Read The Preservationist by David Maine Online


In THE PRESERVATIONIST, Dave Maine tells the story of Noe who has been called by God to build a boat and collect two of every animal on earth to be saved from a coming deluge. The magic comes in subsequent chapters being told from different characters points of view: Noe; his wife; his sons Japheth, Cham, and Sem; and his daughter-in-laws Bera, Ilya, and Mirn. THE PRESERVAIn THE PRESERVATIONIST, Dave Maine tells the story of Noe who has been called by God to build a boat and collect two of every animal on earth to be saved from a coming deluge. The magic comes in subsequent chapters being told from different characters points of view: Noe; his wife; his sons Japheth, Cham, and Sem; and his daughter-in-laws Bera, Ilya, and Mirn. THE PRESERVATIONIST does not deal with matters of faith or historical fact. Instead the author simply, wisely, asks himself what it was like to be there, "when the rain began to fall." He imagines the world before Abraham, before God became involved in international politics, or, for that matter, in organized religious practice. In details small and large, Maine convinces us that the world Noah worked to hard to save is indeed worth preserving....

Title : The Preservationist
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781565118706
Format Type : Audio
Number of Pages : 407 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Preservationist Reviews

  • Rach
    2019-06-08 21:56

    A realistic and practical account of the Biblical story of the flood. When reading stories from the Bible, it is easy to gloss over the facts and not truly comprehend them. Maine brings it all into focus with this novel: these are real people, who somehow built a floating barn in the middle of the desert, collected animals from both north and south, and did it all without know why or how it would all happen. Characters from the Bible, some of which are not even named, are given shape and feelings and opinions, and we truly come to know them and care for them. One thing that all of the characters wrestled with was why God sent the flood, and they never really come to a consensus. I like what Mirn says at the end though, when she says, "Did Papa say God reigns over everything or did he say God rains over everything and does it matter? Because I'm pretty sure it does. It seems like one of them says, God is in charge so watch you step. And the other says, God can take away everything but he'll give back everything too, so it's up to us what to make of the sun and rain and all the animals and whatever else we find." I think Mirn is right, and what he really meant was "God rains over everything." Mirn was my favorite character - so matter-of-fact, calm, simple, hard-working, and deceptively smart.I'm looking forward to reading more of Maine's books.

  • David Maine
    2019-06-14 22:24

    Hey, at least my own books aren't the only ones I've reviewed...

  • Jeanne
    2019-06-24 14:00

    What could have been a great story (Noah and the Ark) wasn't all that great. First, the author didn't stick to conventions. This bugged me because every other paragraph seemed to start with a dash (-) and there were no quotation marks. Second, the author didn't develop the characters. They were portrayed in a flat and one-sided light. Only one character seemed to change because of the time spent on the ark, and even then, it's not Noah. Third, the author didn't develop the story in any sort of way that would make me see the story of Noah and the Ark in a new light. I would have appreciated details on the gathering of animals (oh, look, all the animals have already been caught and put in cages). Instead, the author was way too preoccupied with letting us know whenever the characters were having sex ('rutting').

