Thursday, April 05, 2007

Reader's Diary #252- Jose Saramago: Blindness (FINISHED)

So it's official- I have a new favourite book. Whenever anyone had asked me that over the past couple of years, I've been flipping back and forth between Mordecai Richler's Barney's Version and Wayne Johnston's Colony of Unrequited Dreams. Nice to have a definite answer, even if it's not Canadian.

Strange reading experience though. I'm not sure who's familiar with the old Sesame Street Golden Book called, The Monster At The End Of This Book, but I felt Grover's pain while reading Blindness. Grover, after reading the book's title, feared the worse and begged the reader not to keep turning the pages. The monster in my case was disappointment.

Never have I built up a book as much as this one. I hardly wanted to turn the page, for fear that I was going to be, had to be, let down eventually. There was no way Saramago could possibly live on the pedestal on which I had him placed. I was wrong. Like Grover my fear was never realized. Unlike Grover, whose monster had been there all along, disappointment never did show up.

12 comments:

Allison said...

Nice label.

I'm very excited to start reading this book. I can't think of a book I've read recently that's completely gobsmacked me. I really enjoyed The Tin Flute, but not to the depths that you speak of this book.

I should be studying for my history exam, but perhaps I'll start it later on today. Hope Ottawa is still treating you fine.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I am so glad there was no monster at the end of this book for you. I am actually ordering this from Amazon as I have a gift certificate to spend on a book and I chose Blindness.
And please don't worry that you have built it up too much. I will of course take to heart your reviews of it, but will ultimately try to read it with an open mind.
Looking forward to it.

John Mutford said...

Allison, Ottawa is still good. I went to the Museum of Civilization today. It was okay, a little too civilized if you ask me. I actually enjoyed the walk there much more. Then my cousin and I had Indian food and went to a blues joint. It was okay but we were so stuffed from the dinner that there was hardly room for drinks! I missed Tokyo Police Club and the Cold War Kids a couple of nights ago and to make up for it I considered going to a Malajube/Chromeo/You Say Party, We Say Die! concert tonight but we just weren't up for a crowd thing.

Barbara, Yay! I can't wait for you to read it. Are you spending the rest on the missing Decemberist cd?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Yes, as a matter of fact I am! Am I that transparent? I'm also getting a bunch of other stuff because, well you have to make it worthwhile for shipping and handling, you know. That's a darn good rationale for overspending anyway.

Matt said...

I just bought this book a couple weeks ago and was looking forward to reading it. Now I'm even more excited to read it. I'm always hoping to run into my next favorite book, glad you found yours!

John Mutford said...

Matt, I'd love to hear your comments on the book when you're done- good or bad!

marydell said...

I just left a comment on Matt's site about how much I love this book. Seriously, it changed the way I view society. I have no doubt that we (us real people) would act like the book's characters if faced with such extreme circumstances.

John Mutford said...

Marydell, I couldn't agree more. That's one of the many reasons I love it so much, he was able to reduce us down to what we really are. Sometimes that truth is really beautiful and other times it's down right shitty. Amazing too that a convincing argument is made that sight can be a distraction from really seeing.

John Mutford said...

Barbara's excellent review can be found here.

John Mutford said...

Other great reviews:
Sam's
Matt's

John Mutford said...

MyUtopia's great review here.

John Mutford said...

Gentle Reader's glowing review.