adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B0821SC3ZP

Try our newest plan – unlimited listening to select audiobooks, Audible Originals, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
$7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Buy for $19.95

Buy for $19.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago's brilliant new novel poses the question: What happens when the grim reaper decides there will be no more death? On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This of course causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially celebration - flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home - families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots.

Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets, and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small d, became human and were to fall in love?

©2009 Jose Saramago (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

Saramago being Saramago, he turns what could be the stuff of late-night stoner debate into a lucid, playful and politically edgy novel of ideas.... Saramago adds two satisfying cliffhangers—how far can he go with the concept, and will death succumb to human love? The package is profound, resonant and—bonus—entertaining." ( Publishers Weekly)

More from the same

What listeners say about Death with Interruptions

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    85
  • 4 Stars
    60
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    7
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    92
  • 4 Stars
    59
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    76
  • 4 Stars
    54
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    10

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

It's actually two books...

The concept of this book alone makes it worth the read. It's a fascinating approach to the most universal part of living, starting with a look at how politicians, clerics, gangsters, medical professionals and capitalists react to a drastic change in the way we ... live? There are frustrating moments when I desperately wanted the author to elaborate on a perspective on interrupted death that he didn't consider, and times when the book looked through a lens I've never considered before.

This is the important part of my review. This book is two books. Other than the frustrating/artful lack of punctuation beyond commas, the first part and the second are so stylistically different and cover such different themes that it is mind boggling.

I have 2 recommendations:
1. Listen to the audiobook. You figure out who is saying what, when, and where and can follow the story much better. You should still read a few pages of text, just so you can admire wild and unruly the grammar (I kinda like it). It will also allow you to better appreciate how beautifully Paul Baymer navigates the jungle of sentences and squished together dialogue.

2. Read it as if it were two stories in the same universe. The first is like a narrator in a historical documentary, a high level picture of what's goin' on. The second is a love story, and one of the characters in that story just happens to be death. The transition happens at the introduction of the violet letters. Stop at the end of that chapter ("...it was the end of an era."/end of Chapter 8), and soak it up. Think about what you liked and hated about the the wide angle perspective and the choices of folks in this new state of being. THEN pick it up again (from "It may be that a very genteel upbringing..."/beginning of chapter 9) like you are reading a new story that features the same "death," a new perspective and intimacy with characters.

It was a great read either way, but I wish I had known to take a break in the middle, so I didn't spend the second half wondering where the first half went!

Oh, one more thing: you're gonna wanna talk about this book with people whether or not you enjoy it.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

interesting but slightly boring

fell asleep listening to this book a few times. there are very interesting concepts it's just not the most exciting book

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brought to Tears

I don't think I've read a José Saramago story without my heart forcing me too get a little misty eyed. Not for just the story itself but the beautiful writing. The translation was so very good and brought the magic of the Portuguese original to my ears. The simple poetry and perfectly limited pallet of words are so heartfelt and heartbreaking at times. Truly let's me see what real talent is in writing. Never have I heard such gorgeous prose and felt that the characters in this story could be real people, with deep humanity and heart.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating Journey of the Imagination.

Saramago’s transformations and personifications of Death spark the imagination. Whether or not Death is a necessary or desirable part of Life becomes a troubling philosophical and even political question facing the characters in this work and in the Reader who both doesn’t think much about it or would rather not face it.

I enjoyed the earlier encounters with the inevitability or absence of Mortality more than the later sections where Death takes Human form, but there is no denying the power of Saramago’s imaginative telling of his tale. Four Stars.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

Saramago never disappoints. When I read his writing I always feel like I gained something. He always forces me to think about life in the ways I’ve never considered before...

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Interesting concept, but boring and eventful

The title was more exciting then reading it. There were a few thought provoking moments, but they were quickly smothered in boredom.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

well written, fantastic story. written in a laconic Portuguese style. the kind of story that some will think a waste of time and others will adore

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Not for me

I just didn't like it. It wasn't a book for me. It was very hard to keep up.