Halloween Read: Death with Interruptions, by Jose Saramago

Bewildered, confused, distraught, struggling to control their feelings of nausea, the firement extracted from the mangled remains wretched human bodies that, according to the mathematical logic of the collisions, should have been well and truly dead, but which, despite the seriousness of the injuries and lesions suffered, remained alive and were carried off to hospital, accompanied by the shrill sound of the ambulance sirens.

I found myself by unplanned coincidence reading Jose Saramago’s Death With Interruptions this week, in which human death suddenly stops within a certain country. Half almost a zombie tale, half a supernatural love story, the novel is unsettling and spooky, wise and expansive. It’s a Halloween read with very little gore, and not all that much suspense, but with prose of such power and conviction that, eventually, the reader might feel that they are living side-by-side with death itself.


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