Book Review: ‘Cain’ by Jose Saramago

Book:  Cain by Jose Saramago
Reviewed by:  Nolan

I’m not entirely sure what Jose Saramago’s Cain is.  A synopsis would tell you Cain (of Cain and Abel fame) after murdering his brother is sent to wander the rest of his life in exile.  Old news, I know. But then it takes a bit of a turn.  Instead of just wandering, Cain time travels to witness different events in the Old Testament. Is this novella a re-telling?  A re-interpretation?  A biblical sci-fi adventure?  It’s hard to tell, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

This seems a strange story to be told by such a seasoned and well respected author so late in his career and life (Cain would be Saramago’s last book before his death in 2010).  I could understand a man’s coming to terms with faith so near his death, but this doesn’t seem to be such.  Instead, Saramago seems to use Cain’s position as an outsider to look at stories from the Old Testement with a perspective of a modern thinking man.  God did what to whom just because he/she did so & so?  Well that seems a little extreme.  Saramago doesn’t seem to be questioning anyone’s faith.  More so he’s asking readers to allow room to be human in their faith, doing so with respect, emotion, and wicked humor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s