Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What I'm reading, October edition

I've picked up a couple new books this week, as I finally expect to get some time to sit down and read after we move.  After finishing Time for the Stars,  which upon reflection was wholly forgettable, I spent an hour at Barnes and Noble and Half Priced Books looking for something new.

I'm currently reading Jose Saramago's Blindness.  I must have some issue to be constantly reading bleak books. Like McCarthy's The Road, Blindness offers little in the way of hope for humanity.  An epidemic of white blindness strikes, and a sub-group of the first stricken are thrown in an old asylum to fend for themselves while the outside world tries to deal with the problem.  Humans proceed to do what humans will do in extreme situations, lose all pretense of propriety and morality when survival is on the line.  They breakdown, yet you don't begrudge a single decision they make, because deep down we know we would all do the same thing, some would just do it sooner than others, as the reality of the situation sets in for different people at different times.

The internees find that the guards have deserted their posts (only by not receiving food for a week) and stumble back out into the real world and discover that everyone else is blind now too.  It is at this point that I'm currently reading, and I have no expectation of the world population getting their sight back, so all that is left is to watch the world descend in the same manner as the asylum folks. 

It's a fascinating book, that sadly is a pretty accurate depiction of how society would likely devolve in a situation like that.  The writing style is frustrating to read, there is little punctuation, quotations, or paragraph breaks.  It doesn't add to the feel of desperation that I sense the author is shooting for (at least for me) so I'm left to wonder why he writes that way.  On the whole, even when an author throws roadblocks in front of you, a great story can make it worth finishing. 

I'll be posting up the rest of my book purchases shortly as I make my way through them.

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