The Book of All Books

The Book of All Books

Summary

'Beautiful, intellectually thrilling . . . unlike anything else' Telegraph

A splendid reimagining of key stories from the Bible from the acclaimed author of The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony.


A man named Saul is sent to search for some lost donkeys and on the way is named king of his people. The queen of a remote African realm travels for three years with her multitudinous retinue to meet the king of Jerusalem and pose him a few riddles. A man named Abraham hears a divine voice speaking words that reverberate throughout the Bible: 'Go away from your land, from your kindred and from the house of your father toward the land that I will show you'.

In The Book of All Books, Roberto Calasso weaves together stories of promise and separation from one of the founding texts of Western civilisation. These tales of grace and guilt, of the chosen and the damned, cast many Biblical figures and indeed the whole book in a light as astonishing as it is disquieting.

The Book of All Books is part of a larger work which began with The Ruin of Kasch (1983) and includes The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, Ka, and The Celestial Hunter.

Reviews

  • Beautiful, intellectually thrilling, and possessed of a kind of empyrean wryness that makes it unlike anything else . . . And, thanks in part to the heroic patience and skill of translator Tim Parks, it is often straightforwardly enjoyable and funny
    Tim Smith-Laing, The Telegraph

About the author

Roberto Calasso

Roberto Calasso was born in Florence in 1941. An author and publisher, he began working at Adelphi Edizioni from its founding in 1962 and continued as director for fifty years. The Book of All Books is the tenth part of a series that began with The Ruin of Kasch and includes the international bestseller The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony as well as Ka, K., Tiepolo Pink, La Folie Baudelaire, Ardor, The Celestial Hunter and The Unnamable Present. He died in Milan in 2021.
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