easily control my bodily functions. I can understand the sudden loss of one's sight would be frightening but, we are all intelegent and have the ability to learn.
I can understand the problems that arise do to the condition of the facility and lack of properfood rations. To revert to animalistic behavior could be normal for anyone regardless of any physical or mental disabilities.
The author tends to lecture and drag out ideas he wants you to grasp slowly.
Sadly I wish I could ask for a refund but, I purchased this book for research purposes. I intend to protest the movie and all those who have sponcered it.
Wow. Sorta pointless. Characters with no names. Unneccesary sidebars. First few hours were a tough listen, but I plowed on, hoping it'd get better... No such luck. Sheesh.