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Robert Pinsky…Saramago transforms the familiar stories boldly, but with an intricate respect for their power and for the mysterious power of storytelling itself. Far from merely inverting the biblical tales or turning them inside out, he folds and refolds them in a prismatic, shadowy light. Always implicit is the question of what these stories and their retellings mean to us, and about us. In a grieving but marveling spirit, Saramago remakes, from Cain's viewpoint, not only the story of Cain and his parents and his brother but also…the tales of Abraham and Isaac, Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot's wife, Lot and his daughters, Noah and his sons. The narrative veers drastically away from tradition and back toward it and then away again with radical aplomb. The effect is sometimes comic, but with a complex, outraged commitment far beyond parody.
—The New York Times Book Review