“Seeing” by José Saramago (Portugal)


Readers really enjoyed this book once they got used to Saramago’s characteristic writing style of long, rambling sentences strewn with commas and little paragraphing. They liked the political theme of a democracy veering towards a totalitarian state and they thought the author had captured the characteristics of the various ministers all too well. They loved the dark humour and found themselves laughing out loud often. The fact that none of the characters were named did not take away from their enjoyment of the story, and they all warmed to the superintendent who is introduced in the second half of the book. They got the impression that from this point on the story picked up speed and they were happily carried along by it until the brutal ending. Few of the group had read Saramago’s earlier book “Blindness” whose protagonists reappear here and, although this did not detract from their enjoyment of “Seeing,” some were curious to now read it. Overall, the book averaged a 9 out of 10, the highest score of the season.


Despite the heavy rain, the presiding officer at Polling Station 14 finds it odd that by midday on National Election day, only a handful of voters have turned out. Puzzlement swiftly escalates to shock when eventually, after an extension, the final count reveals seventy per cent of the votes are blank… Read more

Season 13 – “Politics and Religion” (Feb – Jun 2011)

“Moses, Citizen & Me” by Delia Jarrett-Macauley (Sierra Leone)
“Seeing” by José Saramago (Portugal) *
“My Name is Light” by Elsa Osorio (Argentina)
“The Eagle’s Throne” by Carlos Fuentes (Mexico)
“The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy (India)

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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