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3.65  ·  Rating details ·  633 ratings  ·  109 reviews
From the internationally acclaimed author of The Preservationist comes a provocative retelling of the story of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel: a novel that gives new meaning to the words "temptation," "rivalry," and "murder."

Their expulsion from the Garden is only the beginning: Eve and Adam have to find their way past recriminations and bitterness, to construct a new life
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 5th 2006 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2005)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  633 ratings  ·  109 reviews

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David Maine
Nov 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I know it's low-class to rate my own books. But I do, actually, think they're pretty good.
Dec 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-literary
Despite being inspired by content that has been around for a few thousand years, it is very original and fresh.

I was recently reminded of how much I enjoyed reading David Maine's first book, The Preservationist, and so I went out and picked up everything he's written since. The Fallen didn't disappoint - I love his writing. His style is wry and sparce. In this novel he tells the story backwards, beginning with Cain on his deathbed and ending with Adam and Even's banishment from the garden. I
Spoiler: Abel dies. The story of the first family is not anything new. The technique the writer uses to tell the story is quite novel.

At first, I hated this book. I did not want to read it and I thought it was awful. About 1/2 way through it became bearable. Towards the end I appreciated what he was trying to do. This story is told in reverse chronological order. By going in reverse chronological order, a boring 2000 year old tale that everyone knows became intriguing. Instead of going in a
Mar 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure where I came across a review for this book, and looking through my e-mail folders, I apparently didn't save the review, but I remember getting this book because I thought the premise was intriguing. Fallen is the story of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel. What I thought would be interesting would be the way the author might put flesh on that story.

It is an engaging bit of storytelling. The main characters are all given personalities, and rather distinct ones at that. Adam is wishy-washy
I hated to put Fallen down. Even when I was frustrated with a character (I'm talking to you, Eve,) I was nonetheless riveted by how the four characters dealt with such issues as temptation, obedience, jealousy, pride, shame, fear and hope all within the construct of their various interpersonal relationships (Siblings, Man-Woman, Father-Son, and Mother-Son.) Having the story told in reverse was just the right mechanism, in my opinion, for revealing to the reader what made each of these characters ...more
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Not a religious person in the slightest, I was a little leery of this book. But once I started reading it, I was instantly sucked in. The book tells the story of the first family, but telling it in a wonderfully real way. The story begins with Cain on his death bed, and every chapter jumps you back farther in time. You’re constantly learning what led to the events you just read, which makes for a really interesting read. We look back through the life of Cain, then the lives of Cain and Abel and ...more
Mar 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book, written in reverse, was really entertaining and inventive. Every chapter seemed to allude to something that you didn't quite understand yet, but that would be outlined in the next chapter (that actually had happened previously). It sounds confusing but it was just interesting. I suppose that when telling a tale we all know, you have to find a way to make it interesting. I think David Maine did just that. It added dimension and depth to the age old story of Adam & Eve and their ...more
Lauren Noel Ottwell
Dec 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
I expected this to be ground-breaking, but wasn't impressed.

Resentment of God and his will are perfectly legitimate emotions. He's not that great.

