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Blindness
by Jose Sarmago | Literature & Fiction
Registered by goatgrrl of New Westminster, British Columbia Canada on Monday, April 26, 2004
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by goatgrrl): to be read


7 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by goatgrrl from New Westminster, British Columbia Canada on Monday, April 26, 2004

This book has not been rated.

A city is struck by an epidemic of "white blindness". The first man to succumb is hit with the phenomenon while sitting in his car, waiting for a traffic light to change. He seeks medical attention, but the doctor doesn't know what to make of what's happened -- and soon goes blind himself. As the blindness spreads to an ever increasing population, social panic sets in. Government authorities, fearing contagion, quarantine the blind in a vacant mental hospital secured by armed guards instructed to shoot anyone who tries to escape. Inside the mental hospital -- inevitably -- the darker side of human nature comes to the fore, and a criminal element hold the rest captive: food rations are stolen and hoarded, women are raped, and the sick and dying are left to fend for themselves.

Blindness follows the experiences of a small group of those afflicted -- referred to only as the Doctor, the First Blind Man and his wife, the Old Man with the black eye patch, the Girl with Dark Glasses, the Boy with No Mother, and the Dog of Tears. The novel explores themes of loss and disorientation in the modern world, and illuminates the human will to survive, even against formidable odds. Author José Saramago was born in Portugal in 1922, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998. His autobiography may be viewed on the Nobel Prize website here.

I'm starting an international bookring with this book. The ring will be limited to nine members (with the return to me as #10), since I doubt it will survive more reads than that.

Rules of this bookring:
1. This is an international bookring -- please be willing to ship anywhere.
2. Please journal the book when you receive it, and again when you mail it out -- that way, everyone will know the book's approximate location.
3. If you don't think you'll be able to read this book within a reasonable time of receipt, please let me know before it's sent to you by the previous reader, and I'll be happy to move your name down the list.
4. Whether you have read the book or not, please do not keep it longer than eight weeks.

Participants:
1. spiderchic - Rochdale, England, UK - rec'd June 10, 04; mailed June 19, 04.
2. bookmanu - Cascais, Portugal - rec'd July 14, 04; mailed August 5, 04.
3. senorag - Oxford, Mississippi, USA - rec'd August 11, 04; mailed August 12, 04.
4. jenvince - Sherman Oaks, California, USA - rec'd August 20, 04; mailed September 7, 04.
5. tuff517 - McQueeney, Texas, USA - rec'd September 9, 04; mailed September 20, 04.
6. Ramya - Plainsboro, New Jersey, USA - rec'd September 27, 04; mailed December 15, 04.
7. tepperfan - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - ring appears to have died here.
8. Smunk - Silverdale, New South Wales, Australia
9. Ada2 - North Avoca, New South Wales, Australia
10. bcosta - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 


Journal Entry 2 by goatgrrl from New Westminster, British Columbia Canada on Friday, April 30, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Mailed to spiderchic in Rochdale, Lancashire, England on April 30, 2004. Greetings from New Westminster, British Columbia (at left: the Fraser River -- with many log booms -- as seen from the top of my street). 


Journal Entry 3 by spiderchic from Droylsden, Greater Manchester United Kingdom on Thursday, June 10, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Hurrah this arrived today safe and sound! Being fairly new to this wasn't sure how long it could take sometimes so am relieved it hadn't got lost! Will get onto it soon.
Thank you goatgrrl!!!! 


Journal Entry 4 by spiderchic from Droylsden, Greater Manchester United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 16, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Just finished this today. Firstly I must thank you goatgrrl for giving me this opportunity to read this book as I am sure if I'd flicked through it in a bookshop or library I would not have picked it out.
Am not sure whether it is the way it has been translated or if it is the way it was written but I did find I had to concentrate at times, and did wonder if I would finish it. But I did and found myself wanting to know how these characters ended up, even though we never learnt their names and shouldn't really have cared.
Anyway thank you once again for sharing this book. Shall pass on to bookmanu as soon as I have her address. - Oops I must amend this to his address, I very foolishly and wrongly assumed bookmanu was female and you should never assume! Sorry bookmanu!! 


Journal Entry 5 by spiderchic from Droylsden, Greater Manchester United Kingdom on Saturday, June 19, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Sent to bookmanu today 19th June - enjoy! 


Journal Entry 6 by bookmanu from Cascais, Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Wednesday, August 04, 2004

8 out of 10

I'm ashamed to say that I am only journaling this book today after receiving a PM from goatgrrl this afternoon.

Thanks for making it available goatgrrl. This was my first attempt at reading Saramago and what a great experience.

I have always put off reading, what to me seem 'high-brow' authors and have just discovered that you really can't judge a book by its cover,author, etc.

Blindness made me think of how we take many things for granted and how life can change from one moment to the next.

It will be on its way from me in Portugal to senorag in New Jersey,USA tomorrow!
 


Journal Entry 7 by SenoraG from -- Wild released somewhere in the state, New Jersey USA on Wednesday, August 11, 2004

6 out of 10

Received today and just in time. I was about to search out a new read. Thanks. I will read and keep it moving.

8.12.04 Interesting book. I did not like the way the conversations were written. I found it at times hard to follow, but the story was quite interesting. Will be passing it along to the next person. Thanks for the chance to read it. 


Journal Entry 8 by SenoraG at on Thursday, August 12, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Released on Thursday, August 12, 2004 at BOOKRAY in n/a, n/a Controlled Releases.

Going to jenvince in CA. Enjoy. 


Journal Entry 9 by jenvince from Scottsdale, Arizona USA on Friday, August 20, 2004

This book has not been rated.

This arrived yesterday. I've been completely bombarded with bookrings in the past 3 days (why does that always happen???). I will do my best to get to this quickly, if it looks like it will take a while to get to it, I'll pass it on. 


Journal Entry 10 by jenvince from Scottsdale, Arizona USA on Saturday, September 04, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Just a little note to say that I'm able to start this book today. It sounds really interesting and I look forward to reading it. Hope to have it done by the end of this holiday weekend. :) 


Journal Entry 11 by jenvince from Scottsdale, Arizona USA on Tuesday, September 07, 2004

This book has not been rated.

I finished this yesterday. Very interesting story, though I did find it hard to follow at times, especially any conversations.

It is in the mail today.
 


Journal Entry 12 by tuff517 from Elk Grove Village, Illinois USA on Thursday, September 09, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Received the book today and I will start it no later than Friday night. There's also a picture! 


Journal Entry 13 by tuff517 from Elk Grove Village, Illinois USA on Sunday, September 19, 2004

10 out of 10

I thought this was GREAT. I, too, was a little put off at first by the lack of standard punctuation and 'normal' writing, but once I found the pattern to the conversations it didn't bother me. I was shocked at the quickness with which people lost their humanity and felt like it was okay because they had lost their sight. That being blind made them feel that being so base was not only acceptable, but expected. I was happy with the ending, and was almost tearful. Hopefully there were other groups like theirs. Sending it on next to Ramya. 


Journal Entry 14 by Ramya from Plainsboro, New Jersey USA on Wednesday, September 29, 2004

This book has not been rated.

Received a couple of days ago -- thank you, tuff517, for the very cool bookmark!

I started flipping through the book right away (although it's now a few books down in my TBR pile). I was slightly put off, as others have already mentioned, by the style of writing, but then found that it perhaps captures the uncertainty and panic of people suddenly struck blind, who haven't been able to cultivate their other senses as a person blind from birth would have been able to do. Perhaps conversations really feel like the undifferentiated lines of text that we are reading -- who is speaking? where is the sound coming from? what is the space that I am in? what has happened to me and how will I survive???

 


Journal Entry 15 by Ramya from Plainsboro, New Jersey USA on Tuesday, November 23, 2004

This book has not been rated.

I am behind with many things, and it's time to move this book on, even though I have done no more than my initial skim. I will read others' comments with interest and eventually check this title out of the library to read it all the way through.

I'll get this out to tepperfan as soon as I receive an address. 


Journal Entry 16 by Ramya from Plainsboro, New Jersey USA on Tuesday, December 14, 2004

This book has not been rated.

This book is going off in the mail this afternoon. 


Journal Entry 17 by goatgrrl from New Westminster, British Columbia Canada on Thursday, January 20, 2005

This book has not been rated.

I PM'd tepperfan on January 19th to check whether she's received Blindness, since it's been in the mail for a while now. 


Journal Entry 18 by Ramya from Plainsboro, New Jersey USA on Friday, January 21, 2005

This book has not been rated.

I sent it off by surface mail. I was surprised when the USPS clerk said it would take 4-6 weeks; I didn't think travel by truck across the continent would take quite that long. So if it hasn't arrived yet, I hope it will fairly soon. (It didn't occur to me before, i.e., when I sent this and other books out in December, but I am now noting "by surface mail" or "by media mail" when I make my send-off journal entries. And I plan to note that when I sign up for rings in the future, so if that's a problem for that ring, I won't get added.) 


Journal Entry 19 by goatgrrl from New Westminster, British Columbia Canada on Saturday, June 18, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Second PM sent to tepperfan on June 18th to try one more time to get this book moving again! 




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