I do admit at times to feeling a bit sacrilegious reading this book, though I did have to smile a bit at the various ironies the Mr Saramago pointed out in his rendition of some of the Old Testament. Taking from the point of view of Cain wandering about the planet after being sentenced by god to never dying, it was a fun look at how a present day type Cain would look at his predicament.
Mr Saramago is not easy on God, accusing his of being ruthless and somewhat bloodthirsty in his desire to see how man can justify their relationship to God. There are the eternal questions being bandied about such as "How can god wants Abraham to slay his son, why the innocent young are killed along with the guilty, and why god, the benevolent, would want and may enjoy man's floundering. Heady and heavy stuff is posed in the very few pages of this book.
This book is certainly not for the religious who might indeed be scandalized by the questions and answers that Saramago provides. He sets up Cain as the one questioning god because his sentence of never dying allows him the freedom to wonder how an all loving being can place so many obstacles in man's existence.
I did enjoy this tale and found it oftentimes to reflect the questions many of us bring into whatever faith we profess to have. Told in what is well known to be his style, Mr Saramago takes us on a journey that oftentimes we have taken within our own heads.