Seeing

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Seeing

by Jose Saramago

March 30, 2006 | Hardcover

Seeing is rated 4 out of 5 by 9.
On election day in the capital, it is raining so hard that no one has bothered to come out to vote. The politicians are growing jittery. What's going on? Should they reschedule the elections for another day? Around three o'clock, the rain finally stops. Promptly at four, voters rush to the polling stations, as if they had been ordered to appear.

But when the ballots are counted, more than 70 percent are blank. The citizens are rebellious. A state of emergency is declared. The president proposes that a wall be built around the city to contain the revolution. But are the authorities acting too precipitously? Or even blindly? The word evokes terrible memories of the plague of blindness that had hit the city four years before, and of the one woman who kept her sight. Could she be behind the blank ballots? Is she the organizer of a conspiracy against the state? A police superintendent is put on the case.

What begins as a satire on governments and the sometimes dubious efficacy of the democratic system turns into something far more sinister. A singular novel from the author of Blindness.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 3.55 × 2.49 × 0.43 in

Published: March 30, 2006

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0151012385

ISBN - 13: 9780151012381

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from In my Top 5 of all time favourites! This is a fantastic book. I found the premise to be quite original. Deeply thought provoking on many levels. The writing style is a bit odd and I thought that I would not enjoy the book because of it, but once I got used to it, the story itself is very powerful.
Date published: 2015-03-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Hard to get through The story is interesting only in that it is based on real events. Other than that, its a tough read. Not too exciting.
Date published: 2010-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book King Joao III of Portugal gave Archduke Maximilian an unusual wedding present: an elephant named Solomon and his trainer, Subhro. The story is about the journey from Lisbon to Vienna that was witnessed and remarked upon by scholars, historians, and ordinary people. Once the elephant is delivered, by ship, Archduke Maximilian changes the identity of the trainer (now named Fritz) and the elephant (now named Suleiman), as they are no longer live in India. Fritz falls out of favor with the archduke by increasing his income through a money making scam of selling elephant hair to grow human hair,which the archduke shuts down immediately. I love the descriptions used throughout such as ‘the scenery changing from discreet, gentle to one so violent that the mountains look like they have gone through apocalyptic fractures’. The journey through the Isarco Pass is dangerous with avalanches falling all around the caravan. Even Suleiman is scared. Once the caravan arrives in Vienna, a parade is held to show off the elephant. Once again Suleiman performs a miracle. The people love him almost as much as they love the archduke. Point of view was third person.
Date published: 2010-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A True Master Saramago proves once again why he is the Master. This particular offering revolves around a man named Tertuliano Maximo Aphonso and his discovery of another man who is his double and his search to meet this man. The story is told in true Saramago style, with character's dialogue separated only by commas, for example. It is easy to get attached to the main character and the people in his life, including Common Sense. The story does include an interesting twist at the end. The Double is a great read, one ofmy favorites from this fantastic author.
Date published: 2009-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The same great Saramago One more masterpiece from Saramago; once you discover his style, you just fall in love with it and find simple phrasing a bit boring. The subject in "The Double" is not new in world's literature but Saramago just knows to make it original in his own way.
Date published: 2008-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!! Don't be discouraged by first 50 pages! Since I read Blindness by Jose Saramago, I have been on the lookout for more of his works. Blindness is one of my favourite books and one that I think everyone should read at some point in their life. These works are translated from Portuguese and Saramago has a Nobel prize for his literary works. Tertuliano Maximo Afonso is a history teacher with depression. In hopes of making him feel better, his colleague recommends a comedic movie. Afonso rents this movie, doesn't think too highly of it, and goes to sleep. In the middle of the night, he wakes up with an odd feeling. The movie is playing on his tv and someone that looks exactly like him is acting as the hotel receptionist in the movie. These two don't just look like each other - they are identical. Even their voice is exactly the same. Afonso sets to find out who this man is. When he finally tracks him down, the two engage in a tale of bitterness, revenge, happiness, and finding out who they really are. True to Saramago style, the novel is written with very few paragraphs and periods. All conversations are separated only by a comma. It takes a while to get into this and is difficult to read at first, but don't let this stop you from finishing any of Saramago's works! While I felt that part of the books had been dragged out a bit - for example, there were too many conversations with "common sense" - all that was completely forgiven by the incredible ending! One doesn't really expect twists except in mystery novels, so I was completely shocked by this one! Wow! One of the best-ended books I've ever read!
Date published: 2008-04-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! Not as good as Blindness (from my opinion, hence the 4 stars), but definitely an original piece of work. It shows how Democracies can become the most dangerous dictatorships, a puzzling idea taking in account the events that surround us in the present day. An amazing satire which shows the general ineffectiveness of world governments and the dormant power of the people. It shows how real revolutions can still occur in the 21st century. Saramago has created yet another masterpiece.
Date published: 2006-04-09
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Awful.... highly disappointing Disappointing to say the least. I read (ie. suffered) through over 100 pages of this book and finally could take no more. I was extremely disappointed because I love Jose Saramago's work and have read 4 of his previous novels. I was expecting another great novel. The premise is very interesting in that the main character is watching a video and see's an actor who looks, speaks and acts like him. However the book is filled with the author talking to the reader about points which do nothing but drag on the story, which after 100 pages could have been summed up in about 10-15 pages. HIGHLY disappointing! Read Blindness instead.
Date published: 2005-09-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant The Stone Raft is good enough to restore ones faith in the power of literature. Jose Saramago seems to have remembered that the basis of any great novel is the story. And this is a great story. One day, the Iberian Peninsula shears off from the European continent and begins to drift across the Atlantic Ocean. A diverse group of Portugese and Spaniards wander across the "island" searching for answers as to why this has occured. What they find are the answers to many important and difficult questions. Fortunately, the "point" of the story never gets in the way of what is a great adventure. Touching, gripping, eye opening and hugely entertaining, this is one of the best novels I have read in years.
Date published: 2000-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great bedtime story I loved this book. In fact, as I waited for my husband, I began reading this book in a Chapters store and couldn't put it down. I bought it even though I finished reading it. It will make a great bedtime story when I have children to read it to...
Date published: 2000-02-08

