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Caino by Jose Saramago

Caino (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Jose Saramago, Rita Desti

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8264510,967 (3.76)95
Authors:Jose Saramago
Other authors:Rita Desti
Info:Milano, Mondolibri, stampa 2010
Collections:Your library
Tags:narrativa portoghese, cristianesimo

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Cain by Jose Saramago (2009)

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English (28)  Spanish (6)  French (3)  Italian (3)  All (2)  All (1)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  All (45)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
This provided an interesting, if unexpected, companion volume to Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason. They covered similar material in exposing the decidedly UNjust and UNloving actions of God in the Hebrew Scriptures. Saramago has Cain travel back and forth in time (after the infamous murder of his brother, Abel) to encounter God and God's works at many pivotal points (e.g. Abraham's near-sacrifice of Isaac, Noah's ark, Joshua and the battle of Jericho, etc.) I love this kind of literary midrash, but I did find myself wishing for just a bit of humor, even dark humor, a la Christopher Moore. I don't think it would have taken anything from Saramgo's outrage and may have invited more readers in. This was the first novel I've read by Saramago, and turns out to be the last novel he ever wrote. I'll read more... ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
An interesting take on the wanderings of Cain, who as punishment for killing his brother Abel is condemned to a life of wandering by God. Cain is permitted to see various episodes of the future (or 'presents' as he calls them as he actually lives in them and his actions have an effect) which are all familiar stories of the Old Testament. An interesting take and one I enjoyed. It does throw into question why, if God is so merciful, does he allow so much suffering and exemplifies how God in the Old Testament can be seen as vengeful. But I am sure those are questions that many Christians and Jewish people have asked over the centuries and it is ultimately down to the reader to decide what their take is. A quick and easy read and I was caught up in it. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
Although I consider myself very religious, I enjoyed this book. Its explicit sacrilege comes across as charming but nonetheless thought-provoking. The prose is intelligent and witty, although Saramago makes little use of punctuation and other conventional rules of grammar. Cain quickly becomes a dynamic, relatable, and likable character, eternally bickering with a very entertaining caricature of God. Punished with immortality for reactively killing his brother Abel, Saramago's brilliantly-written protagonist Cain wanders through several familiar Biblical stories. Each tale is retold with humour and wit, twisting minor details to have a major effect on the overall tone of the story. There are times where the book becomes painfully aware of the Bible's eccentricities, sometimes escalating into an intellectual critique. I love this book, and I'd recommend it to anyone, religious or otherwise. ( )
  charlescf | Dec 30, 2015 |
Dire che Saramago è una gioia per il lettore è come dire che l’acqua è bagnata. A questo standard si aggiunge un umorismo spettacolare e la divulgazione, senza mezzi termini, della moralità del dio dei cristiani. L’invenzione narrativa si sposa con la saggezza e l'acume di un "grande vecchio" e il risultato è un piccolo, immortale testo. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
Absolutely fascinating and very, very controversial - especially would be for fundamentalist Christians and, maybe, moderate Christians. Offers some very biting critique of a literalistic reading of some Old Testament stories. Didn't like the writing style, which was essentially grammar and punctuation free. I assume this was because it reflects the nature of Hebrew text. Got used to it after awhile. Very thought-provoking and, sometimes, confronting. Highly recommend for anyone with an open mind. ( )
  spbooks | Nov 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jose Saramagoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Costa, Margaret JullTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rio, Pilar delTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
C'est par la foi qu'Abel offrit à Dieu un sacrifice plus excellent  que celui de Caïn ; c'est par elle qu'il fut déclaré juste, Dieu approuvant ses offrandes ; et c'est par elle qu'il parle encore, quoique mort.
Hébreux, 11,4.
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À Pilar, et c'est comme dire eau.
A Pilar, como se dissesse água
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Quand le seigneur, connu aussi sous le nom de dieu, s'aperçut qu'adam et ève, parfaits en tout ce qui se présentait à la vue, ne pouvaient faire sortir un seul mot de leur bouche ni émettre ne fût-ce qu'un simple son primitif, il dut sûrement s'irriter contre lui-même puisqu'il n'y avait personne d'autre dans le jardin d'éden qu'il pût rendre responsable de cette gravissime erreur, alors que tous les autres animaux, produits, comme les deux humaine, du que cela soit divin, bénéficiaient déjà d'une voix qui leur était propre , les uns au moyen de mugissements et de rugissements, les autres de grognements, et de gazouillements, de sifflements et de gloussements.
The history of mankind is the history of our misunderstandings with god, for he doesn't understand us, and we don't understand him.
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"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, Job'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"--… (more)

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