Death With Interruptions

by Martha Jette
(Hamilton, Ontario)

By José Saramago

By José Saramago

By José Saramago
First Published in Portuguese
Harvill Secker, a division of Random House
As intermitencias da morté, Copyright 2008
ISBN 978-1-60751-924-9
238 Pages

This book begins: “The following day, no one died.”
Now if that doesn’t grab your attention and spark your imagination, who knows what will!
Death With Interruptions takes a deep and prolonged look into what would happen to a people, a country, its institutions and its morals, if such an astounding event should ever occur. What would happen to those thousands of poor souls each month that would lie in wait for a death that would never come? How would a country’s government cope with the ever increasing numbers of people that grew old but never died? How would a family cope with a forever dying loved one? What would funeral homes do, if there were no one to bury? How would insurance companies talk folks into spending their hard-earned dollars, if no death would ever strike them?
In this fantasy scenario, author José Saramago weaves a strange but almost likely tale of what might happen under such unheard of circumstances. And what about ‘death’ herself? (Yes, the author says it’s a woman!) What would she do, if there were no one to kill off each day?
Saramago, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998, brilliantly follows this line of thought to some even more startling scenarios and in the end, comes full circle to where he began. Needless to say, this is a book you will not want to put down.
Other works by this author include The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, The History of the Siege of Lisbon, The Tales of the Unknown Island, The Cave, The Manual of Painting and Calligraphy and Blindness.

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