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Cain

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  7,715 ratings  ·  707 reviews
Two decades after Portuguese novelist and Nobel Laureate José 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 S ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 7th 2011 by Harvill Secker (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K.D. Absolutely
May 12, 2013 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2012)
We all know that Cain was the firstborn of Adam and Eve. He was a farmer and he killed Abel, the first human to die, because of jealousy due to later being more favored by God. That made him the first human murderer and he was condemned by God and made him roam the earth forever. This book, the last book completed by Nobel laureate Jose de Suosa Saramago (1922-2010) before his death, Cain is about him and his journey after the killing. Like Forrest Gump, the wandering Cain of Saramago witnessed ...more
Fionnuala
Reviewed in December 2012
José Saramago is certainly not the first writer to question the logic of the old testament, the legitimacy of the Lord's pronouncements and the merits of the prophets who interpreted those pronouncements for the benefit of the descendants of Adam and Eve, and sometime later, for the benefit of descendants of the very small gene pool of Noah’s family who survived the Flood and repopulated the earth when everyone else was drowned, but Saramago is possibly one of the most c
...more
Kinga
In 'Cain', published just a few months before Saramago’s death, the author gets to argue with God one last time. On this occasion his jibes are aimed the god of the Old Testament, who, as we all know, is an easy target. This god is cruel, proud, jealous, vindictive, inconsistent and often simply petty.

Saramago hires Cain to call out god on all his sins and errors beginning with Cain’s own sorry story which made him go down in history as the first murderer of the worst kind. But weren’t there any
...more
Tony
The Bible is a playground of stories, of characters, of parables, of moral dilemmas. Some take it literally, the WORD OF GOD. Some think it nonsense. Highly entertaining nonsense. But nonsense nonetheless.

Saramago, in this his final work, thinks it nonsense. He has tapped this mine before, in The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, but here he goes again, telling the story of Cain and Abel but then projecting Cain as an observer and sometime participant on other Bible stories. Thus: Cain shows up
...more
Hemdan Ahmed
سُئل ساراماجو :هل يمكن ان يتوب عن الحاده قبل وفاته ؟
قال:انا لن اكون ضعيفا عند احتضاري ولن اتحول أنذاك الى الايمان مثلما فعل أخرون من كبار الكتّاب و الفنانين، ولو فُرض و حدث ذلك فلن اكون ذلك الشخص ، بل هو شخص أخر غيري "!؛
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أظن انها احد اقل اعمال ساراماجو من حيث عدد الصفحات و اكثراعماله سلاسة و سهولة ، فكرتها عبقرية و اسلوب ساراماجو فيها "كأدب"رائع للغاية ؛

يبرز في هذه الرواية نقطتين:
الاولى:رفض ساراماجو لفكرة وجود اله بصفة عامه
الثانية:نقده و ان
...more
mai ahmd


يقول ساراماغو في حوار معه إن الكتاب المقدس ما هو إلا دليل للقسوة البشرية ويقول أيضا أن العالم سيكون أكثر سلاما لو كنا جميعا من الملحدين .. ويزيد على ذلك أنا ملحد ولكني لستُ غبيا ..

وعلى أساس هذا النكران للأديان جاءت هذه الرواية ورواية الأنجيل يرويه المسيح والتي كتب فيها ساراماغو رؤية أخرى مغايرة للأنجيل على لسان المسيح ..وهاتين الروايتين لقيتا إستياءا كبيرا من الكنيسة الكاثوليكية ومن اليمين المتطرف لكن ساراماغو الذي لا يكتب لأجل إستياء أو إرضاء أحد لم يلقى بالا لكل الإنتقادات الواسعة التي شملت ال
...more
switterbug (Betsey)
God is ineffable, say his disciples. In Saramago's recreation of the old testament, god is snide, foppish, vicious, capricious, puerile, contemptuous, crabby, and a slouch at multi-tasking (and no iconic capital letters for this merry band of pranksters). This short but adventure-packed novella presents a new twist on the story of cain, the fratricidal brother. Weed out all the boring parts of Genesis, feature all the greatest hits, and place cain as the ubiquitous character. Actually, cain even ...more
Owlseyes
I've just read some pages, and I surely can envision many to come of the same.

