cover image In the Beginning: Illustrated Stories from the Old Testament

In the Beginning: Illustrated Stories from the Old Testament

Serge Bloch and Frederic Boyer, trans. from the French by Cole Swensen. Chronicle, $40 (511p) ISBN 978-1-4521-6593-6

Boyer, a religion scholar and poet, teams with artist Bloch in this scriptural tour de force. Boyer sets 35 biblical tales in a wry, trenchant, postmodern landscape using language that captures the power of the ancient Hebrew while utilizing contemporary expressions and deep wit to make the stories (and his assessments of them) accessible to a wide range of readers. “The Tower of Babel” is described as “the tale of totalitarian folly... in which we learn the consequences of the entire world deciding to live together in a single tower and to speak a single language in a single voice.” And “Tobit (or Hope Is a Novel)” is the story “in which a young man, an angel, and a small dog determine the destiny of old Tobit... and we learn that the only real debt that we have to collect is that of hope.” Accompanying these playful translations are Bloch’s entrancing illustrations—imagine Paul Klee rendering the Bible in line drawings for children with the explosive joy and color of Jill Calder. Intelligent and challenging in word and art, Boyer and Bloch convey universal Biblical stories of love, death, freedom, and responsibility with a delightful, alluring innocence for all ages. [em](Oct.) [/em]