Seeing, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Despite the heavy rain, the presiding officer at Polling Station 14 finds it odd that by midday on National Election day, only a handful of voters have turned out.

Puzzlement swiftly escalates to shock when eventually, after an extension, the final count reveals seventy per cent of the votes are blank - not spoiled, simply blank.

National law decrees the election should be repeated eight days later.

The result is worse; eighty-three per cent of the votes are blank.

The incumbent government receives eight per cent and the opposition even less.

The authorities, seized with panic, decamp from the capital and place it under a state of emergency.

In his new novel, Jose Saramago has deftly created the politician's ultimate nightmare: disillusionment not with one party, but with all, thereby rendering the entire democratic system useless.

Seeing explores how simply this could be achieved and how devastating the results might be.


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I was fascinated by the premise and the first half of the book was very enjoyable - really funny and droll. As it went on, however, I had two problems. Firstly, although I probably should have, I hadn't realised that this is a sequel to his novel Blindness, which I haven't read. It's not too bad, but a couple of recurring characters and a link to the previous book mean it would be worth reading the previous work first. Secondly, and more seriously, while the latter part of the book is often funny, Saramago's view of government is very one-dimensional, and so the spirit of the ending is clear for a long time, and not at all interesting.On the whole worth a read, but the first half vastly outshines the second.

Review by

Biting satire on our obsession with democracy at all costs. Unique prose style makes it a hard work to engage, but satisfying if you stick with it.