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Caim by José Saramago
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I've just read some pages, and I surely can envision much 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 a lack of belly button; yes, for procreation purposes. He sparsely visited the couple, because he had other paradises to visit.

God expells them from paradise after they had disobeyed; Eve said:”a serpent fooled me” in a dream; she ate from the Tree of Life; Adam too.

So my present thesis is: this is truly a manual on how to mock God*.

Yes, I will continue reading, to unravel the Cain issue.


Adam and Eve now live in a cave…nearby four rivers.

Adam and Eve are hungry; Eve volunteers to get fruit from paradise garden; she meets with the Cherubim Azael**: asks him some fruit; he’s reluctant but then will provide her with some fruits.

Later Adam and Eve would meet with the cherubim: he tells them: you’re not alone; soon they will get a ride from a caravan.

Adam and Eve are portrayed as being of black hair and dark skin; but their children, Abel and Cain, are different; Abel being blond, Saramago hints at the rendezvous between Eve and the angel of Eden.

Abel and Cain have different vocations; they offer a sacrifice to God; God is pleased with Abel, but despises Cain’s; Abel mocks Cain; Cain kills Abel; Cain wanted to kill God. God will punish Cain: he’s condemned to become a wanderer…and gets a mark in his forehead. The Cain sign.


“O diabo que te assinalou algum defeito encontrou”.

Cain gets to Nod land; he doesn’t say his name is Cain; he says he’s Abel (!!); he manages to get two jobs: one as clay worker and another at the palace of the governess of Nod: Lilith, the wife of Noah. Noah is jealous about that second job.. Noah’s men try to kill Cain, but due to his sign they aren’t succeeded. The above mentioned palace was not like Mafra or Versailles... or Buckingham's. Certainly not.


"O senhor não é pessoa em que se possa confiar".

Now Cain tells Lilith his true name. She asks him to kill Noah. He refuses. Lilith is pregnant. Cain departures to a new, green land. There he meets with Abraham,about to sacrifice his son Isaac to God. Not the angel..., but Cain saves the boy! Here I laughed. I am still laughing: the angel got late, due to a mechanical problem... in the wing (!!!). So Cain got the laurels.
... Hahaha.


Riding a donkey Cain arrives to the place where the Babel Tower was being built; but people are in total disagreement: they speak different languages,...they looked crazy. Cain asks a man who speaks Hebrew like him:how come?; the man replied: they all spoke the "Tongue",the same for everybody...but then God visited them, and didn't like the Tower; so,he confused the languages; God was jealous of men.(!!!!)
ah!! Cain reveals that he's got a special (supernatural?) ability: he can travel in time: back and forward.


Allow me to abbreviate.

-Cain reports on Sodom and Gomorra: fire and sulfur rain falls upon the cities…. Lot’s wife turning into a statue of salt. The same merciless God who didn’t save the children.

-Moses 40 days and 40 nights on the Sinai;… now Cain says he’s Noah; God gets his revenge on people for their adoration of the golden calf. Cain leaves because he’s sick about bloodshed.

-Joshua and Jericho’s walls that fell after the sound of the trumpets… Cain says the stopping of the sun is a lie.

Noah is building the Arc because God wants to exterminate men ,…in a land full of inequities; Cain joins Noah’s family….but exposes God's ignorance on the Archimedes principle.(!!!)

The flood:40 days and nights of rain. After 150 days, water level starts receding. Noah had seen an unicorn; really: all animals in the ark?. The ark had no sail... nor engine.
By the end of the book: all humans are dead...but Cain. Noah committed suicide.

Saramago took pity on Cain:”despite the murder, Cain is an intrinsically honest man…with moral sense”. I would say Cain looks godlike godish. His forehead sign is becoming bigger. Like a black sun.

* Saramago interviewed by Spanish EFE; he was 86 years old and he said: “Dios no es una persona de fiar…no estoy questionando Dios, …la humanidad que lo ha inventado”; "God is not a trustworthy person...I am not questioning God...but mankind that has invented God".

**Jewish legend speaks of Azazel as the angel who refused to bow down to Adam. For such refusal, Azazel was thenceforth dubbed "the accursed Satan".....Azazel refused,contending "why should a son of fire (an angel) fall down before a son of clay (a mortal)". Whereupon God cast Azazel out of Heaven.... Milton in PARADISE LOST I,534 describes Azazel as "a cherub tall" but also as a fallen angel...

in: A Dictionary of Angels by Gustav Davidson
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Reading Progress

July 17, 2012 – Started Reading
July 17, 2012 – Shelved
July 17, 2012 – Shelved as: portuguese-lit
Finished Reading
June 27, 2016 – Shelved as: god-mocker
June 27, 2016 – Shelved as: distortion-of-biblical-content
June 27, 2016 – Shelved as: laughable
June 27, 2016 – Shelved as: not-godlike-but-godish
February 28, 2017 – Shelved as: imperfect-creation
February 28, 2017 – Shelved as: punishing-god
February 28, 2017 – Shelved as: jealous-god
February 28, 2017 – Shelved as: vengeful-god
February 28, 2017 – Shelved as: merciless-god
February 28, 2017 – Shelved as: ignorant-god
February 28, 2017 – Shelved as: i-wonder-where-s-god-goodness
February 28, 2017 – Shelved as: saramago-left-it-out

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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Better Eggs Never heard that Jewish legend before.

Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...30-minutes wait to call the firemen...and And there are so many ("legends").... No, Azazel is not one more distortion or invention of Saramago out of Biblical content; I checked myself about the Tall Cherub: he's referred to in Gustav Davidson's dictionary; if you add to it the "other legend": that Lucifer fell from Heaven..... with 1/3 of the angels....then you get a more plausible picture.

Better Eggs I know quite a bit about Jewish legends, but never heard that one. Lots I don't know.

Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...30-minutes wait to call the firemen...and THE LEGENDS OF THE JEWS
By Louis Ginzberg; you'll find many, many...interesting legends;I've read some.

Kalliope This seems a sort of companion to hisO Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo.

Beautifully illustrated!

Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...30-minutes wait to call the firemen...and Thanks.
Maybe, never dared reading it; Saramago usually messes up with [read: distorts] biblical content. Some day, maybe.
-Have you read it?

Kalliope José-contemplates-Saturn's Aurora wrote: "Thanks.
Maybe,never dared reading it; Saramago usually messes up with [read:distorts] biblical content.Some day, maybe.
-Have you read it?"

Yes, I have read it.. years ago.. and before I wrote reviews... I want to read more Saramago.

Sara Jesus Saramago é um dos melhores escritores portugueses. Fiquei fascinada quando li esse livro!

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