The late Nobel laureate's final novel, a radical retelling of the Old Testament.
In this, his last novel, Saramago daringly reimagines the characters and narratives of the Bible through the story of Cain. Condemned to wander forever after he kills Abel, he is whisked around in time and space. He experiences the almost-sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, the Tower of Babel, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Joshua at the battle of Jericho, Jobe's ordeal, and finally Noah's ark and the Flood. And over and over again Cain encounters an unjust, even cruel God. A startling, beautifully written, and powerful book, in all ways a fitting end to Saramago's extraordinary career.
©2011 Jose Saramago (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Reading the Portuguese writer Jose Saramago, one quickly senses the presence of a master." (Christian Science Monitor)
"Saramago is the most tender of writers...with a clear-eyed and compassionate acknowledgment of things as they are, and a quality that can only be termed wisdom." (New York Times)
"Narrator Kevin Pariseau is the perfect choice to deliver this book. His dry reading style is in perfect harmony with the author's droll humor. Pariseau uses variations in tone and pitch to differentiate the characters, which helps the listener follow the extensive cast introduced throughout. While the pace of the prose is fast, the audio journey is carefully managed, so the narration is never rushed." (AudioFile)
this is probably a wonderful story but the narrator's smirky, snide tone just ruins Saramago's subtle poetic observations. Wish I had listened to the preview before I bought it, it's like listening to nails on a chalk board, not sure I can get through the whole thing.
The book reminds me a little of Good Omens by Terry Pratchett
& Neil Gaiman. Both use humor to point out the injustice in divine plans.
I would say my favorite bit is a joke about when Cain is looking at the line between two lands that are so different that they must be in two different times. There's a bit about it being another present or past present or future present...and everybody can understand that.
A retelling of the biblical story of Cain and Abel, as well as Adam and Eve, Noah's ark, etc. Saramago's writing style is engaging because it's so unusual. But his iconoclastic attitude towards the Bible and religion wears thin after a while leaving this reader at least wanting more depth and less caricature. Worth reading if you want something quick and mildly diverting. At least Kevin Pariseau does a great job of bringing the characters to life.
it doesnt take a genius.com
The story and Cain's ability to ride his donkey into Biblical tipping points and provide a possible
Lillith as I've always wondered about the original liberated woman as well as the stuff of nightmare legends.
His range and ability to assume varies roles with a change in pitch or tone that made for easy listening.
Yes however on the second night I stayed up late to catch the ending.
Not for everyone and not overly deep but worth the price.
I love reading books written by Jose Saramago. I find him both insightful and tremendously amusing. It is a rare talent that can write the way he can.
Unfortunately, Cain was a rare misstep. It is full of bitterness and hate. I understand that people have different views on God. I am perfectly willing and appreciate reading or listening to others views. The problem with Cain is that Saramago doesn't set up a good argument. He starts by claiming that God is evil and then goes on to show again and again that God cannot be trusted and that nothing good can come of any dealings with God.
I do not fault Saramago for his stance. I have read other books that portray God in a less than favorable light and have loved them.
The trick is that the argument needs to be balanced. Both good and bad need to be shown and then the reader is free to make up his own mind. Here we get nothing but propaganda. There is no intelligent argument, prevalent in all other Saramago works, there is only the one-sided rantings of a bitter man.
This books pains me and writing a bad review for a novel by my favorite author pains me more. Alas, I cannot in good conscience say that this book is anywhere near what Saramago is capable of.
I expected a lot more.
I love literary fiction and I occasionally delve into non-fiction. I love books that are suspenseful and am really into well-told stories.
Oh my gosh.... this is such a FUNNY book... I have listened to it quite a few times and I always get a kick out of this re-imagining of Genesis.
Basically the lead character Cain goes around on his donkey creating havoc wherever he goes. He is NOT a nice person and he is endlessly quibbling with God and blaming all of his wrongdoings on God, who is also not a very "nice", um, God?
Saramago can write VERY subversive books (The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.... which sadly is available as an audiobook, but not though Audible as far as I know) got the nobel-prize winning author kicked out of his home country. Sometimes Christians just cannot take a joke.
So if you are one of those, don't get this book... you will hate it. But for you who aren't offended of someone making fun of the bible, go for it! It is so well narrated, too. Just the perfect amount of irony, scorn and smarmy-ness that tip the book from very funny to rolling on the ground laughing funny.
One of my favorites!
I love to read. On average I read and/or listen to more than 100 books a year. Audible has been a fantastic addition to my life. Love it!
This was entertaining, but fell a bit short on the heels of "Death with Interruptions" (which was masterful). Also there are glitches in the recording where the audio is spliced strangely and you miss a chunk. I am planning to return it as a faulty recording although story wise I'd say give it a go.
Decrease the sex scenes. Only a few wer essential to the story
It's pretty amazing how he does the voices
The story was very irreverent and its attempt at humor fell flat. Very disappointing and the only time I did not bother to finish a book.
Downright disgusting, couldn't get through the first chapter.
nothing by this author.
He did a good job at a bad task
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