Sunday, January 31, 2010

Samson's Walls

By Jud Nirenberg

From the back of the book:

“In a Canaan where Philistines and Hebrews vie for dominance, it is important to know one's place. Samson is isolated in his, trapped by unusual rules and expectations. He was promised to his parents by an angel, destined to grow into a great man and make his people strong.”

This is a fictional account of the often misunderstood Bible story found in the book of Judges in the Old Testament. I read an unbound galley copy and the chapters were numbered by the Bible verses that correspond with them.

So, before I began reading, I went to an online Bible and copied the verses for the chapters and printed them out on one sheet of paper. With my list in hand, I read the verse before beginning each chapter.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well Jud Nirenberg rewrote this story. Yes, the basic plot does follow the Bible story, but he expanded those short verses to create a novel that does, indeed, fit with both the story and the time in which it occurred.

I found myself feeling sorry for Samson the man. Here was a person who had no idea what was expected of him. He was raised to fulfill a particular role, but he didn’t know what it was. All he could do was follow what his teachers told him and they weren’t very forthcoming.

Samson feels isolated and lonely and, in a sense, is very naïve about the ways of the world, especially when it comes to love and relationships. Because of that, he is easily taken advantage of by women and is used by Delilah.

The story is very well written and the author does an excellent job of describing the scene. I enjoyed reading this tale and I give it 3 books.

1 comment:

Arleigh said...

Interesting! I don't read Biblical fiction very often, but I know the story of Samson (vaguely from Sunday School as a child). Sounds like a good read!