- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.98 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $4.90 shipping
Death with Interruptions Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 6, 2008
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Saramago's philosophical page-turner hinges on death taking a holiday. And, Saramago being Saramago, he turns what could be the stuff of late-night stoner debate into a lucid, playful and politically edgy novel of ideas. For reasons initially unclear, people stop dying in an unnamed country on New Year's Day. Shortly after death begins her break (death is a woman here), there's a catastrophic collapse in the funeral industry; disruption in hospitals of the usual rotational process of patients coming in, getting better or dying; and general havoc. There's much debate and discussion on the link between death, resurrection and the church, and while the clandestine traffic of the terminally ill into bordering countries leads to government collusion with the criminal self-styled maphia, death falls in love with a terminally ill cellist. Saramago adds two satisfying cliffhangers—how far can he go with the concept, and will death succumb to human love? The package is profound, resonant and—bonus—entertaining. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Few writers work at the top of the game in their mid-80s, but with Death with Interruptions, Jose Saramago delivers a brief allegory long on shrewd social commentary. His work has consistently been compared to that of Franz Kafka and George Orwell, and the dark humor here only sharpens Saramago's satirical cudgel. Margaret Jull Costa's translation reins in the author's difficult style—dialogue whose attribution is rarely clear and missing punctuation, pages-long sentences and paragraphs, characters known only by their function in society—and brings Saramago's genius to the page. Despite one critic's feeling that Saramago is "pushing us away" (New York Times Book Review), the author's risk taking—after all, he posits death as an elegant, lonely woman questioning her own modus operandi—pays big dividends.
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC
Top customer reviews
The writing style was unconventional with paragraph long sentences and non-traditional capitalization. I loved the story, the personification of Death and the twists the storyline took. This book is thought-provoking and a bit sentimental. I highly recommend Death with Interruptions. This book was so well written that I will be seeking out all the writings of Jose Saramago.
Of course something has to happen to throw a monkey wrench into what appears to be eternal life as indeed it does although this is one of those novels where a review should not be a plot summary. (Actually no review should be just a plot summary.) Just let it be said that Saramago adroitly introduces into his narrative a mediocre cellist-- who has a fascinating encounter with death-- who admits that he is no rostropovich and whose favorite pastime is playing bach's suite number six for unaccompanied cello at night in his apartment. Surely nothing, as the brilliant film director Ingmar Bergman would agree, reminds us more of death than any one of bach's suites for unaccompanied cello. Additionally the author's messenger of death appears as a mailman-- who in this instance does not ring twice-- not a new device although an effective one. Joyce Carol Oates, who if there is any justice should win the Nobel Prize for Literature herself, sends death for Marilyn Monroe in her incomparable novel BLONDE as a messenger riding a bicycle. In this novel death wishes that she had used the death head moth, which has on the back of its thorax a pattern resembling a human skull, as her messenger, a chilling thought.
Mr. Saramago's humor is both subtle and wry. Death chides her partner-in-crime the sythe for being lazy because he often spends all his days leaning against a wall. Since she consists of only bones, death ordinarily would not be able to lick envelopes-- although she has all kinds of powers and can move through walls-- but she takes advantage of self-sealing envelopes for her mail-outs.
Literary critics have said that often winning the nobel prize dries up the creative juices of writers. While that case may be made for some authors, it does not hold true in this instance. DEATH WITH INTERRUPTIONS is a fantastic allegory that criticizes the church, the government and familes who are too selfish to care for sick and dying relatives. It is also a beautiful tribute to the power of love as the ending, which is as powerful as the first sentence, illustrates.
Mr. Saramago indeed writes like no other author.
This is the first Saramago book I have read and found myself totally enchanted. From the initial stunner of a premise, I adored the humor with which he skewered such institutions as the church, media and the medical profession---then added insurance companies and funeral directors to the mix.
That man's mindset is astoundingly, far-reachingly brilliant. He trains the reader to think incongruous things relating to their own life and pulls it off with aplomb and unsurpassed competence.
Around the halfway point, these questions are shelved as the author shifts his focus to death's fascination with a cello player, and the book gets a bit too Ingmar Bergman for me. Even the superior first half of the book is a real slog to get through because of Saramago's writing style. He doesn't use paragraphs, few capital letters, no quotation marks. It worked in Blindness mostly because it replicated the tense, uncertain setting - the reader felt his way through each long paragraph like groping and fumbling across a pitch-black hallway. Here, Saramago is not sure what tone to take (comic or suspenseful) or what message to send.
I suspect that some of the problems that prevent an enjoyable reading of this book may lie in the translation and/or the conversion to Kindle format, but that's just a guess.