Cain

Kobo ebook | October 4, 2011

byJose Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa

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“Saramago juxtaposes an eminently readable narrative of work and poverty, class and desire, knowledge and timelessness—one in which God, too, as he faces Cain in the wake of Noah's Ark, emerges as far more human than expected.” —San Francisco Chronicle

In this, his last novel, José Saramago daringly reimagines the characters and narratives of the Old Testament, recalling his provocative The Gospel According to Jesus Christ. His tale runs from the Garden of Eden, when God realizes he has forgotten to give Adam and Eve the gift of speech, to the moment when Noah’s Ark lands on the dry peak of Ararat. Cain, the despised, the murderer, is Saramago’s protagonist.

Condemned to wander forever after he kills his brother Abel, Cain makes his way through the world in the company of a personable donkey. He is a witness to and participant in the stories of Isaac and Abraham, the destruction of the Tower of Babel, Moses and the golden calf, the trials of Job. The rapacious Queen Lilith takes him as her lover. An old man with two sheep on a rope crosses his path. And again and again, Cain encounters a God whose actions seem callous, cruel, and unjust. He confronts Him, he argues with Him. “And one thing we know for certain,” Saramago writes, “is that they continued to argue and are arguing still.”

A startling book—sensual, funny—and in all ways a fitting end to Saramago’s extraordinary career.

“A winkingly blasphemous retelling of the Old Testament . . . Saramago, playfully stretching his chatty late style, pokes holes in the stated logic of the Biblical God throughout the novel.” —The New Yorker
 
This e-book includes a sample chapter of BLINDNESS.

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From the Publisher

“Saramago juxtaposes an eminently readable narrative of work and poverty, class and desire, knowledge and timelessness—one in which God, too, as he faces Cain in the wake of Noah's Ark, emerges as far more human than expected.” —San Francisco ChronicleIn this, his last novel, José Saramago daringly reimagines the characters and narrati...

Format:Kobo ebookPublished:October 4, 2011Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0547519400

ISBN - 13:9780547519401

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Customer Reviews of Cain

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing plot, difficult writing style If you've never read a Saramago novel before than you should be aware that he doesn't like pauses in his writing. That often means long sentences, page-long paragraphs (typically a few pages long actually) and no chapters. The effect can be somewhat overwhelming and unfortunately it would sometimes detract from what would otherwise be a smart and intriguing plot. I really felt for the characters more than I expected and was drawn in to the conflict between them. There are some really great ideas at play here and it was a great read by the end, I just wish it had been presented in a different format (i.e. in digestable paragraphs).
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from In my Top 5 of all time favourites! This is a fantastic book. I found the premise to be quite original. Deeply thought provoking on many levels. The writing style is a bit odd and I thought that I would not enjoy the book because of it, but once I got used to it, the story itself is very powerful.
Date published: 2015-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant The Stone Raft is good enough to restore ones faith in the power of literature. Jose Saramago seems to have remembered that the basis of any great novel is the story. And this is a great story. One day, the Iberian Peninsula shears off from the European continent and begins to drift across the Atlantic Ocean. A diverse group of Portugese and Spaniards wander across the "island" searching for answers as to why this has occured. What they find are the answers to many important and difficult questions. Fortunately, the "point" of the story never gets in the way of what is a great adventure. Touching, gripping, eye opening and hugely entertaining, this is one of the best novels I have read in years.
Date published: 2000-07-20