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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

Death at Intervals

Death at Intervals - José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa

 

Description: On the first day of the new year, no one dies. This of course causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, 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, and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots. Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with scythe and filing cabinets, and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small d,became human and were to fall in love?'

Opening: THE FOLLOWING DAY, NO ONE DIED. THIS FACT, BEING ABSOLUTELY contrary to life's rules, provoked enormous and, in circumstances, perfectly justifiable anxiety in people's minds, for we have only to consider that in the entire forty volumes of human history there is no mention, not even one exemplary case, of such a phenomenon ever having occurred, for a whole day to go by, with its generous allowance of twenty-four hours, diurnal and nocturnal, matutinal and vespertine, without one death from illness, a fatal fall, or a successful suicide, not one, not a single one.

Oy, Saramago, you missed a chance to add crepuscular to that opening sentence; loss of impact points right there. heh.



A month of Halloween 2015 reads:

#1: 3* Nobody True by James Herbert: fraudio
#2: 4* The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard: fraudio
#3: 1* Brain Child by John Saul: fraudio
#4: 3* Domain (Rats #3) by James Herbert: fraudio
#5: 3* The Mourning Vessels by Peter Luther: paperback
#6: 2* The Doom of the Great City: ebook short-story
#7: 5* Long After Midnight by Ray Bradbury: fraudio
#8: 5* The Dead Zone by Stephen King: fraudio
#9: CR The Chalice: hardback
#10: WL Seven Gothic Tales
#11: CR Tales of Men and Ghosts: gutenberg
#12: 2* Shattered by Dean Koontz: fraudio
#13: 5* The Dunwich Horror: e-book: gutenberg
#14: CR Death At Intervals: paperback
#15: 3* Alone: gutenberg
#16: CR The Shunned House: gutenberg
#17: CR The Thing on the Doorstep: ebook