This book was an unexpected surprise. While at B & N, I saw the book because it was being sold to promote the film. After starting, I could barelyThis book was an unexpected surprise. While at B & N, I saw the book because it was being sold to promote the film. After starting, I could barely set the book down. Each section, though slow starting, builds to a climactic point that seems neither forced nor hackneyed. I do not think this book is one that would be enjoyed by everyone, but I would be more than willing to suggest it to those who desire to read something that is both thought provoking and well-written. There are some websites that provide some background information on various allusions within the novel which is definitely helpful while reading. ...more
This book was overall pretty interesting. I guess, though, I should at least put forth some of my biases: I enjoy the complications in scholarly worksThis book was overall pretty interesting. I guess, though, I should at least put forth some of my biases: I enjoy the complications in scholarly works on early Christianity, I really enjoy some of the alternative Christianity histories, and I have an affinity toward Pagels work.
That being said, I thought that Pagels section was interesting. She seemed rushed at times and almost to be hitting only a surface-level analysis of the text.
The King portion is pretty analytical in what it conveys, but if you have read The Gospel of Judas (Meyer et. al) you may begin to feel you are having some sections of repetition. My main piece of advice is do not read this if you just want the Gospel of Judas. The text of the Gospel is fairly short (with multiple sections missing) and you can read through it in about 20 minutes--if that. Read this book (and the Meyer book) if you want the commentary to understand some of the Gnostic overtones of the text. The book itself is not trying to purvey the idea that Gnosticism is correct but rather that there are multiple forms of early Christianity and this was one Gnostic thinkers way of continuing his version. ...more
When I first picked up this book, I read through the initial chapters pretty quickly. I hadn't read the cover so I was unsure what I was going to be rWhen I first picked up this book, I read through the initial chapters pretty quickly. I hadn't read the cover so I was unsure what I was going to be reading. All I had heard was that Saramago was a good writer and someone who will most likely be, dare I say it, canonized.
After having finished this novel, I can say that I truly enjoyed the novel and was actually surprised at the overall substance and style presented throughout the novel.
First, in regards to substance, the story offers an alternative view of Cain after he killed Abel. It does not take a long time to move into the character of Cain, but does follow the flow of the Bible itself in arriving to Cain (i.e., Adam and Eve, the fall, etc.). Once Cain enters the story, we start to wander through the lands of the Earth during his time. Throughout his various encounters, he occasionally comes across other Biblical figures and conveys an alternative view of what occurred during their story from the Bible. What I found most interesting is many of the dialogues that Cain has with these figures and the Lord himself as to why the Lord does the "things" he does. I think it reflects some people's thoughts and questions about God's actions. Overall, the story is extremely interesting and is a quick read. The poetic language is mesmerizing and one can sometimes become lost in the language itself (not difficult just stylistically developed).
Second, in regards to stylistics. Saramago does not use quotation marks and continues conversations and story without conveying these jumps through punctuation. At times, one may need to retrace who is speaking and when the narrator is conveying information. If you dislike this style, I would definitely not recommend this book. But, Saramago also has dialogues with the reader and philosophical episodes that are subtly added without detracting from the overall movement of the story. I personally enjoyed that he did not include most punctuation because it gave the book a stream-of-consciousness feel (I would even venture it makes one feel as though it is personal thought and not a writer's words).
Therefore, I will end on the note that the story is quite interesting and the style adds to this "interestingness". I would surely recommend this novel to any reader who enjoys a novel that can also attempts to break away from the traditional story format. Few books do I think are worth re-reading, but I can surely see this one being on my shelf again and again. ...more
I enjoyed this book overall, though I wish I could give it a 3.5 out of 4. It was an enjoyable read except it slowed at points. I would surely recommeI enjoyed this book overall, though I wish I could give it a 3.5 out of 4. It was an enjoyable read except it slowed at points. I would surely recommend it to someone who wants to delve into spiritual questions in a fresh way. ...more
This novel was a great read and has an interesting concept that will surely continue to be relevant in the future. The novel is a quick read and is aThis novel was a great read and has an interesting concept that will surely continue to be relevant in the future. The novel is a quick read and is a great introduction to reading the graphic medium. I loved Eisner's exploration of racial issues in a specific community and demonstration of how these racial issues extend to various ethnicities and not just one. If you are looking for a quick book that explores issues affecting all communities, this novel is surely a recommendation for you....more
As I was searching for ahold novellas, I came across this little gem. Though slow at the beginning, the novella picks up to a solid and thought-provokAs I was searching for ahold novellas, I came across this little gem. Though slow at the beginning, the novella picks up to a solid and thought-provoking conclusion. I would even argue the actual climax of the novel is not as exciting as some of the subtle (and somewhat hidden) discussions of society, politics, and the human condition. I would recommend this novella to readers who enjoy some metaphoric analyses of the communist state, but I would surely not recommend it to the reader looking for a solely plot-driven novella....more