We might expect that people at the age of 87 to be discreet, if not cautious, about the subject of God, but only the fervent servants of faith and the strongly confident atheist would pick a Biblical character and weave him into adventures through the early period of human history according to the Old Testament. This book shows clearly which category Saramago is in. His aim was to analyse the significance of Cain's killing of his brother Abel, and how that act was proof, not only of the duality of God's own nature, but also the ambiguity of man's own. What led Cain to the murder of his brother? Was it his own fallen, evil nature, or was he set up by God? In the process, Saramago makes Cain participate in other major incidents in the Old Testament, including Abraham's attempted murder of his son Isaac, the fall of the Tower of Babel, the battle of Jericho, and most prominently, the family life of Noah and his great mission. Why was Cain, in this account, be interferring with God's plan? The reader is drawn inexorably to reflect on God's intentions in the first place, and whether they were foiled by God's own lack of a clear and thorough planning, incompetence, or by the rebellion of His creation. In the process, the character of God and Cain will be scrutinized in glaring light.