A second race of people, not descendants of Adam, suddenly appear as spouses for the sons of Adam, but their mysterious origin is never explained. Wondering then how their descendants happen to qualify for the blood/grace of the Last Adam? A good storyteller knows that when you're working with a limited cast, you can't suddenly pop people out of
Aug 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
This story of Cain & Abel & Adam & Eve (after their banishment from The Garden of Eden) is necessarily even more imaginative than The Preservationist, because there's so much less detail in the biblical account. This one, with its more serious themes of fratricide & banishment & disinheritance (both God's of Adam & Eve & theirs of Cain), lacks much of the humor that was integral to The Preservationist, but it has the same wit & keen insight couched in the same ...more
Aug 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
This story beautifully, and accessibly fleshes out the well-known Biblical passages from Genesis regarding the first humans. The early trials of Adam and Eve's survival, and the story of Cain's murder of his Brother Abel are presented in a very accessible, and relatable way. The way the characters seem so completely human, having the same thoughts and feelings any of us might, and even using modern language to express everything was extremely refreshing. Adam and Eve's trials are not unlike what ...more
Kat Gilmore
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved the storytelling element of this story. I love the author's way with words that weave around you as you read it. I listened to parts of this book on audio and other times I read the book. The audio was so nice to hear the author's words out loud around you. The author's word choice,metaphor and storytelling is literary and beautiful. I would read a recipe book if he wrote it. The story itself is a clever retelling of the Adam/Eve and Cain/Abel story. He gives these biblical characters ...more
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I actually picked up the book because it was in a group of many other 'must read' books. I read the in-cover synopsys and i got intrigued - i wasn't disapointed! I am facinated by the stories in the first testament, and as a matter of fact i own 3 different versions of The Bible for Children. The story takes you on a journey backwards about Cain's life, only to end with Adam and Eve's struggles to survive after the ban from Eden. The story presents the consequences first, only to show you how ...more
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
The story (one most of us know) is told in reverse chronological order. This made it so hard for me to keep track of what was going on (even though I have a general sense of the story) and this was totally distracting.
And, even if the story was told in real time sequence, I'm not sure I would have been crazy about the book.
Doctor Moss
Fallen tells, in novel form, the stories of Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel in reverse time order, starting with Cain's struggle with the aftermath of his murder of Abel. We begin with the consequences -- Cain's guilt and his life of exile -- and work our way backwards. Unresolved (purposely so, I think) is why Cain develops the way that he does and why he commits an act so unthinkable to his father.

Interestingly, predation and sex mark the differences between life in the Garden and life afterwards.
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Interested in a fresh take on a Bible story
Recommended to Debbie by: Rand B, I have read this author before
This story is told backwards which makes it hard to follow during the less known story, (or just much more Maine's imaginary story) of later day Cain, but easier to fall in as the story becomes before the Cain and abel story in the Bible. Very insightful in how it deals with a small society ,(the first family), figuring out never before happening norms.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Audiobook. The most familiar story told in a different way. The story of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel told but in reverse. It sort of works, but then again, it sort of didn't. The book faltered at the end (the beginning)
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very insightful and surprisingly delightful read. Well written and easily read it "breathes life" into a very well know biblical story.
This was a very short book about Cain and Able, and a bit about Adam and Eve's fall from the Garden of Eden. There's different viewpoints throughout the book. Maine does a great job in covering some of the philosophical points, for example, why make sacrifices and offerings to the God that threw you out of Paradise without any skills or means for survival? And was the first murder spur on others as they heard about it? The reader needs to take a leap of disbelief for many things, such as the ...more
Apr 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
The book has 40 chapters and begings with chapter 40 going backwards to chapter 1. It begins with Cain being on his deathbed talking to his son, remembering Abel, talking to Abels's ghost and then the incidents' are gradually unfolded. I guess the author's attempt was to enlighten us as to what made Cain do the things he did and the fall of Adam and Eve and their influence on the events. Everyone is probably familiar with the Garden of Eden and the serpent (devil) luring Eve to eat the forbidden ...more
Oct 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
David Maine's sophomore outing is just as engaging as his previous work,The Preservationist. This is the story of Adam and Eve, their banishment from the Garden, and the effects on them and their children, particularly Cain and Abel. This is the story of WHY. Why did Eve eat the fruit? Why did Adam eat it as well? Why did Cain hate Abel and ultimately murder him? The blanks are filled in, and the characters, so dimly understood from the Bible, are fleshed out.

Obviously this book is not
I thought this was an interesting look at the story of our first family, Adam and Eve. It was told in four sections, each from a different perspective, in reverse order from Adam and Eve's fall from grace and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. I felt like I was watching an old fashioned movie reel in reverse.

The murder of Abel by his brother Cain held a prominent spot in the plot. I think this was so because Cain's exile from his family mirrored his parents exile from the garden. It also
Phil Whittall
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Most biblical novels that I've come across have been rubbish. Stuck in the Christian ghetto writing nice Anglo-Saxon stories that play to religious sensibilities. David Maine on the other hand writes with imagination, verve and wit. His stories follow the biblical narrative without deviation but they provoke, excite, challenge and stir one to think about the story behind the well known stories.

