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Two decades after Portuguese novelist and Nobel Laureate Jos? Saramago shocked the religious world with his novel The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, he has done it again with Cain, a satire of the Old Testament. Written in the last years of Saramago's life, it tackles many of the moral and logical non sequiturs created by a wilful, authoritarian God, and forms part of Saramago's long argument with religion.
The stories in this book are witty and provocative. After Adam and Eve have been cast out of Eden, Eve decides to go back and ask the angel guarding the gate if he can give her some of the fruit that is going to waste inside. The angel agrees, and although Eve swears to Adam that she offered the angel nothing in return, their first child is suspiciously blond and fair-skinned. Cain, in his wandering, overhears a strange conversation between a man named Abraham and his son Isaac - and manages to prevent the father from murdering the son. The angel appointed by God to prevent the murder arrives late due to a wing malfunction. Cain brushes off his apology. 'What would have happened if I hadn't been here?' Cain asks, 'and what kind of god would ask a father to sacrifice his own son?'
Saramago died in June 2010, shortly after the controversial Portuguese publication of Cain but before he could participate in its publication in other countries. Harvill Secker's edition of this remarkable book will be part of a tribute to Saramago's life and work which includes the gradual reissue of his previous novels as Vintage Classics.
The first human to kill, he was damned to roaming the Earth by God. He was Cain, and this is his story.
Summary of the Book
José Saramago begins with Adam and Eve, with their exit from the Garden of Eden. Eve returns to the Garden to ask for more of the forbidden fruit, and the angel agrees to give her some. Adam and Eve's first child is born suspiciously blonde and fair-skinned, even though Eve swears to Adam that she gave the Angel nothing in return. Cain murders Abel, his younger brother, and is damned to roam the Earth forever for his sin. Saramago's story takes Cain through the wilderness, and in his wandering, he overhears a father trying to kill his son because of the word of God. He stops the man, a man that history remembers as Abraham, and when the Angel who had been sent by God to stop Abraham arrives on the scene, late because of a wing malfunction, Cain asks him what kind of god would ask a father to kill his son. Cain's conversations with God question everything God does and examine the Old Testament like no other book before it.
About José de Sousa Saramago
José de Sousa Saramago was a Portuguese novelist, playwright and journalist. He is remembered for: The Gospel According to Jesus, All The Names, Blindness and Seeing.
José was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998, and together with his wife, was the subject of an award winning documentary, José e Pilar, about their life and love story.
|Number of Pages||160 Pages|
|Publication Year||2011 July|
Born in Portugal in 1922, Jos? Saramago was one of the most important writers of his generation. He was in his fifties when he came to prominence as a novelist with the publication of Baltasar & Blimunda. A huge body of work followed, which included plays, poetry, short stories, non-fiction and over a dozen novels, including Blindness which was made into an acclaimed film. He has been translated into more than forty languages, and in 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died on 18 June 2010, shortly after the Portuguese publication of Cain.
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Oct 27, 2012
the mystic dissentor at his best!!!!awesome piece of work....an experiment and delightful piece of writing at the same time. with superb flexes of wit and language(that provides a guilty pleasure even at the cost of de-nobling God), the novelist portrays his alter-ego, Cain, in a dialogue with the Almighty...and rendered Him as a petulant, egoistic, thick-headed persona Who often takes orgiastic pleasure in pointless destruction of human lives and happiness. the linguistic innovations in puntuations during cain's dialogue with god, the refluxing of time and space requires a patient reading; superb usage of humour that often lead… (Expand)