  • Aerin
    2019-06-04 22:22

    SUMMARY (from"Noe says, -I must build a boat.-A boat, she says.-A ship, more like. I'll need the boys to help, he adds as an afterthought.-We're leagues from the sea, she says, or any river big enough to warrant a boat.This conversation is making Noe impatient. -I've no need to explain myself to you.-And when you're done, she says carefully, we'll be taking this ship to the sea somehow?As usual, Noe's impatience fades quickly. -We'll not be going to the sea. The sea will be coming to us."In this brilliant debut novel, Noah's family (or Noe as he's called here)-his wife, sons, and daughters-in-law-tell what it's like to live with a man touched by God, while struggling against events that cannot be controlled or explained. When Noe orders his sons to build an ark, he can't tell them where the wood will come from. When he sends his daughters-in-law out to gather animals, he can offer no directions, money, or protection. And once the rain starts, they all realize that the true test of their faith is just beginning. Because the family is trapped on the ark with thousands of animals-with no experience feeding or caring for them, and no idea of when the waters will recede. What emerges is a family caught in the midst of an extraordinary Biblical event, with all the tension, humanity-even humor-that implies.MY OPINIONCAUTION: SPOILER ALERT and PG-13 LANGUAGE ALERTI got this book from Paperback Swap several months ago and kept putting off because (I told myself) I had better things to read. Then, I accidentally listed on bookmooch as up for grabs. A very nice person in Israel wrote to me asking for it, and then when I ignored her (yes, I was hoping it would go away - sue me), she wrote a very nice letter explaining how badly she wanted this book.So I scooped it up and thought I'd read it a little each night, and mail it to her within a week or so I expected it to be overly intellectual or to make fun of biblical stories or to simply be dull. Surprise.This book is fantastic. I finished it in about an hour and a half. I immediately regretted and didn't regret promising the book to the bookmooch person, and then I found it in overstock at Barnes & Noble for $4. So, yes, I'm buying her her own copy. David Maine's voice is rich and vivid and honest and - how do I say this - embodies the feminist idea that God equally values both genders. The feats of imagination do nothing to dilute the tradition of the biblical story of Noah nor to take away from the meaning it holds for people who accept that faith as their own.The chapters go back and forth between different characters (maybe Paolini took a note from Maine) without ever causing the reader to falter. Truly. The transitions are seamless, the plot intriguing, and then, all of the sudden, you're near the end of the book and you're crying. Well, maybe you're not crying, but.....I am. Oh shut up.The only downside to this story, I think, is there's a lot of "rutting" (a euphemism for "fucking") The reason I think that's a downside is that I think otherwise this would be a book that sophisticated middle-grade readers would enjoy, though it's obviously a book written for adults. It's one I highly recommend

  • Heidi
    2019-06-08 17:56

    Overall I thought this was pretty good. Not fantastic or perspective-changing, but it's an interesting take on the Noah story.What I liked: The quietness of the miracles, how things fell together so well but naturally, so the people involved didn't see it as a miracle until after the fact. I believe that most miracles are like that. God is fairly silent in this book, but the characters recognize his influence. I also liked that the family didn't know the big picture, didn't see themselves a pioneers or overly righteous. They just did what they were asked and tried to figure out what it all meant. What I didn't like: All the "rutting" (sex), and the brutality of it. Why is it that only the "strange" woman from the north actually enjoyed sex, and the rest were left to the whims of their husbands? The husbands didn't mean to be brutal, but didn't take much consideration of their wives' feelings. Maybe it's supposed to be more historically accurate, or maybe the author is trying to make a statement about patriarchal vs. matriarchal societies (women rule in the north), or Jews/Christians vs. pagans. But if we're going for historical accuracy, religious observance is pretty anachronistic. No sacrifices or requirements (other than random assignments given to Noah), just love God and talk to him? I also thought Japeth's transformation from lazy adolescent to mature adult was a bit abrupt, especially since the other brothers didn't change much.

  • Lori
    2019-06-03 20:02

    This was the third novel by Maine that I have read, and quite possibly my favorite. Told in turns by each of the characters in first person (except the chapters for Noe which were told in narration), we are introduced to a family who was chosen by God to survive the Flood. Following the family throughout the building of the ark, the gathering of the animals and their time on the boat...(cleaning the animal dung, telling stories, and watching day after day for a sign that the waters receeding)An interestingly modern telling of a biblical story. Maine gives each character depth and reason, showing us thier inner strengths as well as thier faults. Thier histories as well as thier present lives. I really enjoy reading Maines novels. The writing is effortless and flows just like the waters of the flood!

  • Mike
    2019-06-18 15:00

    There is a difference between "best" and "favorite". Sometimes your favorite is a first of something. Sometimes the best is the most thrilling. This is not the best novel, very much it is not. But it might be my favorite.The book portrays Noah (Noe) in what would be "realistic" (in the way he treats women, his children, as per the period). The biblical tones are certainly a part of the novel but historical and emotional bonds take the precedent.The book is written in chapters by different narrators, one of which is Mirn, a daughter-in-law of Noe. She is adorable and might be my favorite character of all time.Whether you do your rosaries every morning or don't know a kippah from a Kia, read this book! Even if David Maine might be nuts.

  • Paul Allor
    2019-06-05 14:05

    Generally, I'm not a fan of stories that "re-invent" Biblical tales. They usually seem to be pushing a social or political agenda, and even if it's an agenda I agree with, it still annoys me.But that's not what David Maine does. In this retelling of the Noah's Ark story, he lets Noah be Noah. Noah is very much the same man depicted in the Bible, and very much a product of his time. In other words, Maine stays true to the source material, but mines it for all the drama, pathos and humor that couldn't possibly be crammed into four short chapters of Genesis. The result is a great book, and a humdinger of a tale.

  • Amy
    2019-05-28 15:24

    The Old Testament tells us "Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God." David Maine allows the reader to journey with Noe (quotes and name spellings taken from a more recent printing of the 1609 Douay Bible) from the time of Yahweh's calling to the end of Noe's days.Though common depictions of Noe's ark are of happy animals, smiling side by side on the deck of a wooden ark, the reality of such conditions would undoubtedly be a horse of a different color (except those horses probably didn't make the sailing.) Maine has considered what building an ark, gathering the critters, lassoing the righteous ( in this case, Noe's family) into all the tasks at hand, and then the actual journey. Told through the eyes of Noe, his wife, and their sons and daughters-in-laws, it makes an interesting story, one to tell the grandkids for sure, as the sons often comment. There were some moments of poetic beauty for me in the turn of a small phrase, such as, "This part of the ship is as black as the Devil's laugh.' (p 135). There were others, peppered throughout the text, in between the grumbles and problem-solving of Noe et al, little golden nuggets of delight, in a tale that was generally very interesting. I really liked how the various personalities of all the family opened to the reader, and the roles Maine depicted for each. I tried to squelch my questions and concerns about everything from an angry god wiping out a world, to the genetic implications of all existing human life springing from the loins of Noe. But I do enjoy a good retelling of Biblical tales, fleshing out the words handed down over all these years, and adding a spin of practical realism and practical magic.My rating is really a 3.5 rather than a 3, but not quite a full 4.This book was wishlist fulfillment from a friend at Tor Books. Thank you, Paul!

  • Clinton
    2019-06-25 17:21

    This book was a pleasant surprise. I read a recommendation for it (actual,ly for another book by the author) off a day-by-day calendar, picked it up at the library two days later, and had finished it two days after that.Maine takes the story of Noah and the ark and fills in all the details. It's similar to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in that he's taking a story about which we know little and filling in all the empty bits: what were the people really like, what did the ark look like and how was it built, and where did all those animals really come from? My favorite sections were the ones exploring the daughters-in-law, who were dragged into this adventure in spite of how they felt, and their thoughts and feelings show them to be fully different characters. The book is a very quick read - about 250 pages, but I finished it in under 36 hours. I could easily see it being written as an epic, sweeping novel, but instead it is light and a relatively easy read. That's not to say it isn't serious; it is. But it's not overburdened or cumbersome.The book also does not step around the humanity of the characters. Even Noah is portrayed as flawed, despite the fact that God saw him as a righteous man. The people are concerned about sex, and their chidren, and food. It also portrays what I suspect is a reasonably accurate depiction of ancient life in the Middle East. I like this idea (similar to Wicked, I suppose) of taking a little event that everyone knows of and fleshing it out in a completely fictional way. The author has another book about Adam and Eve and a third about Samson. Those are now securely on my "to-read" list.

  • Matt
    2019-05-27 19:06

    I went to the library stacks to retrieve a Mailer book that was not there. 'Maine' is right next to 'Mailer'--and he grew up in Farmington, CT and the cover was cool (not the edition pictured here), so I took a shot. This is a funny, light, lighthearted look at the Noah's ark story. Pretty deftly executed, considering the scope of the event being depicted, he humanizes the Biblical characters and all that. To his credit: no animal viewpoint.

  • Renee
    2019-05-29 17:57

    When I first read the description of this book, I wasn't so sure I would like it, but once I started to read, I didn't want to stop- it was funny, I liked the different characters/points of view and even though I am not much into reading bible stories or books, I liked this one!

  • Marisa
    2019-06-11 19:12

    I really enjoyed this book. What made it especially great was that my book club got to communicate with the author and have him answer some of our questions.

  • Chris Lindsay
    2019-06-14 16:58

    Enjoyable audiobook with several notable audiobook narrators voicing each of the characters very well. Each chapter is from a character's point of view. The book has the ability of addressing many of the logical flaws and inconsistencies of the Flood story in interesting ways (how the animals are gathered, why do the carnivores not eat the smaller animals, how does the world flood so fast, what about the poop?, how does one family repopulate the world afterwards, etc.). Each of the characters are unique and realistically written - consistently going back and forth between blind faith and hardship-created doubts. ... The only drawback, which is of personal taste, was the dialogue of Noe's children. Although there were clever sayings that alluded to the era, such as exclaiming "Adam's Rib!" (as substitution for "Holy Shit!" or "Jesus Christ!"), it felt very contemporary. And it stood out when going back and forth amongst the characters. That may have helped contribute to the humor, but it didn't impact me that way. But all-together, it was a nice, fun read. Interesting characters and interactions, along with insight popping out in occasion. I definitely recommend the audiobook. The chapters are short, perfect for a long car trip or 15-20 minute commutes.

  • Shawn
    2019-05-28 18:56

    A few chapters in and this book is rater disturbing. I have learned Noe (Noah) and his family do a lot of rutting (i.e. have sex). Noe is well endowed. Noe doesn't know his wife's name. Noe is a few hundred years older than his teenage wife. Noe beats his wife. It is not an erotic sort of book, but simply listed as if all this rutting has anything to do with character development. Also, Noe doesn't seem to like his sons. Yet Noe is a righteous man? Perhaps later in the book we will learn what it is that recons him righteous. In addition, the book is mostly dialogue and the author doesn't use quotation marks or normal punctuation. It's like he doesn't want me to read this.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-06-02 21:22

    An interesting take on the story, and I think a rather feminist one. Interesting to speculate on the true role of Noah's unsung wife and daughters-in-law. However, since Maine is attempting to show what we think the true nature of marriage and sexual union was in beyond-Ancient times, the sex and treatment of women (actually girls) can be hard for modern readers to take. And then Noah is portrayed as such a jerk and a nut-job. ... I'm glad I read it (for my church book group), but didn't keep my copy.

  • Kristal Cooper
    2019-06-18 16:24

    A creative imagining of the life of Noah, his family and the quest to build, populate and oversee the Ark. I found the details to be fun, but wouldn't recommend it to just everyone because there's quite a bit of crude sexual content.

  • Diane Lynne
    2019-06-16 18:24

    I truly loved this book. I had no idea what I was going to read (deliberately didn't read any blurbs), and was pleasantly surprised at the subject matter. The book made me laugh out loud so many times. Noe's wife is the bomb. lol

  • David Long
    2019-06-07 20:21

    Fantastic summer read!

  • KimeyDiann
    2019-05-28 14:13

    2.5 Stars

  • Vicki Cline
    2019-06-01 13:55

    This is the story of Noah (spelled Noe in the book) and his family while they are building the ark, filling it, living on it, and starting the process of re-peopling the world. Each section is from the POV of the different characters. Those of the daughters-in-law were the most interesting to me because the Bible doesn't say much about them. The personality of each person comes through in the writing.

