Cain by Jose Saramago

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

Overall, Saramago enthusiasts may enjoy Cain, especially as it is likely the author's last offering, having been published posthumously. Those new to his work might be better beginning with Blindness or one of his earlier works.
-Toronto Star

Synopsis

“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.
 

About Jose Saramago

See more books from this Author
JOSÉ SARAMAGO (1922-2010) was the author of many novels, among them Blindness, All the Names, Baltasar and Blimunda, and The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. In 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
 
Published October 4, 2011 by Mariner Books. 162 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Cain
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Toronto Star

Above average
Reviewed by Laura Eggertson on Jan 18 2012

Overall, Saramago enthusiasts may enjoy Cain, especially as it is likely the author's last offering, having been published posthumously. Those new to his work might be better beginning with Blindness or one of his earlier works.

Read Full Review of Cain | See more reviews from Toronto Star

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Dec 23 2011

Voltaire’s moral indignation is very much the note of Saramago’s Cain, a novel first published a year before Saramago’s death in 2010, and now newly translated by Margaret Jull Costa.

Read Full Review of Cain | See more reviews from National Post arts

Reader Rating for Cain
74%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 103 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

User Review

Eric Brown 27 Dec 2014

Rated the book as 3 out of 5

×