Friday, May 9, 2014

Skylight


It's been a while since I've read something written by Saramago. I've read Blindness (Which I found exquisite) and Death with interruptions (which wasn't as good as Blindness, a little difficult to get through).

I regularly visit the library as most of you probably do, and this one was standing so invitingly in the NEW section. I hadn't realised something new could come out from Saramago, but yet here it is, the very proof that some writers can keep coming up with new novels after they've passed away. Michael Crichton did a similar feat after being torn away too early.

Of course he didn't right it post mortem. Skylight has been one of Saramago's earlier novels which has never been published. After reading it I can't tell why it never did. It's a very good novel, not with as much evident depth Blindness had, but still ringing but double entendres.
Skylight tells the story of life in one apartment building in the thriving city of Lisbon, Portugal. You rarely set foot outside the apartment and when you do you keep securely fastened to the narrative's mind. This might be a summary of a very boring novel, if it wasn't for the literary magic of Saramago.

He can paint such a realistic picture of tenants lives that you keep reading it for as much the same reason we follow a favourite TV show. The time is shortly after the second world war and most families are going through difficult time earning enough to keep their families safe. With the economic crisis we suffer today, you do realise that we are just a bunch of big babies crying because we can't go out to restaurants more often or buy a new car each two years. In Skylight most go through a real crisis, where you have to decide whether to eat well or pay the rent, where you have to keep quiet to keep working and where you have to pray that nothing illfortunate is coming your way.

I'm not telling you much of the actual content of this novel, because I can't do it justice. Summarizing the different families without going deeper isn't doing them justice. The advice I can give, is that if you never have read Saramago, this might be a good introduction and if you have read him before, you'll hear a clear voice of him long after he passed away. He may come back from the dead more often.

My opinion: 8 out of 10.

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