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An ironic retelling of the Pentateuch

Blood Book

Dimitri Verhulst

The Bible has all the elements of a super-thriller: murder and manslaughter, jealousy, revenge, avarice, adultery, love and sex. In ‘Blood Book’, Dimitri Verhulst retells the first five books of the Bible.

These stories are awash with blood, but thanks to their potency and popularity they constitute what may be the most important book in the history of mankind: the Pentateuch. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy contain the story of creation, the history of the Jewish people, the arrival in the Promised Land, and the formation of the laws on which the Ten Commandments were based. Verhulst’s God is the ‘Dictator’ who urges his ‘darlings’ to occupy the land of Canaan and completely wipe out its diverse inhabitants. Moses obeys: ‘Orders are orders.’

One of the great stylists of our contemporary literature
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The first half of ‘Blood Book’, entitled ‘Soap (The Patriarchs)’, fast-forwards through the many generations leading up to the birth of Moses. The wry narrator turns out, at the end of Part 1, to be Moses himself. After which, in Part 2, ‘My Campaign’, his autobiography continues.

Verhulst tackles the Old Testament with his characteristic linguistic flair, replete with folksy idioms.

One of the best books from Verhulst’s impressive oeuvre
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