Sunday, 19 January 2014

two.

Cain by José Saramago (2009)

 “The history of mankind is the history of our misunderstandings with god, for he doesn't understand us, and we don't understand him.”

After killing his brother, Cain, is condemned to walk on the earth for eternity. He is lead from one major event in the Old Testament to an other, while witnessing the wickedness of God.

Cain is the last novel the Nobel Prize winner wrote before his death, and it is hard to not read it as a personal argument with God. That doesn't mean that this isn't an interesting or good book. I really enjoyed reading it, probably because I always teach the kids about God's bad side in the Old Testament.

Another thing which stuck with me after reading the book, was the style. The first letter in the sentences were written with capital letters, the rest not. And the chapters didn't have any paragraphs. At first it was hard to get used to, but it totally fits with the story and makes it more intriguing.

I kept comparing the book to the Testament of Mary because of the obvious Bible retelling, and I definitely liked Cain better. I think it is because Saramago dared to be personal and controversial and went a long way with the interpretation and retelling of the famous Bible stories. And the ending is brilliant.

This is the third book by Saramago that I have read, and my favourite. I definitely must read the Gospel According to Jesus Christ one day.

9 comments:

  1. Jeg likte verken The Testament of Mary eller Kain spesielt godt, men jeg tror jeg foretrekker Toibin fremfor Saramago i akkurat dette tilfellet. Ser dog for meg at begge kan bedre. Jeg foretrekker nok en litt mindre åpenbar og direkte form for religionskritikk enn Saramago sin når jeg får den servert i romanform. Forventer en snedigere måte å gjøre det på av romanforfattere. Direkte fungerer bedre på youtube (se The Atheist Experience f.eks) ;)

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    1. Det er ikke religionskritikken som frelste meg, men heller mer hva de klarte å gjøre med Bibelhistorien.

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  2. I really like Saramago's distinctive style. He does take chances with his storytelling, and I really enjoy it.

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    1. I really enjoyed Cain and Blindness, but the Elephant's Journey disappointed. But I will definitely read more by him, I have three more books on the shelves and then I really want the Gospel According to Jesus Christ.

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  3. Som du vet likte jeg veldig godt boka, og er glad å høre at gud's mindre fordelaktige sider fra det gamle testamentet fremdeles blir prediket de unge. Mine to håpefulle kjenner dårlig til historiene derfra :-) Neste Saramago-bok ut blir The Testament of Mary!

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    1. Haha, jeg skal ikke skryte på meg at det blir et dypdykk i bibelhistorie akkurat. Er altfor mye annet som frister mer i RLE. Men Kain har jeg pusha på noen av de smarteste som trenger litt alternativ bibellæring.

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  4. (Endelig er lesesirkelsjefen på nett igjen!) Jeg syntes boken var strålende og koste meg skikkelig både med handling, karakterer, språk og den totale leseropplevelsen. Og selvfølgelig bibelreferansene da, de var fantastiske. Jeg heller likevel mot det samme som deg; at det ikke var religionskritikken i seg selv som gjorde boken bra, men måten historien(e) ble brukt på. Jeg gleder meg til å lese mer Saramago!

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    1. Legge inn en Saramago bok i lesesirkelen neste år? ;)

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    2. Jeg skal se hva jeg får til! :-)

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