Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Seeing by Jose Saramago

Sometimes a novel comes along that is terrifying only because the reader can't decide why he should be scared. Jose Saramago's latest political allegory Seeing is just such a tale.

The Portuguese Nobel Prize laureate has again produced a singular work of dark humour and near absurdity, one raising disturbing questions about the nature of democracy and the relationship between the government and the governed.

Taking place four years after the events in his novel Blindness, Saramago's Seeing opens on a rainy election day in the unnamed capital of an unnamed country.

The voting turns out badly for the incumbent party. Although it wins the elections, more than 70 per cent of the ballots cast are blank. After a second round of elections produces more than 80 per cent blanks, the government declares a state of emergency.

You can find the review here

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