I first came across his writings with his first novel 'The Flood' and this his second successfully gets
Oct 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book blew me away.

I knew the story of Adam and Eve - and that they had two sons - and that one killed the other because he was jealous. But - for me - David Maine brought this story and these characters to life in such an unexpected, real way.

Before - I'd just accepted the moral of the story - and what was being implied by the way in which it was told.

Now - I have a different perspective to explore and delighted to discover that there is a plausible alternative tale. Sure - one that still
Nurture Waratah
I am not a religious person, nor am I Christian, but that did not prevent me from enjoying this novel. Beginning with the final days of Cain and moving back in time to Adam and Eve's banishment from the Garden, this book portrays the dusty old Bible stories in a brand new light. Breathing life into these well-known characters in a way no Bible story ever could, Maine reminds us that few people are truly evil and that we all have the potential to commit terrible acts.

The names in this book are
Dec 15, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a book that has some beautiful points as a writing and character exercise - taking figures from myth and giving them living, breathing human motives, loves, jealousies, and failings is no easy task. However, I felt the story as a whole fell short. There were questions raised in the opening chapters from Cain's point of view that are never addressed. The book proceeds in reverse chronological order, and although some of the events alluded to in the beginning are put before the reader, I ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Interweaving original sin, theological inquiry, and biblical murder is no easy task, and Maine navigates between genuine reverence and sly irony with deftness. Fallen is a wry and daring novel, even more so than Maine's debut The Preservationist (2004), a lively rendering of Noah's clan on the ark. While Maine shines at fleshing out the weighty themes of the Old Testament with three-dimensional characters (squabbling yet sympathetic), the retrograde plotline of his new novel, traveling from

Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblical-fiction
David Maine brings intrigue and mystery to one of the most familiar stories in the Bible: the story of Adam and Eve and their sons, Cain and Abel. The momentum of this story comes from the fact that it is told backwards, beginning with Cain about to die and rewinding all the way to Adam and Eve's first night after leaving Eden. It really was the perfect way to tell this story--rather than watching everything unravel, we begin with a disappointed Cain on his death bed and explore the reasons ...more
Sep 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012, novels
Not a book I would broadly recommend for some really bad theological implications, but from a storytelling perspective I found this book insightful (and even fascinating at times). Maine tells an extended-fictional version of the first family on earth from an "inside their head" perspective. The POV of the omniscient narrator gives us insights into the struggles of the first 2 generations, but misses the boat in some critical assumptions. For example, one of these assumptions could lead to the ...more
Feb 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book I judged by its cover and it did not let down.

'Fallen' tells the life story of know, that guy from the Bible who offed his brother Abel...but there's a bit of a twist. The story is told backwards. In the beginning of the book, we meet a Cain who's on his dying bed. With each following chapter, Cain is younger and younger as we experience his life in reverse. All the while, he is haunted by his biggest sin, the murder of his brother Abel. Further along in the book, we
Beth Anne
i went into reading this book with high expectations. i really wanted to like it.

ended so much.

i mean, it was fine. but it surely didn't blow me away. the story was, well, duh, the stories i've heard and read a million times growing up. maine didn't really add much new to it....or make it any more interesting.
in fact, he may have made it LESS interesting.

i found the dialogue to be awfully written...sophomoric at best. and the rest of the narrative not much above that.

i think the
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Q & A with David ...: Fallen 5 25 Nov 26, 2011 02:19PM  

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I was born and raised in Connecticut but spent much of my adult life overseas, living in Morocco from 1995-98 and in Lahore, Pakistan from 1998-2008. Since 2008 I have been living and teaching in Honolulu. I began getting published in 2004, with The Preservationist, a retelling of the Noah story from Genesis. This was followed by Fallen, which reexamined the stories of Eve/Adam and Abel/Cain. In ...more
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“Happiness isn't something she spends much time thinking about. Survival, discomfort, hunger...these are the concerns that fill her days.” 5 likes
“This whole story doesn’t make sense! Why would God create a perfect place and then allow the Devil in it, just to trick you? Why tell you not to do something when He could have just removed the tree, and so avoided the problem completely? - Cain” 0 likes
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