  • Thomas Holbrook
    2019-06-05 18:17

    When I found this book in a used book store in Chattanooga, I knew it was one I would read. The dust jacket is unique in that it does not cover the entire cover - a boat appears to be floating on the top edge of the jacket. This particular boat is revealed to be Noah’s ark, as he is the preservationist to whom the title refers. Seeing Noah as a preservationist is so obvious that I had not considered that of him as I had seen him as “only” a righteous man who obediently followed the commands given him by his God. Mr. Maine does not discount Noah’s faithfulness; rather his treatment of this story only deepens the truths revealed in this familiar Old Testament story. Told in three parts and from the points-of-view of the members of Noah’s family, this common story unfolds as if told for the first time. Mr. Maine uses a 1914 edition of the Douay Bible as his reference for spelling, seeing the names so acquainted with this story spelled in very unfamiliar manner helps to make the story “new.” Beginning shortly after Noah receives the command to build an ark, as there is an Earth destroying flood soon coming, the book is revealed in a steady, even pace, allowing the reader to experience more closely how this event had to have “occurred.” How Noah’s wife, sons and his daughters-in-law responded to this strange event is very human. Each is heard responding to their respective roles and are seen evolving as their world, literally, is remade. Noah’s wife, who is 540 years his junior, is seen as steady, faithful and hardworking but is never given a name in this story. Sem, the eldest son, is rock steady, mirrors his father’s following of Yahweh but seems to have little concept of a Self outside of his familial home. Cham, the second son, is the boat-builder and “prodigal,” who returns home because he is compelled to do so. Japheth, the youngest, whose response to the situation reflects his birth order and his age (about 15 when the rain starts). The daughters-in-law are put in charge of gathering the animals while the men build the ark. The faithful acts of these women are rewarded with profound success; this is remarkable in that their faith was in obedience to Noah’s direction, not necessarily to Noah’s God.The book addressed questions raised should one ever deeply ponder this story. The answers will satisfy some, enrage others but each incident is feasible. The ten months spent on a boat with the world’s largest (and first) animal menagerie and in constant, CLOSE, contact with everyone else on the vessel is seen to be as horrendous as imagined. Conversations about Yahweh’s destruction of a world he created are treated realistically – can Yahweh be trusted to care for Creation – Yahweh will always decide what is best – Yahweh will provide what is needed to complete what Yahweh commands – are all points of conversation somewhere in the years around the Flood. The concern parents have around how to raise children who will leave to become productive members of society while hoping the relationship will be strong enough for those children to return to visit their aged parents, not letting them die alone and forsaken is addressed in as personal way as possible. The question of "What will ‘the next generation’ do with the world when it is their turn to create it in line with their dreams?" is reduced to its barest answer within the pages of the book.Mr. Maine writes the book “as if” it is a historical event. This is not a theological treatise, a book of history, nor is it a sociological reflection yet each of those issues enfolded within this work. When reading it, the book becomes a moment of consideration for a world that is quickly becoming over crowded, underfed and increasingly intolerant of anyone who is seen to encroach upon one’s “space,” be that space real, religious or political. How will we find room enough to talk about the “place” we need but no longer have? Perhaps we are already aboard an Ark that will be afloat only as long as we can manage to keep it so.

