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Cain | [Jose Saramago]

Cain

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (47 )
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3.4 (41 )
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3.7 (41 )
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Performance
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  •  
    TL PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States 09-29-12
    TL PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States 09-29-12 Member Since 2012

    tlc

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "god awful narrator"
    What didn’t you like about Kevin Pariseau’s performance?

    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.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marti Montgomery, AL, United States 11-26-11
    Marti Montgomery, AL, United States 11-26-11 Member Since 2006

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    171
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    Story
    "Funny"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry Moscow, Russia 12-10-12
    Harry Moscow, Russia 12-10-12 Member Since 2011

    Pseudo-Writer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A rare misstep for a literary master"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    walter Tulsa, ok, United States 11-23-11
    walter Tulsa, ok, United States 11-23-11

    it doesnt take a genius.com

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Raising Cain"
    What did you love best about Cain?

    The story and Cain's ability to ride his donkey into Biblical tipping points and provide a possible


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lillith as I've always wondered about the original liberated woman as well as the stuff of nightmare legends.


    What about Kevin Pariseau’s performance did you like?

    His range and ability to assume varies roles with a change in pitch or tone that made for easy listening.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes however on the second night I stayed up late to catch the ending.


    Any additional comments?

    Not for everyone and not overly deep but worth the price.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-24-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Intellectually interesting, emotionally empty"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Walters Englewood, Colorado 12-26-11
    Anne Walters Englewood, Colorado 12-26-11 Member Since 2009

    Nurse Midwife

    ratings
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    Story
    "An Amusing "What if""
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Decrease the sex scenes. Only a few wer essential to the story


    If you???ve listened to books by Jose Saramago before, how does this one compare?

    NA


    What does Kevin Pariseau bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    It's pretty amazing how he does the voices


    Do you think Cain needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Spring, Texas, United States 02-11-12
    David Spring, Texas, United States 02-11-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Waste of time"

    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.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DWG 12-29-11
    DWG 12-29-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "sacraligous"
    What disappointed you about Cain?

    Downright disgusting, couldn't get through the first chapter.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    nothing by this author.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He did a good job at a bad task


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    1 of 12 people found this review helpful
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