‘An Ark, a flood and a man called Noah’

noah-movie-posterMost Sunday mornings I listen to ‘Sunday’ on BBC Radio 4.  I’m not religious, but this programme which features the religious and ethical news of the week, presented by the lovely-voiced Edward Stourton is always fascinating.  This week, they talked about Russell Crowe’s new film ‘Noah’. Ed asked the reviewer how the film compared to the bible. She replied – they share three things – ‘An ark, a flood and a man called Noah.‘ – I fell about laughing.  I’m sorry, I can’t remember the lady’s name.  After seeing the trailer the other week, I have no desire whatsoever to see the film at the cinema, however epic they make it!

But I did go straight to my bookcase, and found a gem that I’ve obviously been saving for the occasion … The Flood by David Maine, pub back in 2004.  I want to share the first paragraph with you, because I think this book is going to be an absolute hoot:

floodNoe glances toward the heavens, something he does a lot these days. Scanning for clouds. None visible amid the stars, so he finishes urinating, shakes himself dry and makes his way back to the house. Inside, the wife pokes desultorily at a pot of stew hanging over a fire. It is late for supper: the others have eaten already and retired to the sleeping room. Noe squats against one of the rough lime-washed walls and points at a terracotta bowl. He’s roughly six hundred years old: words are unnecessary.

Noe goes on to tell his wife about his vision.  When she asks how they’ll be taking this ship to the sea. Noe replies, “We’ll not be going to the sea. The sea will be coming to us.” She pauses, and quietly accepts things, and carries on.

Love that cover. The new edition, coincidentally published this week, is sadly rather more obvious and a cash-in on the look of the film.  (BTW, this book was originally called ‘The Preservationist’ in the US). I should be reading other things, but you gotta go with your whims sometimes…



11 thoughts on “‘An Ark, a flood and a man called Noah’

  1. I can’t remember where I read it but someone reviewing the film said it lasted 2hrs and 20mins or just possibly forty days and forty nights, which I think said everything you might want to know about it. If you want a really good retelling of the story you might try the version for children by Dick King-Smith, ‘Noah’s Brother’. You’ll never see Noah in quite the same light again.

  2. I am very “tight” with my theater trip choices because of ticket prices and timing. But, I too am hesitant about “Noah”. I have desire to see it…but that rental from the library sort of desire:P I’d hate to watch it alone or not at least know someone I can contact to compare notes with. I am also not sure I will…in fact, I’m fairly certain I won’t…approve all the modern additions the film makers made. I think Emma Watson is lovely and growing up nicely…but adding “women” to yet another abbreviated story-turned-larger epic these days doesn’t entice me much. Just as I am not sure I will like the new Spider-Man movie if they use a robotic Rhino instead of a guy injected with super soldier formula in some kind of skin-tight rubber armor suit.

    That paragraph about Noe seems poorly edited/written.

    I also don’t know what to think of folks who are not religious but okay with delving into various incarnations of religious folk tales. I guess if you can relate the Bible to Chinese myths, perhaps,…eh.

    • I’ll disagree with you on the writing in the quote – it’s whimsical and I loved it – and am really enjoying the book. Although my daughter is a huge fan of Emma Watson, she doesn’t want to go and see Noah either. I’m perfectly happy with treating the Old Testament as religious folk tales… As a small kid – I read two kinds of book repeatedly – fairy tales, and my Hamlyn Children’s Bible.

        • It’s a very British thing. I was brought up in the Church of England which is very unpushy in general, so unless you migrate to one of the more pushy branches, you tend to drop out of being a Christian as I did. Now, I’m skeptical and need proof, so I struggle to equate God with science, the Big Bang, evolution, and especially all the wacky and bad things that are done in his/her name.

          • Ah, so you come from the county of my least favorite excuse for a Catholic high school where it’s okay to lay on a floor and put your feet up during mass. Hmm.

            I don’t think I was PUSHED into being religious though we did have regular masses and religious classes in school. When I was the only one taking my religion seriously in high school, I became a little irate. I could have joined my classmates and blown it all off. But, I didn’t. I’m not preachy…but I get a lil peeved when I run into some “religiously lazy” folks. I don’t know which is worse. People who talk about religious folks like cancer spreaders…or people who ARE of a faith and pull dirty stunts. Both get my dander up.

            Heck, even I am skeptical. But, there’s a thing called faith. And, I’ve had near death experiences which have sustained that faith…even if humans fail me. I believe in “angels”.

            As for all the evils in God’s big plan, I believe that’s part of the stuff we have yet to understand. Adam and Eve broke the boundaries by eating the apple of (science). And, still, we humans do such stupid things to each other and our world. I think free will plays a big part. And, natural disasters are heavenly punishment similar to that story of Babel or Pompeii or any ancient city in nature’s war path. Sometimes, good people get in the way of the chaos brought upon by evildoers.

  3. Pingback: Thoughtful and funny – that’s this Noah (No, not that Noah!) | Annabel's House of Books

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