Saturday, May 05, 2007


The Preservationist by David Maine

February 14, 2007 ***The Preservationist is another version of the classic tale of Noah and the Ark. In this book, he is called Noe, and is an ancient, crochety geezer who has visions and hears the voice of God. We are introduced to Noe, his wife, their three sons, Sem, Cham and Japheth, and three daughter-in laws, Bera, Ilya and Mirn. We follow these eight as Noe receives his revelation, the building of the ark, the survival of the flood, and the beginning of a new life. Often, the story is quite funny, and realistic. His descriptions of life on the boat make so much sense to me. It had to have been awful living for months with all those animals. All eight characters are believable people who question their faith even through miracle after miracle. The women are especially vibrant and really hold the whole enterprise together. Noe's conversations with deity remind me of some of my own. One reviewer compared the book to "Life of Pi." However, I didn't like it nearly as much. There was just too much crudity that jarred me as I read. So much of the book was absolutely fascinating, creative and well-written, then it would lapse into a discussion of "rutting." And maybe that is how it was in those days, although no one really knows. Besides I imagine Noah to be a wiser, more dignified character than the way Noe is portrayed here. I did like that my favorite quotes turned out to be the same one printed on the book jacket, so I will share those.
"So, when Himself starts with the visions and the holy labors and the boat full of critters, what am I supposed to do? Talk sense? Ask questions he can't answer, like How do you propse to keep the lions from eating the goats? Or us for that matter? No thanks, I just fuss with the stew and keep my thoughts stitched up in my head where they belong. Long ago, I quit asking questions." --The Wife
" 'God will provide,' my husband's father says, "Now go.' And that's that. He leaves me to travel some twelve hundred miles on a handful of copper weights, a few weeks' dried provisions and a donkey as company. I'm expected to return with no less than breeding families of every beast in creation. The problem with people who think that God will provide is that they think God will provide. --Bera, Daughter-in-Law
"Men are so amusing. Show them a pack of wolves, dominated by the males, and they will say, See? It is natural for men to rule. Fine, But produce a beehive, controlled by the queen, with males used for menial labor, and they protest, Human beings are not insects. Yes, well." --Ilya, Daughter-in-Law
"Lately what Papa says is that God is angry and is going to destroy the whole world except us; ants and mice and human beings and worms. Just a few of each will survive, and the ones that will live are the things we save . . . . Only Yahweh can create life, that's true, but I've been able to save a little bit of it from being destroyed. That's pretty good, for a person. It's about the best thing human being could ever hope to do." --Mirn, Daughter-in-Law
Rating: 3
Posted by Framed at 7:43 PM

Lisa said...
Thanks for the review. This book sounded like a great concept. Then I got it from the library and couldn't get into it. Maybe I should try again. I think it was the crudeness of the characters, or the fact that it wasn't like I might imagine that distracted me......
1:11 PM
Framed said...
I agree, Lisa. It's certainly isn't a book I plan on keeping.
10:09 AM
booklogged said...
I like the 3 quotes you shared, but the idea of crudeness causes me to scratch it off my list.BTW, I like the new look.
9:32 PM
Joy said... changed your blog! Looks nice. :)So, you finished 1/2 of "P". You are doing a great job! I hope that it's keeping you motivated. Happy Reading, Framed. :)
3:51 PM
Framed said...
Book, I don't recommend it.Joy, I need to finish A to Z before the Nonfiction challenge starts. Taking on three challenges this winter has slowed me down even though I put some on the TBR list. But I will prevail.
7:04 PM
jenclair said...
Not what I would have expected! I thought I might want to read it, but I want adventure and what it must have been like to travel the Silk Road!
11:10 AM
jenclair said...
OOPS - this was supposed to go on the Marco Polo post! I'm so confused.
11:13 AM
kookiejar said...
I don't know how dignified Noah was considering how drunk he got the night he cursed Canaan. I have a copy of "The Preservationist" and I've been meaning to read it...maybe after I'm done with a few of the challenges I'm involved in. Good review.
9:16 AM

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