Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Death with Interruptions

Change. In Jose Saramago’s novel, Death With Interruptions, death is a woman who takes a pause from her work thereby leaving the injured and old alive. Through giant descriptive paragraphs, Saramago riffs on what happens when no one dies, and he does a bang up job describing the bureaucratic reaction of the government and the church to this change. Following her break, death resumes but with a new process: the sending of a letter on violet paper. When one intended recipient of a letter doesn’t receive it, death becomes a bit flummoxed and her personality and reaction are endearing. Meandering through long paragraphs of ideas can become a bit tedious at times, but the personalization of death is so well worth the trouble that by the end of the novel, I was feeling sorry for poor death.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)

Click here to purchase Death With Interruptions from amazon.com.

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