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The book, based in an unnamed, landlocked country at a point in the unspecified past, opens with the end of death.

Las intermitencias de la muerte by José Saramago

I would highly recommend this to any Saramago fan, and to anyone new to this Nobel laureate’s works although I think Blindness might be a better starting point.

Because he is brilliant, that’s why.

It’s deaththe female noun in so many languages, whose whim led to such perturbances in the function of the state and religion and philosophy. A key focus of the book is how society relates to death in both of these forms, and likewise, how death relates to the people she is meant to kill. Also, Saramago has a saramagi distinct voice that I can’t get enough of. Life itself has quickly become the burden – mjerte how the tables have turned!

He was a member of the Portuguese Communist Party.

And his gentle irony accepts the fact that we all lie by inevitable omission every time we utter a sound. The following day, no one died. If his style was adopted by the average unedited SPA it wouldn’t get the excuses let alone praise it does for this Nobel Prize winner. Trivia About Death with Interr It’s all delivered in the voice that is both dry and witty, detached yet flourishing, both mocking and serious.


With only a mild interest to sustain me, I ambled through the pages half-heartedly. What else can we want now, once the threat of unavoidable demise has been removed seemingly forever, once the unstoppable Grim R The dream of immortality has always fascinated humanity. Saramago knows what most of us know but don’t know how to say.

View all 7 comments. And so I stand by my 5-star rating from a year agoand begin a desperate hunt for more Saramago books. The day is normal, nothing seems out of place… except people are not dying anymore. Saramago’s house in Lanzarote is also open to the public. Saramago takes something most people would view as a great joy – to live forever – and puts it on an ugly display as a terrifying curse. Lists with This Book. What would that represent?

It is NOT difficult to read, give it a few pages and I promise you will grasp it. It may have been due in part that I devoured most of it while seated upon the sun soaked banks of a river this past July, but this short little work really struck me. Saramago’s death character was fascinating and different than any traditional image of death speaking of tradition death, there is a funny bit where the government takes all the traditional images of death and uses technology to see what these skull images would look like with a human face and he actually manages to make death a likeable, empathizable character.


Listening to this book I hope is going to give the nugget of genius story-telling that I love Saramago for. Please try again later. There are snippets, conversations, which surprised me with sly intelligence and wry wit.

Ships from and sold by Amazon. The complete cessation of dying leads to a growing fear among healthcare workers that the system will collapse under its own weight:.

My wife is fluent in Portuguese so she’s going to read Blindness in its native language while I read an English translation on my Kindle. Unfortunately the second part was not as solid and it was rather weak and not interesting.

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Aug 21, Vanessa J. I love the cover of this book, the cartoon woman in black, paused on the doorstep of someone’s life, her intermitenciqs scythe held aloft. Religion has lost its reason and its greatest reward, resurrection. As in many of his other works, Saramago largely eschews traditional forms of grammar and punctuation.

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