Starting at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s, in an unidentified country in an undetermined year, in José Saramago’s new novel, “Death. José Saramago prefaces his newly translated novella, Death with Interruptions, with two epigraphs: a prediction and a supposition. “We will know less and less. Ted Gioia reviews Death With Interruptions by Jose Saramago at Great Books Guide.

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Then there is the writing. It sounds like I need to grab this one as well, as the synopsis sounds so very intriguing to me.

Death with Interruptions – Wikipedia

I want to read everything else Saramago has ever written, because I suspect that at least a few of his other novels must be as clever as Death with Interruptions. A means of finally killing people, and relieving families of the burden of their catatonic kin, is devised and implemented by an underground group known only as the maphia the ‘ph’ is chosen to avoid any confusion with the more sinister Mafia.

His major players include the government, the church, the mafia, or maphia, as they are called herethe hospitals and hospices, and various trade associations of undertakers, grave-diggers, etc.

And we call it atroposthat is, death. However, in an effort to kill more kindly, death will now send a letter to those about to perish, giving them a week to prepare for their end. The cellist, meanwhile, the only person who continues to elude death after she has resumed her duties, is potentially a very interesting figure. Mysteriously, at the stroke of midnight of January 1, no one in the country can die any more.


Nursing homes unhappily foresee a future when the majority of society will have reached arrested death, supported by a dwindling number of young. Those who have not read him before will be startled from the very first page of his new novel, when speech first appears.

Death With Interruptions by Jose Saramago

The novel centers around death as both a phenomenon, and as an anthropomorphized character. I am in love with this book. I completely understand wanting to save it. The book ends, as it began, by stating that no one died the next day.

This joy is short-lived – it soon becomes apparent that the end of death presents unique intedruptions and financial challenges.

Other Colorsp. June Summer Summary: August Summer Summary: My favourite is Blindness whicj I loved for its emotional impact, but it sounds as though this book is just as clever as The Double.

Everyone says his stuff is unique and different but so worthwhile. Jeremy Osner is a software engineer who lives in New Jersey. Although originally intending merely to analyze this man and discover why he is unique, death eventually becomes infatuated with him, enough so that she takes on human form to meet him. The living, by contrast, are all named descriptively: The only other proper names in the whole novel are those of the dead, and they are written similarly: Every time death sends him his letter, it returns.

People continue to age, suffer from poor health, get shot, have accidents; but they all linger on. She announces, through a missive sent to zaramago media, that her experiment has ended, and people will begin dying again.


Oh, Sarzmago wonder what his books would be like on audio?? Described thus, the technique might sound messy. The key thing here is that Saramago brings the grim reaper onstage as a character, granting her a degree of nuance and reality.

Tricks and treats

Do you have a favorite author whose saranago is extremely unique? But whereas the vast majority of these accounts focus on the micro-level drama, and the specific individuals involved, Saramago prefers to take a macro level view of the proceedings.

I have only read Blindness, a fantastic book, but mean to read more Saramago and your post reminds me why! Death with Interruptions is shorter, though, so I started with that one.

The allegory is sometimes only a whisker away from modern reality. Although the musician is clearly a lover of literature in general, a look at an average shelf in his library will show that he has a special liking for books on astronomy, the natural sciences and nature, and today he has brought with him a handbook on entomology.

I think saramaggo would depend even more than usual on the narrator. I have a long history of loving experimental fiction! Contact Ted Gioia at tedgioia hotmail.