16 September 2009

Short Review: Fallen by David Maine

I read David Maine's Fallen in 2005, shortly after it came out. It tells the story of Adam and Eve after they have been expelled from the Garden. The narrative, which is told in the voices of Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel, begins at the end of Cain's life and deftly takes us back to Eden. It's an emotionally truthful book that gives us insight into the biblical first family. The genre into which this book falls is midrash, although those unfamiliar with the tradition will call it biblical fiction. For more on David Maine as a contributor to modern midrash, see the Jewish Daily Forward's review. I gave Fallen a solid B rating.

I listened to the unabridged audio read by Simon Vance. My reading notes indicate that Vance's narration was at his usual high standards.

Are you familiar with Midrash? Do you think the distinction between Midrash and biblical fiction or even just historical fiction is valid?

Fallen at an Indie

Reading at the Beach is the host for this meme: Each week she invites us to spotlight a book whose title begins with the featured letter. This week it's F.


Nise' 9/16/09, 8:57 AM  

Sounds like something I would like to read. I have not heard of Midrash but am familiar with Biblical fiction.

Unknown 9/16/09, 9:10 AM  

That looks like an interesting read.
Mine is Here

Susan at Stony River 9/16/09, 9:18 AM  

Midrash is a term I've never heard before, but as I love historical fiction I'm going to look into it -- thanks!

Lezlie 9/16/09, 9:27 AM  

Midrash is not something I am familiar with, but I'm very familiar with Davie Maine. I loved the way this book was told in reverse! He has such an interesting take on the stories in Genesis on which he has based some of his books. I've read three of them and the jury is still out for me as to whether or not I *really* like him as an author, but I always find myself attracted to his books.


Shawntele 9/16/09, 10:35 AM  

Another book for my 'to read' list, thank you. :)

Margot at Joyfully Retired 9/16/09, 10:52 AM  

I was not familiar with midrash but find it an interesting concept. The review in the Jewish Daily Forward was very interesting and raises all sorts of things for me to think about.

The distinction between midrash and biblical fiction is something I want to explore. I think of biblical fiction as something fairly new. Midrash sounds like it is ancient - the dictionary says second century. The dictionary also says it is "commentary on scriptures" but something tells me there is more to it.

I'm glad you raised the point. I'm going to explore more.

kayerj 9/16/09, 1:29 PM  

interesting premise. If you want to wander down my road I’m home.

Anonymous,  9/16/09, 2:16 PM  

Not familiar with this book but would love to read it!

Thanks for playing this week!

Kristen 9/16/09, 3:17 PM  

I love the way these spotlights on different letters bring out so many different books that I haven't heard of yet. I was familiar with the concept of midrash but am still trying to work through just how different in substance the tradition is from biblical fiction.

My F book is here.

Ladytink_534 9/16/09, 5:00 PM  

I've never heard of midrash before either.

me again 9/16/09, 5:51 PM  

Midrash is a term I was not familiar with .... thanks for the info and for posting about an intriguing book!

bermudaonion 9/16/09, 6:46 PM  

I wasn't familiar with midrash either. I'm glad to learn something new!

Veens 9/17/09, 9:15 AM  

Nope I am not familiar with Midrash!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 9/17/09, 2:30 PM  

Awkward phrasing of my question: was this a more involved read? Could you follow it as a narrative and absorb the details, or did it read more as nonfiction?

It sounds like something I'd like, but if it's a lot of "work" to read, I need to be prepared!

beth 9/19/09, 2:01 AM  

I'm familiar with midrash, but I don't understand the distinction here between it and biblical fiction.

beth 9/19/09, 2:01 AM  

I'm familiar with midrash, but I don't understand the distinction here between it and biblical fiction.

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