Cain: Book summary and reviews of Cain by Jose Saramago

Cain

A Novel

by Jose Saramago

Cain by Jose Saramago X
Cain by Jose Saramago
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2011
    176 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

In this, his last novel, Saramago daringly re-imagines 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.

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Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Cain's vagabond journey builds to a stunning climax that, like the book itself, is a fitting capstone to a remarkable career." - Publishers Weekly

"...[A]n iconoclastic, imaginative roller-coaster ride as Cain whisks about through all the time levels of the Old Testament..." - Booklist

"Nobel Prize winner Saramago's final book (he died last year) reimagines the Old Testament story of Cain.... For all literati." - Library Journal

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Author Information

Jose Saramago Author Biography

Photo: José Frade

José Saramago was born in 1922 in Azinhaga, Portugal, the son of rural laborers. He grew up in great poverty in Lisbon, and was forced to abandon school at the age of 12 in order to earn a living. Saramago was spent 2 years training as a technician,did a number of manual jobs before becoming a journalist, translator, and eventually a writer . In 1969 he joined the Communist Party of Portugal, which was forbidden during the military dictatorship, but he also criticized the party. In the 1970s Saramago supported himself mostly by translation works, and since 1979 he has devoted himself entirely to writing.

Following the publication of his most controversial book, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, he faced intense criticism from members of the country's Catholic community, and ...

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