It starts quoting Hebrews 11:4. “By faith, Abel offered God a sacrifice….and by faith Abel, though dead, still speaks". A quote from the Book of "Rubbish/non-sense",according to Saramago.

An imperfect Creation, that's the main issue: (1) God got aware later that Adam and Eve (in the book: adam and eve) didn’t speak: so God made a tongue (both the muscle and the idiom); afterwards the creation. (2) God corrected later
...more
Miguel
Os cristãos tementes a Deus devem afastar-se solenemente do livro Caim .
Para me sentir capaz de apreciá-lo justamente, tive que suspender as minhas crenças peculiares, que estão em processo de consolidação, mas José Saramago afecta-nos sempre.

Caim é um livro certamente escandaloso, louco, desvairado e indecoroso. Em suma, um delírio completo! José Saramago não se coibiu de tecer comentários que se consideram profanação e sacrilégio explícitos. O autor pegou no Antigo Testamento e estendeu as
...more
jeremy
the late josé saramago was quite the prolific writer, having composed over thirty books, including an array of acclaimed novels, poetry, and journals. actively writing until his death at the age of 87 in 2010, the portuguese nobel laureate's international renown was often marked by controversy and criticism. cain (caim), his final work, was published in his native language in 2009, and stirred many of the same sentiments as his earlier, thematically-linked novel, the gospel according to jesus ch ...more
Terence
Feb 17, 2012 Terence rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terence by: New Book shelf @ Glendora Library; I like Biblical reinterpretations
Shelves: religion-general
When I saw that Harold Bloom had reviewed José Saramago's last novel in a recent issue of the NYRB, I was tempted to give the book three stars, unread, on principle alone. Unfortunately, for all his bombast, ego & condescension, Bloom can be a penetrating critic, and I am forced to agree with his conclusion that "what goes wrong in Cain is...its incessant tendentiousness: it has too palpable a design upon us."

I'd like to understand Cain as the first draft of something that might have evolved
...more
Sardonyx
This book was a quick fun read. It takes the story of Cain (of Cain and Abel fame) and elaborates a bit on what he was up to when he was being a fugitive and a wanderer in the early days of Old Testament history. His observations and interactions with God and the rest of the cast are amusing. I loved Lilith!
One thing that I did find irritating is the author's writing style of mashing together the dialog with only commas to separate who has spoken. That took some getting used to and I often had
...more
Lakis Fourouklas
“The history of mankind is the history of our misunderstandings with god, for he doesn’t understand us and we don’t understand him.”
This is one of those books that one truly enjoys to read; and I did. Saramago in this, his last offering before he passed away, recreates in his own special way the life of Cain and offers the reader, especially the one who’s not too attached to the words of the scriptures, a chance to have a few good laughs. While reading it, I dare to admit that, I found myself a
...more
Inês
Tenho andado a ler os livros que me restam a conta-gotas, tenho pavor de chegar ao fim sabendo que quem escreveu estes não estará por cá para escrever novos. Que falta me fará.
Não há desculpas para não ler Saramago "porque é difícil", estes romances mais recentes "As intermitências da morte", "A viagem do elefante", "Caim", são tão fáceis de ler como andar de bicicleta. É preciso aprender mas depois não custa nada e nunca mais se esquece. Caim não é o meu preferido, mas é com certeza irmão de to
...more
Luís Blue B.
Another novel-essay (but also an affair assay). The starting point could not be better. Cain is the ideal biblical character to confront God. Greater boldness if Eve, but would lack likelihood of juggling that were not as forced onto marked wanderer. Such as novel is that aspect of the character of fate that seems to weigh. It is repetitive (although ingenious) the travel of resource time-space. The return to Lilith is also justified little bit - the son, the city ... - and the new exit to the f ...more
Jorge
Debe ser la primera novela de Saramago que pude leer entera, ya que por fin deja de lado su maldita tendencia a no usar puntos seguidos y aparte.

