My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This sort-of sequel to Saramago's earlier work, Blindness, takes things to a more political level, but there's still plenty of philosophy and a few favorite characters make comebacks.
First thoughts: I get that the run on sentences are part of it all, but man do they make this a s-l-o-w read. It's mental gymnastics sometimes, and early on I missed the familiarity of Blindness. The dry humor and my curiosity carried me through until it picked up/I got used to the style again.
"...not only does the universe have its own laws, all of them indifferent to the contradictory dreams and desires of humanity..., but everything seems to indicate that it uses these law for aims and objectives that transcend and always will transcend our understanding..."
"Languages are conservative, they always carry their archives with them and hate having to be updated."
"...truths need to be repeated many times so that they don't, poor things, lapse into oblivion."
Conversations thoughts: There were a lot of pretend/practiced conversations in this book that never actually came to fruition - characters would act out what they would say/would have said in certain situations for pages before admitting the reason why they couldn't/didn't say those words. I don't have anything enlightening to add except that this happened on enough occasions for me to notice, and it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who does this at length.
Recommended for: thinkers and ponderers, fans of long translations, poetic phrases that last several pages, or complex philosophical hypotheticals, anyone who wants to know what happens when a population refuses to participate in democracy.
Final thoughts: I'm glad I didn't wait too long after Blindness to read this companion piece, and I enjoyed the mental workout it gave me. The words/phrases/chapter-long sentences truly are a work of art.
View all my reviews