Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (8)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A memorable read - new angles on a Sunday School story, 16 Aug 2006
By 
TGW Page "TGWP" (Holywood, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Flood (Paperback)
David Maine's "The Flood" is a gem.

The story of patriarch Noah and family unfolds in three sections - Cloud, Rain and Sun.

Each short chapter is told from the perspective of Noe, `The Wife' or one of their sons Sem, clever Cham, Japeth or daughters-in-law Brea, Ilya or Mirn.

The chapters flow past quickly, and occasional leaps backwards/forwards in time seem natural.

Before, during and after the flood, this story bristles with life. As the claustrophobic year in the ark rolls on, the eight adults increasingly resemble their zoological charges.
The primitive nature of life is reflected in language, e.g. mammals including humans rut; cue expletive mutterings from Noe's sons. Death is also a recurring theme - ever think what happened to the tired dove that returned after surveying the waters for Noe? And, while the final `Sun' chapters reveal new vistas for three young families, the account of one character's basic death is moving.

YAHWEH is very present in The Flood - in the miraculous gathering of animals and creeping things, and in the lengthy silences in His relationship with Noe. One powerful incident is Noe's dream of God as talkative ant, regal swan and angry lioness. No God-in-a-box here.

The book's inside cover quotes Ann Patchett's review:
"Funny, tender, intelligent, irreverent and worshipful. It is an enormous juggling act of families, animals and faith, and it kept me engaged through every page."

I'll echo that and add that, for me, there's a lingering richer appreciation of faith, life and mystery after reading The Flood.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book, 7 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Flood (Hardcover)
This book is brilliant. It's such a simple idea but carried out perfectly and in such an original way. I laughed half the way through and then I thought, "Geez, this is getting serious." And I found the end very moving indeed. Don't know if the Pope would like it but I sure did. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under Maine's pen, Noah becomes a real person with a real life in a real world., 16 Mar 2010
By 
H. Eaton "Helena Eaton" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Flood (Paperback)
A wonderful retelling of the biblical story of Noah and the Ark. Told simply, the story is brought to life in a very memorable way. We meet Noah and his family - real people, given real lives in this book. David Maine stays true to the biblical story - he doesn't shy away from mentioning Noah's documented age for example - but even the more outlandish aspects of the original story seem acceptable when presented here. Everything seems to be as it was meant to be.

God told Noah to build the Ark, gave his instructions and, as impossible as it all seems at first, everything that needs to happen, does happen. Thousands of animals are gathered and transported from lands far and wide, unbelievers are proved wrong, Noah is vindicated.

Instead of creating a sympathetic character in Noah, Maine has presented us with a single- and tough-minded man who is not immediately likeable - he hits his wife, brooks no opposition from anyone, does not take other people's opinions on board, is very stubborn indeed. I might have expected Noah to be a saintly figure who is blessed by God for his gentle ways ... the Noah Maine has given us is much more interesting. Noah's sons and daughters in law are similarly flawed characters - they have their likeable qualities and their more annoying traits ... just like real people!

This is a really great read ... even though parts of the story describe the end of the world as it was then, it still feels like a light, airy, feel-good read, full of hope for the future. I loved it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars God Rains Over Everything, 10 Jun 2008
By 
Quicksilver (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Flood (Paperback)
A simple tale, that we all know, stunningly retold with pathos and empathy. The author cleverly uses different voices, of Noah's family members, to retell his fable, offering alternative viewpoints of God's great cleansing. This mechanism not only dissects the various moral implications of inundating a populated planet, but also offers delightfully accurate vignette's of family life, that will resonate with nearly everybody.

I think most people, religious or otherwise will find something to take home from this novel. The very devout may take offence at some of the more graphic sections of the novel but most readers will enjoy it. The ending is terrific and offers much food for thought on the role organised religion should play in our society. Terrific stuff.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Enticing, 22 Dec 2006
This review is from: The Flood (Paperback)
This is one of those books I stumbled across purely by chance and it really was a pleasant surprise. The premise of taking such a well known Biblical story and then telling it from a variety of perspectives is incredibly effective and thought-provoking. Unlike other novels that try to utilise multiple narrators, there is actually a clear delineation in voice and the characterisation is impressive. It's also a surprisingly funny text and yet touching simultaneously. I definitely recommend this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Just wonderful, 19 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Flood (Paperback)
I love this book. Like another reviewer I chanced upon it in a blessed moment of serendipity. Having meandered through various sects and denominations of the Christian church without ever feeling really confident in the characterisations given to God and his pals, I have become heartily sick of the narrowness of a lot of these groups. Apart from being a superb piece of literature this book is a breath of fresh air. As I write this I am busy sending a copy off to my daughter, and I am confident she will find it as beautifully inspiring as I did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Those good old patriarchal days, 6 Aug 2013
By 
Dr R (Norwich, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Flood (Paperback)
I have heard many authors describing the origins of their first novel. In many cases it coalesced around a germ of an idea or an experience that that had had. I would love to know how David Maine arrived at the idea for his first novel, The Flood, which was published in 2004 and long-listed for the Guardian's First Book Award.

