I don’t remember exactly when and why I bought this book. I do remember, though, that I saw it from the news feed of one guy I’m following in Goodreads.
While I was packing my luggage in September, I read the experiences with this book of a fellow wordpresser [as part of a project aiming at ‘reading Europe’ through one book of 20 countries]. And so, I spontaneously took it with me.
The last two months were time of intense reading and thus the time for this book came. Plus that a friend is coming to visit me for the holidays, which means that I could send the book along with some others back home and have more space for new ones in my luggage, hih.
The story did catch me and I was curious to see how it w/could continue and develop; actually, and how the author would get out of the mess he had put his characters in. On the other hand, probably there were too many corpses and ‘indigestion’ around, which were hardly bearable at moments at least for my taste. The style was quite smooth, in my view, not hard to follow [probably I’ve got used to it already, though] and commanded by Saramago in a way that leads the reader gently through the chaos going on around the personages. The author uses, at the same time, a very similar chaotic mixture of voices, interlaced in long mind-flowing sentences I was speaking about before a while. The story itself can’t be qualified as fantastic or realistic, because both of these qualifications would require some explanation of the history being told within the inner logic of the book. Such is lacking, though, which leaves the reader with the feeling of having heard a ‘parable’. I can’t hide that my hair nearly stood on end when in one of the final chapters the group of blind people lead by the only woman who still sees got into a church. It felt like all those post-modern novels and stories where the characters or the reader, or both, find out the story built and supported by external construction. This moment stands completely for its own in the book, though.
I am curious to go for the second part – “Seeing”, which is said to be quite adequate to the social situation we are in, concerning some political strikes in the late years.
And still, “Baltasar and Blimunda” stays on my top from this author and nothing I’ve read from him so far could compare to it.