This novel tells the story of an unnamed city in which nearly all the citizens go blind within a short span of time. However, it is not the ordinary type of blindness — that is, it is a white blindness. Instead of being engulfed in blackness, they're vision is flooded with bright milkiness.
The story follows the experiences of a select group of citizens, including the first blind man, a doctor and his wife, and a dog. In the process, it explores the utter chaos that wracks the city of blind people.
The descriptions of violence and thievery, filth and death are alarming but extremely captivating. It is a chilling reminder of the frailty of society, but also serves to highlight the strength of love and humankind's instinct for survival. Saramago's prose is powerful and evocative.
Reviewed by Christina Ma