Death With Interruptions

Death With Interruptions José Saramago (Portugal): 2005; translated by Margaret Jill Costa, 2008.


Saramago's 2005 novel is a fable where death ceases to occur one New Year's Eve. It seems like two novellas spliced together, albeit with continuities between the two pieces. The first half has a more societal level examination of what would occur should people stop dying. This half contains some astute observations on the ramifications of this occurrence, with plenty of humour to move the story along. 

The second half contains a more individual perspective as it explores a situation involving a cellist who does not die and his relationship to death. This half has more the feel of an independent short story without not enough provided to connect it to the novel as a whole or to propel the fable. Still, it is a good short story in spite of its typical male/female relationship struggles. The novel as a whole, was good reading but not nearly as good as Saramago's Blindness.