Friday 56 & #BookBeginnings: Cain

For Book Beginnings:
When the lord, also known as god, realised that adam and eve, although perfect in every outward aspect, could not utter a word or make even the most primitive of sounds, he must have felt annoyed with himself, for there was no one else in the garden of eden whom he could blame for this grave oversight , after all, the other animals, who were, like the two humans, the product of this divine command, already had a voice of their own, be it a bellow, a roar,a croak, a chirp, a whistle or a cackle. 
- p. 1
For Friday 56:
[...] I am lilith, wild crazy lilith, but that is as far as my errors and crimes go, [...] 

I've read Saramago's The Double and really enjoyed that. This one is rather controversial.  I haven't yet read it but look forward to it. Would this be something you would read?


About Cain by Jose Saramago: Two decades after Portuguese novelist and Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago shocked the religious world with his novel The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, he has done it again with Cain, a satire of the Old Testament. Written in the last years of Saramago's life, it tackles many of the moral and logical non sequiturs created by a wilful, authoritarian God, and forms part of Saramago's long argument with religion.

The stories in this book are witty and provocative. After Adam and Eve have been cast out of Eden, Eve decides to go back and ask the angel guarding the gate if he can give her some of the fruit that is going to waste inside. The angel agrees, and although Eve swears to Adam that she offered the angel nothing in return, their first child is suspiciously blond and fair-skinned. Cain, in his wandering, overhears a strange conversation between a man named Abraham and his son Isaac - and manages to prevent the father from murdering the son. The angel appointed by God to prevent the murder arrives late due to a wing malfunction. Cain brushes off his apology. 'What would have happened if I hadn't been here?' Cain asks, 'and what kind of god would ask a father to sacrifice his own son?'



  1. Interesting opening, I can already see why this book can be perceived as controversial. I'm not sure if I'd pick it up myself as I tried reading another one of his titles and just could not get into it. Stream-of-consciousness and just really long-winded sentences seem to not be my thing.

    Hope you enjoy this title though, thanks for sharing that opening. Have a wonderful weekend!

    My Friday Book Memes

  2. Ooh nice beginning. This is going on my list.

    My post

  3. Interesting choice - not sure I would read it though but hope you enjoy it.

  4. Jose Saramago is brilliant! I will definitely be reading this, no matter how controversial. Have you read Blindness? So amazingly good.

  5. Looking forward to your review.

  6. interesting. I'm actually reading Blindness right now, not a nice picture of humanity for sure, but I like the quasi postmodernist style of writing

  7. Probably not something I'd read simply due to lack of detailed understanding of the religious subtext being satirised. In general though, I am drawn to satirical fiction.


© guiltless readingMaira Gall