Book of All Books
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Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Number of Pages: 464
Width: 16.2 cm
Height: 24 cm
'Beautiful, intellectually thrilling . . . unlike anything else' Telegraph A splendid reimagining of key stories from the Bible from the acclaimed author of The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony. A man named Saul is sent to search for some lost donkeys and on the way is named king of his people. The queen of a remote African realm travels for three years with her multitudinous retinue to meet the king of Jerusalem and pose him a few riddles. A man named Abraham hears a divine voice speaking words that reverberate throughout the Bible: 'Go away from your land, from your kindred and from the house of your father toward the land that I will show you'. In The Book of All Books, Roberto Calasso weaves together stories of promise and separation from one of the founding texts of Western civilisation. These tales of grace and guilt, of the chosen and the damned, cast many Biblical figures and indeed the whole book in a light as astonishing as it is disquieting. The Book of All Books is part of a larger work which began with The Ruin of Kasch (1983) and includes The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, Ka, and The Celestial Hunter.
Beautiful, intellectually thrilling, and possessed of a kind of empyrean wryness that makes it unlike anything else . . . And, thanks in part to the heroic patience and skill of translator Tim Parks, it is often straightforwardly enjoyable and funny -- Tim Smith-Laing * The Telegraph * Engaging . . . Calasso links the tales with reflections on sacrifice, election, evil, separation and redemption - losing, enlightening and perfecting himself in the process -- Nick Spencer * Financial Times * An attractive and approachable reworking . . . highly artful . . . seeks to link mythological thinking with the culture of modernity in Europe . . . biblical stories are often enriched by attractive details from later Jewish legends -- John Barton * Times Literary Supplement * Calasso is among those rare people who can persuade you that it is still possible to grasp almost the whole of human culture . . . his selection is cunning and his narrative gifts considerable -- Stephen Greenblatt * The New York Times * An intriguing and ingenious book . . . lucid and clever without being arcane or simplistic . . . each and every page has an observation, a turn of phrase or a close reading that made me think "I never thought of that" . . . -- Stuart Kelly * Scotsman * Beguiling, surprising . . . vividness and wide-ranging erudition . . . his version of the biblical story is enhanced by its frequent forays into ancient Near Eastern mythology as well as into its Indian analogues -- Robert Alter * Spectator * Illuminates the drama of Goethe's 'book of all books' - the Old testament - in intriguing and provocative ways -- Ian Thompson * Tablet * Calasso . . . once again muses eloquently on the Bible in this 10th entry in his series dedicated to exploring ancient myths and the human search for meaning . . . Readers with any level of biblical knowledge will benefit from Calasso's far-ranging insights * Publishers Weekly *