  • foo4luv
    2019-06-27 20:07

    I picked up this book a few years ago because I thought it looked interesting. It wasn't until a couple of days ago that I really sat down and read it. This is a version of Noah's ark, as told by the people on board: Noe (Noah), his wife, their sons, and their daughters-in-law. The Bible gives us relatively little information about this particular event in history. Much of what the author writes is conjecture and literary license. There are certain questions that are never answered (such as how they kept the predatory animals from killing all other life on the ark), but the message I got was that none of us is privy to God's thoughts. We don't know what he's thinking or if he's behind every little thing that happens. We can recognize his benevolence in the miracles we see every day, but we cannot always know their true purpose or the reasoning behind them. Even Noe must come to terms with the fact that he will never be God's confidant. Noe can only serve as best he can, fallible human that he is. The stories I found most interesting were those of the characters who still questioned their faith amidst the miracles. Daughter-in-law Bera, suffering what can best be described as survivor's guilt, cannot "...stop the memories of those poor drowned unbelievers on that second morning, or the questions that circle in [her] mind like vultures: Why me, and not them? Why them, and not me? There is no answer, of course. There never is."Not all of the book is serious. There's a lot of humor, too. Noe's fevered hallucinations at one point are quite ridiculous, though there is a deeper meaning behind the craziness. At the risk of annoying people who prefer to avoid spoilers, I really liked the part when they gamble using the animals as currency.I found it interesting that all the chapters are written in first person except those which tell the story from Noe's point of view. I'm not sure why that is, but I suspect one reason is that he does not see himself as clearly as the others see themselves.I feel it important to point out that the book does not dispute Noe's role as a prophet. He is clearly in communication with God, though that communication is not constant. That fact is what leads Noe to search deeper within himself to recognize his true role as servant. "He feels something shift, something drop away from him. Not pride, exactly, but not exactly not-pride, either." He is frustrated and makes mistakes, but works past his doubts in his continual efforts to please his Lord.The Wife (Maine never gives her a name) is probably my favorite character. She stoically goes about her duties, but there's a sense of humor beneath all that pragmatism. She doesn't ask for much from life. She's learned not to expect it. "You can't hope for anything. Just accept what happens. You hope for things, you'll get'd best appreciate [good things] because there's no knowing when they'll come round again. But treat them as happy surprises is my point."I think I'll be reading this one again in a few years, though I won't add it to my again-again-again shelf until I finish it a second time. It would make a good book club selection.

  • Lesley
    2019-06-24 15:11

    It's odd how this tale is so firmly entrenched in the realm of childhood: those colorful wooden or plush Noah's Ark toy sets, Shel Silverstein's cheery "Unicorn" song, ("You've got your green alligators, and long necked geese...") and that church camp perennial, where Noah "built him and arky arky"and the animals went in by two-sies, two-sies...elephants and kangaroo-sies, roo-sies..." It's all so gosh darn...sweet.Yet this is far from a sweet story; it's the terrifying tale of a terrifying deity wreaking terrifying, genocidal carnage on a sinful world, although what the untold numbers of drowned humans have done to deserve their fate is never explained. Darren Aronofsky's blue gray horror movie version comes closer to the mood of the Bible story than Silverstein's sunny rhymes.Like Aronofsky, David Maine focuses on the human drama unfolding inside the ark. There is Noe, aging patriarch, fanatic, and possible crackpot; "The Wife" unnamed and (mostly) uncomplaining who is aware of much more than she lets on; their 3 sons, who range from servile to sullen; and most notably the 3 daughters-in-law, Bera, Ilya and Mirn. Each of these young women has a unique origin story and plays a significant role in the success of the mission; collecting the animals (what, you thought Noah did that?) figuring out how to safely store and feed them, and generally preventing disaster. (Mirn the youngest, referred to disparagingly as "an empty head and a lovely behind" is particularly adept at noticing crucial details that others ignore. "People never pay attention to the little things" , she muses; sadly she could be describing herself.) More than the men, they ponder the morality of a god who "loves destruction for its own sake. " and they remember and grieve the good things and people now lost.The men may not appreciate their wives as fully as they ought (although Noe displays some last minute tenderness towards The Wife, even remembering her first name), but there is no simpler, truer, expression of long married love than son Cham's reflection on his wife Ilya:"I thought I loved her then. When we married I was dead sure....But I realize now what I didn't know then: I'd no notion what love is....Love, strange as it may seem, is what you feel when you watch your wife emptying slop buckets she's collected from some demon-spawned lions and wolves and then tottering away for more, so skinny you can practically see the sun shining through her. . . . Knowing she'll keep doing it, no complaining because it needs to be done, and knowing you're willing to do the same — no, scratch that, you demand to be allowed to do the same, for her, with anything that keeps you from lightening the burden just an obstacle that's expendable. "And finally it is the wives who will keep the family, and the species going. As the 3 younger couples leave home to go forth and populate the earth, Mirn arranges to have each family mark its that the next generation can find each other when it is time to mate. Yahweh may be a male God of destruction, but the female instinct in Maine's telling will always be one of connection and rebirth.