In essence, the author retells one of the best known stories in the Old Testament, that of Noah, his Ark and the Flood (and the menagerie of animals). The source that he uses, is the Douay Bible, translated in Rheims (1582) and published in Douay ( 1609). Consequently we read about Noe, and his sons Sem and Cham, rather than the more familiar Noah, Shem and Ham. Japheth is the remaining son. I found that this subtle change was sufficient to provide distance from the very familiar childhood story, which became very much more alive, brutal and frightening in this retelling. What we get here may be, in some ways, akin to how the story would have been told by the `fire and brimstone' preachers of olden days.

Although there is also much humour, Maine does not update or tell the story with a 21st century knowing wink. This is serious, deadly serious story-telling. Noe is a grumpy, unpleasant 600 year old who lives a patriarchal life in a patriarchal time. His response, when he hears a voice inside his head telling him to build a huge boat, is to piss himself, then to gather his family and order them to start building. One advantage of a patriarchal society is that no-one argues with dad. He may be stupid or mad but he will be obeyed.

There is much farting, rutting and men tugging themselves which I do not remember from Genesis. It starts to rain and the jeering masses are desperate to be let aboard. Noe's daughter-in-law wonders whether some of the children might be rescued but Noe knows that children will be born on board, after all that's what patriarchs are for.

Like a Medieval Mystery Play, or a modern retelling, there are different voices, 8 in all, and only Noe never talks directly to the reader, no doubt a patriarchal rule. The voices, in a series of short chapters, describe the biblical story, building the ark, collecting the animals, awaiting the deluge, floating away, floating, ever floating, then eventually seeing the bird with the leaf, settling on Mount Ararat. But crucially we also get the inserts, they grow tired, get bored, are hungry and become thoroughly annoyed with one another and silently seethe at Noe.

Noe's wife sighs, gets on with life and does most of the work; the three daughters-in-law, the strength of this unique family, are the only non-drowned fertile women and comment on their situation and the characters around them. These women, not named in Genesis are here named Bera, Ilya and Mirn. The women, verily, are the strong ones. Bera, an African sold by her father as a child slave, is detached and thoughtful. Ilya, raised under the influence of powerful goddesses, is a proto-feminist, while Mirn, still a girl, sees God in small things, mating snakes, a spider's web.

Maine's early biography is fascinating, an American who has worked in national mental health systems, he lived in Morocco and is now settled in Pakistan. Moreover, he writes with assuredness about the desert, nomads, primitive communities and imagines in a convincing manner how, in Noe's time, verbal communication might have developed. Time after time, Maine ignores the easy opportunities to draw parallels with our technologically-advanced time: oceans rising = environmental catastrophies, prophets crying out against the godlessness of modern civilization = religious fundamentalism, punishing unbelievers = global terrorism.

In a debut novel, an author must be under such enormous pressure from editors, friends, "experts" and their own internal voice to tie up loose ends and not leave the reader wondering. Maine ignores all these pressures and maybe, as a result, lost an award, but he remains a genuine independent voice and is all the more important for that.

The style is open and fluent so that the reader can zip through the book. But then one begins to think what has been read and its true depth becomes apparent, just like the rising waters under Noe's Ark, and we all know what that led to.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Arrived really quickly., 18 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Flood (Hardcover)
Think the story is fab- insightful and human look at a biblical story. i was also pleased that it arrived quick. Thanks
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Noah's ark brought wonderfully to life, 23 Sep 2010
By 
Jeremy Bevan (West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Flood (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this energetic retelling of the story of Noah's Flood. Given the inevitable boundaries set by a story woven so deeply into the cultural fabric of the West, Maine has done an excellent job of exploring imaginatively and creatively the gaps, questions and silences of the biblical account. Telling the story in short chapters, each through the voice of one of those on the ark - including the now-named and vividly alive daughters-in-law Bera (Sem's wife), Ilya (Cham's wife) and Mirn (Japheth's wife) - allows Maine to explore questions such as `How were the animals gathered ?' (Answer: by Bera and Ilya returning intrepidly - and seemingly with divine protection - to their homelands in the far south and north respectively); 'What sort of a God would destroy all of creation ?' (Answer: from Ilya's matriarchal-culture perspective: a man's one); and 'What was it like on the ark ?' (Answer: animalistic, even for the humans).

The characters are richly drawn. Two examples: Noah, driven by the voice of God, irascible, patriarchal, but finally old and alone, a crumpled figure once the voice of God departs; and the lovely Mirn, a zestful, observant young woman who, in another age, would be a deep ecologist. Crisp, earthy dialogue drives the exchanges between characters along briskly, and there's plenty of humour. In short, an enormous amount to recommend in this charming, funny and thoughtful first novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, 15 Jun 2006
By 
This review is from: The Flood (Paperback)
This book is totally hilarious but manages to delve into deep sritual issues without taking itself too seriously.

It can be read as a a simple parady but it can also be read as a work with more meaning. Bring sto life an age old story

Great read highy recommend. Finished in 3 days reading could not put down
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Flood
The Flood by David Maine (Hardcover - 7 Oct 2004)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews