Recommended read: Blindness

It’s a captivating series of opening scenes.

A driver blocks the middle lane of traffic, shouting “I am blind”. A good Samaritan helps the driver home, then steals the car as payment. Moments later he too is blind. The first blind man visits an ophthalmologist, who finds no medical explanation as to the sudden blindness. That evening, as the doctor searches for possible reasons, he too finds himself blind. It is then only a matter of days before an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness hits the city.

The governments response to this ‘unknown’ is so sectionalise both those who are blind, and those who have been in contact with those blind, away from the general public. Put in a disused asylum, the first half of the book focuses upon a few select characters caught up within this unnerving epidemic. Self managing vested interests, hygiene challenges and the lack of food within an overcrowded building. The second half, recounts what happens once they realise that the outside has forgotten them - because they too are all blind.

Blindness is not the easiest of reads due to the authors unique writing style. The long sentences, lack of quotation marks around dialogue and the descriptive preferences instead of characters names, means that attention is always demanded within the text. That said. Welcome the reading disruption, and the discovery of a different flow will lead you into a storyline that deliberately seeks to challenge our ignorance of the world around us.

“I don’t think we did go blind, I think we are blind,

Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.”

Blindness (Vintage Classics)
By Jose Saramago