Monday, 16 January 2012

Thoughts: Cain by José Saramgo

Much more a novella than a book, in his final piece of work Saramago sends out Cain to witness the deeds of an ever quarreling mankind and the punishments of a vengeful god.

After murdering his brother Abel, Cain is touring the Old Testament, cursed by God to wander endlessly. He is there with Lilith in her bed, building the Ark with Noah, watching Abraham almost killing Isaac and witnessing Sodom and Gomorrah as well as he Tower of Babel fall.

I think the book could hurt the feelings of serious Christian people, because Saramgao indicates that even God is not always right and is mocking the biblical stories. I am an atheist and for me it was funny, because I felt like Saramago blew the dust from those old stories, retelling them in an entertaining way. Especially in the beginning, the part about Adam and Eve, I often had to laugh out loud because of the ignorance of the earliest people on earth. My BF asked me to read aloud and we had some good laughs together, admiring Saramago's writing style which is unlike anyone else's, though I had to get used to his punctuation.

And though the book is funny, it could not keep my interest till the end and that is why I only give it three stars. For people who want to read a fun interpretation of Jesus' life, I recommend The Gospel according to Biff by Christopher Moore.

1 comment:

  1. I read this and agree it could be offensive to Christians. Much more offensive than Philip Pullman's Good Man Jesus & Scoundrel Christ, which attracted far more controversy!

    Like you, I liked it but didn't love it.