- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 12 hours and 33 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 11 Aug. 2008
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQ4XU2
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Blindness Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audio Download, Unabridged
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The book also has minimal punctuation so that it takes a while to get used to and also sometimes to work out who is speaking. But it works and in fact the writing is wonderful. It could be read on many different levels, as an allegory or parable, there are many biblical references throughout, blindness of course is often used as a metaphor. There is one startling scene with the doctor, his wife and a prostitute which makes one think of the situation being an eye opener - the doctor's wifes' eyes were opened to her husband - I think if I re-read the book I would see many more allusions and themes such as redemption, human relationships, and altruisim versus selfishness.
Of course the book is harrowing, in a way I was putting off reading it, but ultimately it is uplifting and I am intrigued to know there is a sequel, Seeing. Blindness was made into a film in 2007.
I needn't have worried. Yes, it's a thought-provoking allegory, but it's also a page-turner. The style plunges you into the heads - and the terrifying predicament - of the protagonists. The lack of familiar punctuation to give shape to the sentences and the dialogue, like the lack of names for the characters, is all part of an immersive experience that leaves you, like them, groping around the story, trying to get your bearings, fearful of what you're not seeing and what you're about to stumble onto. And it works. It's like having an intelligent conversation while binge-watching The Walking Dead.
The second part of the book is what happens when the asylum is burned down and the inmates suddenly find themselves outside and although free they realise that what happened in the asylum has in many ways mirrored the outside world. The author here has created a society descending into complete ciaos but also has to take into account what would happen if everyone went suddenly blind. For example when you leave your house to go look for food how will you find your way back? If you lose your loved ones how will you find them? On the other hand would you be prepared to kill if you were threatened or would you steal food to feed yourself if that meant other people would starve?
I found myself caring a great deal about all the inmates in the asylum, this might be because at first they are incredibly vulnerable. None of the characters are given names so its the 'doctors wife' or 'girl with dark glasses' as names cease to matter to the blind. Sometimes the narrative overlaps so you don't know who said what, this is done is some of the parts of the book where there is a crowd. Again this is very clever as to these blind people, it doesn't matter who said certain things just that they were said. Some of the sentences did seem REALLY long with commas where full stops should be, but this really is a minor quibble and should not put anyone off reading this book.