Resulta edificante leer tanta rabia contra Dios en un solo libro. El personaje de Caín, racional y moderno (una especie de alter ego del autor) transpira decepción y rabia contra un dios totalitario, vengativo, que exige obediencia incondicional y que no entiende nada de conceptos como justicia, bondad o amor. Es, en resumidas cuentas, el dios del antig
...more
Ludovica
Impiegherò poche parole per non descrivere e non dire assolutamente nulla sull'affascinante Caino di Saramago, che è sì un Caino ben diverso da quello che conosciamo noi, ma al tempo stesso così familiare da arrivare al punto di chiederci se per caso non si tratta della descrizione di qualche nostro amico o parente storico. Del genere che il classicone fritto e rifritto del Tutti i luoghi e i personaggi qui descritti sono di pura invenzione e ogni riferimento a fatti o luoghi realmente esistenti ...more
Shaimaa Ali
هذه هى الرواية الأعنف (فكريا) لجوزيه ساراماجو ضد الدين وفكرة الإله بوجه عام بعد رواياته الأخرى (الإنجيل برواية المسيح) ..
يظهر الإله فى أدب ساراماجو بشكل يناسب تماما ما يعتقده، هذا إله غاضب ، حانق، يتعمد قتل الإنسان ويفرح كثيرا بذلك! انا لم أقرأ العهد القديم ولكن هذه الصورة فى ذهنى تلائم أكثر صورة آلهة اليونان وجبل أوليمبس التى تغار وتتصارع مع صنيعها الإنسان ..
قايين أو "قابيل" هو الشخصية المحورية هنا ، وقد استخدمه ساراماجو ليرحل به عبر الزمن ..بدءا من حادثة عدم قبول قربانه الشهيرة ، ثم يمضى به ق
...more
أحمد البخاري
هههههههه
هذه هي قراءتي الأولى لساراماغو.. وكنت قد شاهدت فيلم "العمى" المأخوذ عن روايته التي بنفس الأسم فقط.. ساراماغو كاتب عالمي لا شك في ذلك.. وهو أحد المتخصصين في طرح الأسئلة الكبيرة في رواياته.. ومعالجة الأفكار الإنسانية العميقة.. وهذا شيء يروق لي جداً .. ولذلك فقد قررت قراءة معظم أعماله بالفعل.. وخاصة الكهف وأيضاً البصيرة وهي الجزء الثاني من العمى .. أما بالنسبة لرواية قايين فهي رواية مسلية ساخرة وقصيرة ولكنها من الواضح أنها ليست أفضل أعماله.. لكن نهايتها كانت أسطورية بالفعل :)
Julia
This slim volume simply bowled me over--the whole book is a long stream of consciousness, so I had to get into the "groove" of that flood of words. But the power of Saramago's feelings made the read rewarding, if at times shocking and certainly irreverent.

Cain is the hero of the book, and the villain is god--so right off the bat, many people would be offended. It's a book based on rage at the violence done by God to various people, since once Cain is given his mark and set wandering, he can "wan
...more
Sara
Looking at the book jacket, this was Jose Saramago's last book. It was translated from the Portuguese to English. Saramago won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1998.

This book is a light-hearted, irreverent re-telling of the story of Cain and Abel. After God puts the mark upon Cain's forehead, Cain wanders the earth, stepping into biblical story after biblical story. He wanders from the past to the present to the future and is able to see the earth destroyed by the flood as he gets on the boat w
...more
André Benjamim
Caim, de José Saramago. Com uma linguagem contundente, expõe as suas ideias sobre o homem, Deus, e a relação de um com o outro - a religião. Põe a nu a humanidade de Deus, o seu orgulho, crueldade e a culpa, através da relação com Caim. Porém, ao despir Deus, é ao homem que coloca perante si mesmo.
Íris
O que dizer de um livro tão controverso?
Provavelmente não compreendo tanto da Bíblia quanto deveria para ler este livro, portanto a minha avaliação tende mais para o que sei do livro do que para o que sei da Bíblia. No entanto, Saramago escreveu o livro relatando os episódios do Velho Testamento que todos conhecemos.
Vejo este livro como uma espécie de diálogo ácido entre Deus e Caim, onde Caim questiona constantemente a moral de Deus, que, segundo o Homem, tudo pode, tudo consegue e é de uma b
...more
Maria
Não achei que este livro fosse tão bom como os restantes que li do mesmo autor. Claro que continua a ser muito bom, ou não fosse um Saramago, mas exatamente por de um Saramago se tratar, tinha as expetativas já muito elevadas, e sei que isso não é justo, mas a culpa é dele por ter trazido tantas obras de arte ao mundo.
O autor continua a revelar uma grande imaginação através de situações, paisagens e diálogos absurdos; e tenho vindo a detetar nas suas obras um padrão ao nível da personalidade da
...more
Lausº
No es el mejor libro de este autor, pero sin duda es un muy buen libro por el cual empezar; dos razones: es comparativamente corto entre el resto de sus obras y, al ser un tema bíblico, se ve obligado a usar nombres propios para sus personajes lo que permite al lector asimilar más fácilmente quien es el que está hablando en cada parte.

