samson“And from this I learned a valuable lesson: that it takes only a modest amount of disruption to create an inordinate amount of mayhem.  It’s not necessary to wreak all the destruction yourself.  Just begin with a fair amount and man’s stupidity and selfishness will do the rest.” – p 86

Maine has chosen another Biblical character to put his own twist on – this time the Philistine-killer Samson.  In this version of the Biblical story, Samson’s birth is prophesied by an angel, he is able to talk to animals and stones, and descends into an overpowering rage whenever the Spirit of the Lord comes over him.  From the very get-go, Samson tells us that his story is not a happy one, that he makes stupid mistakes and allows his pride to get the best of him at times.  Maine does a fantastic job making this story not just depressing though, with titles on the chapters such as “what I did next,” “what the Philistines did next,” and “you will be forgiven at this point for thinking I’m really very stupid.”   Despite his tendency to rip out people’s throats, snap their necks, and set them on fire, Samson is a likeable man.  You almost feel sorry for him sometimes as he fights against the inevitable ending you know is coming (at least, if you’ve read the story of Samson before).
“I’ve noticed in my life that the less substance a man carries inside the more he will try to create on the outside to make up for it and so will wear ever finer clothes and live in ever grander mansions and buy his wife ever more expensive jewels and then he will talk about these things to ensure that you don’t overlook them and he will mention often what they cost.” – p 196

This is the second of Maine’s books I’ve read (he only has three out so far, I think) and I’m still not quite sure what to make of him.  He does a great job of introducing me to facets of Biblical stories I never considered before – such as how Samson’s parents would react to his violence, or the fact that people would probably consider him a serial killer.  But he also adds things in which are necessary to his story, but very unlikely to be a part of the true story, such as Samson being able to talk to animals and to communicate with stone.  I like that these stories add a richer depth to Biblical accounts I’ve heard many, many times but I’m still not sure how to take the way they treat them in an almost fairytale manner at times.  I’m tentatively excited to read the third Maine book – Fallen.
“The Story of Samson” was written by David Maine and published in 2007.
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