Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Literal Anticipation...

Now here is something to be excited about, dear Readers.
A new book by Jose Saramago.
Death With Interruptions.
It’s not yet released [should be published “next month” according to Harper’s magazine…] but WOW! I cannot wait! Here’s a book I will buy while the print is still drying!
Saramago is my favorite living author. Really he is!
I actually hate that word “favorite” in this context, yet I use it all the time. The problem being that there are so many [worthy] favorites among my List of Favorites…. but perhaps a better way of expressing my love for Saramago is that I feel he is the author I am most unequivocally interested in.
The author least likely to disappoint me?
The author with the Most Flawless track record in that regard?
Those of you who are very astute will recall that recently I lamented that there is only one Saramago novel I have yet to read. Well, now there are TWO!
The current Harper’s magazine has printed an excerpt of Death With Interruptions, on page 29. [September ’08 issue].
I just finished reading it.
WOW!
It does not specify where the excerpt comes from, but I am imagining it is from the first chapter. And the first sentence is… The following day, no one died.
This is the premise.
Some phenomenon happens, wherein no one dies!
People just don't DIE any more.
[God, I love this guy]!
Here is a promotional blurb I unearthed… On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This, understandably, causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, funeral directors, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is initially 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 . . .

I mean, his ideas are so CRAZY…. but so ingenious. And handled with such exactitude and rigor and finesse.
And just as he has done with such books as Blindness and Seeing and The Stone Raft [and others], he immediately moves toward the issue of how society is to contain this new outbreak of non-death!
The government steps in “to take efficient, coordinated action.” And, of course, the religious leaders get all knotted up like a sweaty basket of nightmare-twisted bedsheets. Oh, it’s great… even this Harper's excerpt is enough to reveal that the book will be magnificent.
Hah!
HOW do you take action upon such circumstances?
Any reader of Saramago knows that nothing but unmanageable [mismanaged] mayhem is going to ensue!
Here in Canada the book will be available October 1st.
I shall be pre-ordering it.
[Unless I die from something first...]
I cannot wait to read it.
I cannot wait to read it.
I CANNOT WAIT TO READ IT.

***********

6 comments:

Beth said...

Such lines/hooks often get me reading a book - regardless of the author.
Intriguing premise.

Melanie said...

I know, I know, I know!!!! I can hardly wait! Yippee :)

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I just finished reading "The Water Method Man" by John Irving (remember your other all time favorite?!?!) and it was TERRIFIC!!! I laughed and I cried and I laughed until I cried and then I thought:"...crap, what can I possibly read now to follow this???" Well, I'll wait until October 1st I guess!
C.

stefanie said...

Awesome news! have you seen a movie preview for Blindness yet? I saw one a few weeks ago and can hardly wait for the movie.

cipriano said...

Spread the word, friends.
A new Saramago is reason to celebrate life!

May said...

Your love for books is endearing.