  • Jason
    2019-06-13 19:13

    I think we all have the tendency to be biased about what we enjoy based on our personal likes and what we can identify with. I decided not rate this book based on how much it 'fit' into my experience, theology or personal taste.I imagine some religious folks might get upset at certain ‘irreverent’, or ‘inaccurate’ parts of this book (like how some ASOIAF readers were upset at the changes done in the Game of Thrones Season 2 adaptation). Whether it be scripture or canonical fiction, diehard fans are unhappy with interpolations and extrapolations, it can’t be avoided. On the other side of the coin, I imagine some who were burned by religion to be turned off from the start at the concept of biblical fiction. The Preservationist is a 4 out of 5 for me. I knew the bible story well but never reimagined it enough to put myself in the character’s shoes. A third of the way into this book I suddenly realized how fantastic and terrible the situation was, indeed, the story is a post-apocalyptic tale of God wiping out all life on the planet, save one family and a very large stinky, floating zoo. Any sane person can’t help but question God’s morality in this act, and it’s the question most of the characters struggle with in the aftermath. (Though the theological side of me questioned, “wasn’t the gene pool mostly corrupted because the population had become Nephilim, hence the reason for the flood?” I didn’t bother to dig deeper).Dave Maine does a terrific job at fully fleshing out the characters so that we identify with them as normal people. I enjoyed the humor throughout, and for the most part it's told in first person. Seeing the world through the eyes of the various characters, their frustrations, their humor, their values, how each individual viewed and interacted with their spouse, with members of the family and with Noe––each viewpoint added one to another. And I was particularly impressed by the characterization of all the women in this story. Very insightful and well crafted Dave! Bravo!

  • Adam
    2019-06-14 18:55

    Any attempt to novelize the story of Noah's ark is starting out on shaky ground, but I believe there are a few approaches that could have worked well. One would be to lean into the mythic nature of the story (in the way "The Lost Books of the Odyssey" did with its subject matter). Another would be to peel away all of those mythic elements and attempt a fully realistic story of a prehistoric catastrophe and its lone survivors. Maine tried to split the difference, and the result did not inspire me. I will give Maine some credit for expanding the roles of the women in the story, thus attempting to balance the paternalistic tone of Genesis. But in doing this, he lets the pendulum swing too far in the other direction, reducing the men to hard-headed, sex-obsessed dolts. Was that necessary?The use of language also falls flat. Maine attempts to build an ancient vocabulary almost entirely on replacing the epithet "fuck" with "rut" (I believe this is by far the most frequently used verb in the entire novel.) Meanwhile, secondary characters use the term "hors d'oeuvres," and there is an incident of phonetic misunderstanding between "leper" and "leopard," which I doubt closely resemble each other in any language other than modern English (though if I'm wrong about that, I wouldn't mind being enlightened).It should have been easy enough to leave the story's place in history vague, but Maine instead chose to include Phoenician mariners and what appears to be a Christian view of Hell. The book offers multiple viewpoints about the "why" of the flood, but none of them are new or groundbreaking, and the book does not settle on any of them. So ultimately, nothing is added to any philosophical or intellectual examination of the story. Altogether, this is not good for much other than a light read. Don't bother thinking about it, or you're likely to be disappointed.

