Despite the heavy rain, the presiding officer at Polling Station 14 finds it odd that by midday on National Election day, only a handful of voters have turned out.
Puzzlement swiftly escalates to shock when eventually, after an extension, the final count reveals seventy per cent of the votes are blank - not spoiled, simply blank. National law decrees the election should be repeated eight days later. The result is worse; eighty-three per cent of the votes are blank. The incumbent government receives eight per cent and the opposition even less. The authorities, seized with panic, decamp from the capital and place it under a state of emergency.
In his new novel, José Saramago has deftly created the politician's ultimate nightmare: disillusionment not with one party, but with all, thereby rendering the entire democratic system useless. Seeing explores how simply this could be achieved and how devastating the results might be.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
"He writes with wit, with heartbreaking dignity, and with the simplicity of a great artist in full control of his art. Let us listen to a true elder of our people, a man of tears, a man of wisdom" (Ursula Le Guin Guardian)
"A brilliant, cruelly ironic, surreal exposť of what we think of as civil society" (John Burnside Scotland on Sunday)
"Saramago portrays an instantly recognisable world in which our political masters bang on about democracy while pursuing policies without any regard to the normal standards of law and basic morality, but in this dense, dark and occasionally brutal book he never forgets the satirist's duty to be funny" (Peter Parker Sunday Times)
"This is political satire delivered with rare intellectual gravitas" ( Mail on Sunday)
"A profound fable" ( New Statesman)
A major new novel by the winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature
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