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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Margaret Jull Costa Translator. Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago's brilliant new novel poses the question what happens when the grim reaper decides there will be no more death?
On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This, of course, causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially mass celebration. Flags are hung out on balconies; people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life.
Then reality hits home—families are left to care for the permanently dying; life-insurance policies become meaningless; and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots. Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again?
What if she, death with a small "d," became human and were to fall in love? Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published October 1st by Houghton Mifflin first published More Details Original Title.
Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Death with Interruptions , please sign up. I am on page 70, does this book get any better, or does it keep going on in this vein? JP Peste Somewhere around the middle it was boring, but then, when death becomes the main character, it became one of my favourite books. Give it a try. I thin …more Somewhere around the middle it was boring, but then, when death becomes the main character, it became one of my favourite books.
I think it'll be worth the effort. Jorge A. See all 3 questions about Death with Interruptions…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order.
Start your review of Death with Interruptions. Oct 04, Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it Shelves: portuguese-authors , nobel-prize. What happens if people stop dying? After a general celebration many people are actually in trouble: undertakers, those who work for cemeteries and insurance companies and others. The nation passes a law that pets must be given full burials!
Lady Death has taken a holiday in this one country. And she is a she in languages with gendered pronouns. But What happens if people stop dying? But people still age. Now Grandma will be suffering up in that corner bedroom indefinitely. Some people start smuggling the very elderly across the border where they die and are buried.
A new industry grows up around that. Are they heroes or villains? A lot of the early part of the book is a cynical description of political compromise and government inefficiency and corruption. But one letter keeps getting returned by the post office — nothing mystical, probably just the usual bureaucratic screw-ups. Death leaves her cold, windowless office and decides to investigate. The person the letter is addressed to is a middle-aged man, a cellist, living a solitary life with his dog.
There is occasional dialogue but no quotation marks. A good read although not my favorite by Nobel Prize winner Saramago. View all 31 comments. First released in in its original Portuguese, the novel was translated into English by Margaret Jull Costa in The novel centers around death as both a phenomenon, and as an anthropomorphized character. A key focus of the book is how society relates to death in both of these forms, and likewise, how death relates to the people she is meant to kill.
View 2 comments. Apr 27, Lizzy rated it it was amazing Shelves: read , favorites-of-all-times , nobel-laureates , classics-literay-fiction , stars Who, after all, at some point in life, hasn't asked why do we have to die? The dream of immortality has fascinated humanity forever. But nothing is for free on this earth of ours, and very soon the exultation starts to die down. Slowly the country finds itself disoriented for what to do, immersed in a new confusion.
People lose jobs no more jobs for undertakers or gravediggers, and so many others that depended on it. Religion has lost its reason and its greatest reward, resurrection. And he is always amazing us: "Due to some strange optical phenomenon, real or virtual, death seems much smaller now as if her bones had shrunk, or perhaps she was always like that, and it's our eyes, wide with fear, that make her look like a giant.
Poor death. It makes us feel like going over and putting a hand on her hard shoulder and whispering a few words of sympathy in her ear, or, rather, in the place where her ear once was, underneath the parietal. Read it if you enjoy something that will leave you with much more than with what you started before opening one of his books. As his literature Nobel Prize attests, he knows how to write. View all 25 comments. Nov 18, Nataliya rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , reads , excellent-reads , reads.
The dream of immortality has always fascinated humanity. The dream of eternal life has founded religions that changed the shape of the world. What if it were true? In an unnamed small European country without any explanations people have stopped dying - an eternal dream come true, right? What else can we want now, once the threat of unavoidable demise has been removed seemingly forever, once the unstoppable Grim R The dream of immortality has always fascinated humanity.
What else can we want now, once the threat of unavoidable demise has been removed seemingly forever, once the unstoppable Grim Reaper seems to have retired? Immortality is not eternal youth, and ultimately what we have is hundreds and thousands of people suspended on the edge of dying, in the in-between state, neither dead nor alive, caught on the borderline. One must admit that the prospects are not just gloomy, they're terrible, catastrophic, more dangerous by far than anything even the wildest imagination could dream up.
Life itself has quickly become the burden - oh how the tables have turned! It's all delivered in the voice that is both dry and witty, detached yet flourishing, both mocking and serious.
It's not an easy style to read, especially in this book, with meandering narration only underscoring the absence of easily definable plot, the absence of characters who we can follow and love and root for. And then, almost two-thirds into the story, the mood shifts, the narration abruptly changes, and the new plot emerges, folding violet letters into violet envelopes, confidently raising its head and wondering, Have you missed me?
I came to steal your heart. And the strangest love story begins, having nudged the meandering weary satirical narration out of the way. It's death , the female noun in so many languages, whose whim led to such perturbances in the function of the state and religion and philosophy.
It's death, who is surprised at the audacity of a mediocre unremarkable middle-aged musician who refuses to die. It's death, a stranger to failure, who sets out to investigate and to set the matters right, unprepared for what is waiting for her. No, his style does not change.
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Death with Interruptions