Caín cuenta la historia de uno de los hermanos descendientes de Adan y Eva, el cual después de asesinar a su hermano es condenado a vagar por el resto de su vida p
...more
Stephen
"Oh, I've had enough of all this nonsense about the lord's ways being inscrutable, answered Cain, god should be as clear and transparent as a pane of glass and not go wasting his energies on creating an atmosphere of constant terror and fear, god, in short, does not love us." Such is Cain's conclusion after wandering the earth for generations as a witness to mankind's goings-on--at least so he is depicted in Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago's last novel. It was Cain who stopped Abraham from sacrific ...more
Sakura87
Era da un pezzo che non riprendevo in mano Saramago, e ho deciso di farlo scegliendo il suo altro romanzo a tema biblico. E’ più forte di me: non riesco a fare a meno di prediligere i romanzi in cui l’intoccabile dio cristiano viene rivoltato e trasformato in una divinità capricciosa e crudele più adatta a un romanzo fantasy degli anni ottanta che a una religione che da migliaia di anni ha preso possesso di vita, morte e politica delle civiltà occidentali. Saramago, in seguito alle polemiche sor ...more
Roberto
“Mi risulta difficile comprendere come il popolo ebraico abbia scelto per testo sacro l'Antico Testamento. È un tale miscuglio di assurdità che non può essere stato inventato da un uomo solo. Ci vollero generazioni e generazioni per produrre questa mostruosità”.

La storia di Caino e Abele è un pretesto per fare un viaggio nello spazio e nel tempo, guidati da Caino a cavallo del suo asino, attraverso gli episodi più conosciuti della Bibbia, quali la distruzione di Sodoma e la costruzione dell'Arca
...more
Christopher
A fun, little book that satirizes the Biblical period from Adam&Eve to the flood. Cain is the reader's Durante degli Alighieri, cursed to wander Earth like so many rings of Hell. Saramago is the recording angel, baffling in his dissimilarity to the author of Blindness. Funny and unexpected.
David
Here is the life of Cain, told in a witty, allegorical style. Much of the book is written without punctuation, perhaps as a metaphor of the Hebrew Torah, which likewise lacks punctuation. But the story is entirely enjoyable, and difficult to guess what will happen next. Cain sees himself as a victim rather than as a criminal; a victim of God's immorality, unfairness, and pettiness. Cain is a hero in this story; he runs into God numerous times in his life, and each time, he is reminded how lackin ...more
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  • A Filha do Capitão
  • Para onde vão os guarda-chuvas
  • Sonetos
  • A Máquina de Fazer Espanhóis
  • The Relic
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1285555
José de Sousa Saramago (pronounced [ʒuˈzɛ sɐɾɐˈmagu]) is a Nobel-laureate Portuguese novelist, playwright and journalist. He was a member of the Portuguese Communist Party.
His works, some of which can be seen as allegories, commonly present subversive perspectives on historic events, emphasizing the human factor rather than the officially sanctioned story. Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for
...more
More about José Saramago...
Blindness (Blindness, #1) Death with Interruptions The Gospel According to Jesus Christ All the Names Seeing (Blindness, #2)

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“The history of mankind is the history of our misunderstandings with god, for he doesn't understand us, and we don't understand him.” 27 likes
“our god, the creator of heaven and earth, is completely mad” 9 likes
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