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Middlemarch: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Reviews and Criticism (A Norton Critical Edition)
Bert G. Hornback, George Eliot
The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel García Márquez
Cain - José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa Nutshell: nearly posthumous old testament tomfoolery by Nobel Prize winner.

Biblical satire, strangely not more effective overall than [b:God the Ultimate Autobiography|893726|God The Ultimate Autobiography|Jeremy Pascall|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1329642961s/893726.jpg|878951], covering the same ground, but with less coarse rhetoric, and a touch of the animus of [b:Grendel|676737|Grendel|John Gardner|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347871284s/676737.jpg|1348308].

After an opening vignette on the casting out from Eden, Cain is set to wander in a “game of alternative presents” (79) shifting through time in non-linear way, so that we might be treated to a cook’s tour of the Hebrew scripture’s signature events: the sacrifice of Isaac (which Cain dicks up by saving the son (70)), the Tower of Babel, Sodom, the Exodus, & golden calf, the Flood, the destruction of the Midianites, Jericho, Job’s torments (wherein satan and god are found to be in “complicity” (126)). YHWH is generally exposed as a loser in these scenes.

Ends with the narrative of Noah’s ark, into which Cain is stowaway, and upon which he manages to savagely slaughter the crew, in order to wreck the Tetragrammaton’s plans. Ends with “but it seems likely that they argued with each other on many other occasions, and one thing we know for certain is that they continued to argue and are arguing still” (159)--which is finely reminiscent of the ending of Dunsany’s “The Probable Adventures of Three Literary Men.”

Recommended for readers skeptical as any man regarding the success of any enterprise born of a woman’s brain, persons ruled by such a lord, cruel as baal, who devours his own children, and those who admit to being directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and then behave as if nothing had happened, unless, of course, it’s not a case of real, authentic madness, but evil pure and simple.