Saturday’s Books: “Tenth of December” by Saunders & “Cain” by Saramago


This certainly has been a summer of eclectic reading, each book very different from the next one, which is just the way I like it. Though I must say I read less than I usually do over the summer. This post includes two books because my blog was “on vacation”.

I was so pleased to find an interview with the author at the end of the collection of short stories that make up the “Tenth of December”. Suanders is interviewed by David Sedaris. Each story was very easy to get into, utterly absorbing, yet disturbing. Each one I finished left me wishing that I was back in college and could discuss the stories in class. I couldn’t even put my finger on exactly why the stories disturbed me, which made me wonder if it was just me. The writing is such a pleasure, the stories are varied (some take place in the future!), then why am I left with a ¬†feeling of disquiet?

The interview helped to clarify. The author intends to rock your world, to make you think of social issues, morality and more. He wants you to think of people and issues you might not usually think about .

I give a lot of my books away, but I’m keeping this one. Short stories, for me, are something that can be reread, especially when there is a lot to think about in each one.

“Cain” is a short book, and a quick read. Saramago uses the Biblical character Cain as his spokesman. Cain, whose punishment was to wander, becomes a time traveller under Saramago’s hand, participating in many Biblical events. Cain doesn’t like what he sees and makes his opinion of GOD quite clear. He has many dialogues with GOD until Cain finally interferes with GOD’s plans. The dialogues are witty and sharp and the ending is unexpected.

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