Blindness is one of my favourite books, so I was intrigued by its sequel, Seeing.
Seeing is set in the city that was affected by the blindness epidemic four year ago. The city holds an election, but when the votes are counted 70% of them are blank. They hold another election the following week and this time 80% of the votes are blank. For some bizarre reason (that I couldn’t grasp) the authorities panic, declare a state of emergency and all hell breaks loose.
It pains me to say this about an author I love, but I’m afraid I couldn’t finish Seeing. It started off reasonably well as I’m already used to Saramago’s unique writing style, lacking in punctuation.
The book described the elections which were held on atmospheric rainy days, but as you may know I’m not a fan of politics and I think the political satire in this book just went over my head. I didn’t understand why a low turn out in an election led to the events and the lack of a central character meant that I didn’t really care what happened. We view the city almost from above and so the personal emotion that made Blindness so powerful was lacking.
The plot was meandering and had almost disappeared entirely by the 150 page mark. I started to skim read and found that nothing was happening many pages later. I looked up a few online reviews and discovered that other people had a similar problem – there was no plot in the second half of the book. The effort required to read it was too much and so I decided to give up.
Recommended to those who enjoy political satire.
Have you enjoyed any of Saramago’s lesser known works?
Or had similar problems with them?