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Shelves: favorites , awesome-kickass-heroines , excellent-reads , reads This book left me speechless which is a rare occurrence. Please enjoy the pictures to illustrate the plot while I recover my gift of rambling. An unexplained plague of "white blindness" sweeps the unnamed country. Initial attempts to hastily quarantine the blind in an abandoned mental hospital fail to contain the spread. What they succeed at is immediately creating the easy "us versus them" divide between the helpless newly blind and the terrified seeing.
Before we know, we are immersed in This book left me speechless which is a rare occurrence. Before we know, we are immersed in the horrifying surreal world of hopelessness, filth, violence, and hate, where the true enemy is not their affliction but people themselves, which we can see through the eyes of the only person who appears immune to blindness.
Excrement covers sidewalks, dogs munch on human corpses, the blind rot in the stores after futile attempts to find food. Even the saints in the churches are blinded. The world is a bleak picture of desolation and destruction.
Lovely, no? Instead, we get a nagging haunting feeling that the real blindness was there all along - the blindness towards the others, the blindness towards our real selves, and the physical blindness served as a way to unveil it. What was always there but went unseen before because it used to be easy to shrug off.
Love of power. Blaming the victim. It was all already there, and blindness amplified it. And, as society decays and falls apart, the question of what is means to be human comes up.
Shame and modesty are gone. Medicine is useless. Government is useless. Morals seem obsolete. Empathy is gone. Is anything left? Anything inside us? The girl with the dark glasses taking care of the boy with the squint. The man with the eye patch and his love. Was it because she was the most human? Or maybe she remained human because she retained her sight?
Who knows? She is quiet and caring, leading the blind, washing the raped women, weeping over the dead but killing if she must. She sticks by her morals even if she is forced to violate them. She is the guiding light and the quiet hero in this world of darkness whiteness, keeping her charges from degradation without expecting anything in return.
The pages are filled margin to margin with solid wall of text. There are no dialogue marks, and the seemingly mundane bits of everyday speech are separated only by capital letters. The sentences are long in a European fashion , run-on, and beautifully punctuated. It is not a book to skim, it requires concentration, and definitely is not a light read. If all of the above does not scare you, you should give this one a try. I will finish this review with the plea in the epigraph for this thought-provoking eye-opening no pun intended book: "If you can see, look.
If you can look, observe.
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