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New Beginning, Saramago

The Sunday Salon.com
seeingI finally put behind the year of 2008 in terms of reading. I under-estimated the time needed to finished the last book, which spilled into the new year and is counted for 2009 stats. This week has been devoted to composing year round up and new year resolution posts. Being a spontaneous reader, I don’t have a solid resolution as a reading plan:

Year in Review: Reading Wrap-Up
Bookish Resolution
Year in Review: Top Book-Related Posts

I opened the new book that I was supposed to begin on New Year’s Day. It’s a sequel to one of my all-time favorite novels. Four years after the plague that paralyzed the same unknown capital, on a rainy election day, practically no one goes to the polls until 4 in the afternoon. When the rain tapers off, everybody seems to arrive at once; when the ballots are counted, almost three-quarters turn up blank; after a week of governmental consternation, the elections are held again, on a perfect sunny day, and the results are actually worse — 83 percent of the voters have not marked their ballots. This communal exercise of what the narrator calls “the simple right not to follow any consensually established opinion” does not sit well with the authorities; one cabinet minister refers to the electoral blank-out as “a depth charge launched against the system.”

15 Responses

  1. This is one I definitely want to read. Blindness was one of my favorite reads last year, and the premise of this one is equally intriguing.

  2. the premise of the book sounds interesting, quite an intriguing socio-political satire…

  3. I’m so looking forward to reading Blindness this year. I’m glad to see that the sequel sounds just as interesting.

    Looks like I need to move this book up on my TBR list!

  4. I enjoy this review!

    have fun this year!

  5. Seeing is marvelous. You are in for a treat!

  6. I still need to get around to reading “Blindness” (to be closely followed by “Seeing”). I’d never been all that interested in reading Saramago until I read “Death With Interruptions” a few months ago and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I wasn’t so impressed by the story as I was by Saramago’s writing. Those quotes from “Seeing” have definitely whetted my appetite.

  7. Teresa:
    I just read to the point where he explicitly allures to the plague of blindness in Blindness. This book is not as grim as Blindness, but the way the story unfolds is more surprising.

  8. Vince:
    The more I get into it, the more I think it’s speaking in satire of the U. S. of A.!

  9. Iena:
    Sounds like this is a great decision! You’ll enjoy the book. The writing style, however, is a bit tedious to read at the beginning because he doesn’t believe in quotation marks. Dialogues are embedded in the narrative.

  10. Stefanie:
    I simply can’t put this book down!

  11. J.S. Peyton:
    Although the writing is tedious, but I think the books are written so that they are to be read slowly. I find myself re-reading a lot of his realistic description and evaluation of a social condition in various angles. He might not give you a lot of physical description, but Saramago percolates the psyche of his characters.

  12. I started reading this one in December and hope to finish it this month. I loved “Blindness” and am enjoying this one, as well.

  13. Greg C:
    So am I! I’m at the point where police officers are interrogating the Doctor and his wife about the murder she committed in the quarantine asylum.

    Have you got Death with Interruptions?

  14. I’m so excited to see this post. I just read my first book of Saramago (The History of the Siege of Lisbon) and absolutely loved it. I’m reading Blindness and Death with Interruptions soon. Now I have to add this one!! 😀

  15. Claire:
    Try to read Blindness first because Seeing will allure to the incident that occurred in that book. 🙂

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