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Summary and book reviews of The Book of Samson by David Maine

The Book of Samson

by David Maine

The Book of Samson
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2006, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2007, 240 pages

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Book Summary

In The Book of Samson, David Maine has created an unforgettable portrait of a man who believes he is touched by the hand of God---then instructed by that God to slaughter his enemies.

“This is the story of my life and it’s not a happy one. If you wish to read about me you’re welcome to but if you’re looking for something to give you hope & joy comfort & inspiration then you had best leave off here straightaway and go find something else. My life has an abundance of frustration and pain plus a fair bit of sex and lots of killing and broken bones but it’s got precious little hope & joy comfort & inspiration. It’s got some women in it too plus a wife. Dalila is the one you may have heard of and a rare piece of work she was. You may think you know the story but believe me there’s more.” --from The Book of Samson

From the author of the acclaimed and provocative novels Fallen and The Preservationist comes a tale about a man who believes he is touched by the hand of God---then instructed by that God to slaughter his enemies. It is the story of “this worldly existence of men & brutes desire & unkindness” and of the woman, Dalila, who figures at the center of it all. In The Book of Samson, David Maine has created an unforgettable portrait, a unique and astonishing masterpiece that puts a face on a previously faceless icon.

Excerpt
The Book of Samson

This is the story of my life and it’s not a happy one. If you wish to read about me you’re welcome to but if you’re looking for something to give you hope & joy comfort & inspiration then you had best leave off here straightaway and go find something else. My life has an abundance of frustration and pain plus a fair bit of sex and lots of killing and broken bones but it’s got precious little hope & joy comfort & inspiration.

It’s got some women in it too plus a wife. Dalila is the one you may have heard of and a rare piece of work she was. You may think you know the story but believe me there’s more.

It’s an interesting question why anyone would seek hope & joy comfort & inspiration in a story in the first place. Something to think about. Maybe because there’s precious little of it in life so we gather up as much as we can find and put it in our stories where we know where...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Maine returns with The Book of Samson - a rip-roaring and audacious interpretation of the life of Samson, the Herculean hero of the Israelites famed for his big hair, huge strength, weakness for the ladies and ability to kill 3000 in a day with the jawbone of a donkey. It's a fantastically entertaining read as is, but there's also a strong theme running through the text that puts a modern twist on this old tale.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

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Media Reviews

Library Journal - Andrea Kempf

The language is .... largely contemporary, and the casual use of four-letter words makes the book inappropriate for YA collections.

Booklist - Elizabeth Dickie

Maine, in his third biblical retelling, uses it all, putting his masterful spin on the details. ...this is not a happy story, but it is one that will resonate with today's headlines and leave the reader thinking.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. The combination of archaic language and setting with modern sensibilities again demonstrates Maine's talent for making the familiar intriguing.

Kirkus Reviews

Provocative and beautifully told - a breakout novel for Maine.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

David Maine was born in 1963 and grew up in Farmington, Connecticut. He attended Oberlin College and the University of Arizona and has worked in the mental-health systems of Massachusetts and Arizona. He has taught English in Morocco and Pakistan, and since 1998 has lived in Lahore, Pakistan, with his wife, journalist and novelist, Uzma Aslam Khan (author of The Story of Noble Rot, 2001; and Trespassing, 2003), who was born in Karachi, and has studied and taught English in the USA, Morocco and Lahore.

The story of Samson appears in the Old Testament Book of Judges. It also appears in the Tanakh (the sacred book of Judaism, combining the Torah and other writings) where Samson is known as Shimshon or Simson, which ...

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