– More About This Product –

Seeing

Seeing

by Jose Saramago

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 3.55 × 2.49 × 0.43 in

Published: March 30, 2006

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0151012385

ISBN - 13: 9780151012381

About the Book

From the Nobel Prize-winning author of "Blindness" comes this follow-up, set in the same capital city four years after being hit by an epidemic of blindness. What begins as a satire on governments and the sometimes dubious efficacy of the democratic system turns into something far more sinister.

Read from the Book

terrible voting weather, remarked the presiding officer of polling station fourteen as he snapped shut his soaked umbrella and took off the raincoat that had proved of little use to him during the breathless forty-meter dash from the place where he had parked his car to the door through which, heart pounding, he had just appeared. I hope I’m not the last, he said to the secretary, who was standing slightly away from the door, safe from the sheets of rain which, caught by the wind, were drenching the floor. Your deputy hasn’t arrived yet, but we’ve still got plenty of time, said the secretary soothingly, With rain like this, it’ll be a feat in itself if we all manage to get here, said the presiding officer as they went into the room where the voting would take place. He greeted, first, the poll clerks who would act as scrutineers and then the party representatives and their deputies. He was careful to address exactly the same words to all of them, not allowing his face or tone of voice to betray any political and ideological leanings of his own. A presiding officer, even of an ordinary polling station like this, should, in all circumstances, be guided by the strictest sense of independence, he should, in short, always observe decorum.         As well as the general dampness, which made an already oppressive atmosphere still muggier, for the room had only two narrow windows that looked out onto a courtyard which was gloomy even on sunny days, there was a sense of unease which,
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From the Publisher

On election day in the capital, it is raining so hard that no one has bothered to come out to vote. The politicians are growing jittery. What's going on? Should they reschedule the elections for another day? Around three o'clock, the rain finally stops. Promptly at four, voters rush to the polling stations, as if they had been ordered to appear.

But when the ballots are counted, more than 70 percent are blank. The citizens are rebellious. A state of emergency is declared. The president proposes that a wall be built around the city to contain the revolution. But are the authorities acting too precipitously? Or even blindly? The word evokes terrible memories of the plague of blindness that had hit the city four years before, and of the one woman who kept her sight. Could she be behind the blank ballots? Is she the organizer of a conspiracy against the state? A police superintendent is put on the case.

What begins as a satire on governments and the sometimes dubious efficacy of the democratic system turns into something far more sinister. A singular novel from the author of Blindness.

About the Author

JOSÉ SARAMAGO (1922–2010) was the author of many novels, among them Blindness, All the Names, Baltasar and Blimunda, and The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

MARGARET JULL COSTA has established herself as the premier translator of Portuguese literature into English today.

Editorial Reviews

"Saramago has a taste for alternative realities, for the use of fiction as a form of speculation."