  • Tintinrulz
    2019-06-09 16:00

    "The Preservationist" or "The Flood" as it's called in the UK and Australia, by David Maine, is an unusual retelling of the biblical story of Noah and the Great Flood. It's part literary piece, part colloquial retelling and part family drama. The book is divided into three sections - times prior to the Flood, on board the ark and life after the Flood. Some elements are true to the Bible but it does take liberties with the Genesis account. In this way the book is both more and less true to the Bible than the recent "Noah" movie. Interestingly, while the novel is only 250 or so pages long, the story is told from eight different perspectives - those of Noe, his wife (she's not given a name), Sem, Cham, Japheth and their three wives (given names). Noe's perspective is told in third person, while the rest use first person point-of-view. This is a little distracting and awkward but the many different perspectives allow for a well-rounded understanding of the family and their joys and struggles. Unfortunately the story is stretched rather thinly. The story is fairly realistic much of the time but it's not without humour and the weirdness life sometimes brings. This story shows great respect for God and other times seems to disrespect him. Noe and his family are depicted as flawed human beings, some of them too flawed for words. This book won't fully please the biblical creationist, nor the old-earthers and certainly not the theistic evolutionists - it straddles the first two worldviews. I was frustrated with some details concerning the ark etc, as Maine could have easily fixed them by reading the original text, but in other places I enjoyed the great attention to detail. Finally, there were some missed opportunities where the author could have dreamed bigger.Overall, "The Flood" is a good, but not great read.7/10

  • Daniel
    2019-06-19 22:08

    I picked this up as a recommended "alternative" to the Noah movie, as apparently it was more accurate and had humor. And it was on sale.At points, The Preservationist was a really good novelization of the story of Noah. Giving each person a character worked mostly well, showing imperfections and strengths to each member of Noah's family. However, I didn't like the crazy-fevered-vision-righteousness!-compassionless version of Noah ("Noe" in the book).This book is also crude--much moreso than I expected. The portrayal of the utterly corrupted world was accurate, but I didn't want to know explicit details, particularly among Noah's family. It would've been an easy R-rating for a movie. Of course, the point could be made that the Bible is sometimes explicit; however, the Bible doesn't linger in it like The Preservationist does.I finished the book with an uneasy feeling in my stomach. The book seemed irreverent toward my faith--though I couldn't always tell. At times it showed very human emotions, which was good. Hope and crippling doubt are both on display. One scene I really liked had a mother, children, and a scorpion, providing some hint into God's own reasoning for sending the flood. Most other times things just seemed... off. That's not something that will matter to many, but it matters to me.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-27 16:19

    I’m always a bit nervous when I read a novelization of a Bible story. Generally speaking, most authors have their own agenda, such as trying to explain away God, or make the people in the story into paragons of sexual energy or desire – which they weren’t. They were simply normal people for their time. This book was nice in it’s perspective, however. Maine doesn’t question the involvement of God in Noah’s life, it’s never looked at as something odd but by people who are already questioning other things about the man. And it addresses the struggles the family of Noah would have had to go through that we don’t consider; such as how terrifying it would be to live on the ark during the storms, with hundreds of predators and a limited food quantity. How bad it would smell, and how dark it would get. And the thought of God’s destructive power hovering in your mind when you realize that everyone you’ve ever met that isn’t part of your family is dead, drowned. Noah’s daughters-in-law lost their entire biological families. And this novel follows as they question, obey, suffer, and are cursed and rewarded in their own paths.

  • James
    2019-06-05 18:19

    The Preservationist is Mr. Main's first book, may he be blessed with many more. I experienced this title via audio book, which made for wonderfully rich experience. It is based on a story we all know well, most of us from our childhood: Noah's Ark. In this audio format there are different narrators for each significant character. There's Noah, or Noe, as he's called here. Then there's Noah's wife, each of his sons, and the sons' wives. Each character is given a specific task, such as gathering the animals, obtaining building materials for the ark. The interesting thing is, having been given these tasks they are not given a clue how to go about doing them. That's what the book is an on-going account of how the tasks are accomplished, and told in the voice of whoever is assigned the task. The story holds true to the Biblical account, but with a whimsical variation that makes this book such a wonderfully humorous tale. There's no danger in giving away too much of the story line, since we already know it. I was very satisfied with this work.