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The Book of Samson Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 31, 2006

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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (October 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312353391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312353391
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,681,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In two previous novels, Maine showcased a great gift for fleshing out the lives of biblical characters (Noah and his relations in The Preservationist; Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel in Fallen). He returns to the Bible for this wildly pleasurable first-person account of the life of Samson, the Israelite judge remembered for his voluminous hair, Herculean strength and ill-advised relationship with Delilah. Samson delivers his monologue from the Philistine temple of Dagon where, shorn and shackled and awaiting execution, he reflects upon a life of "frustration and pain plus a fair bit of sex and lots of killing and broken bones." Hatred of the Philistines is the narrative's central theme, and Samson delights in recalling his violent exploits. Though he is a brute and a blowhard, he's also hilariously plainspoken and not above ruefully admitting his shortcomings, chief among them his weakness for "a pretty face or the swelling of a woman's backside." Which brings us to Delilah. Though the outcome of their doomed tryst will surprise no one, Maine keeps the story captivating, a result of the sensationally entertaining voice he's dialed into. The combination of archaic language and setting with modern sensibilities again demonstrates Maine's talent for making the familiar intriguing. (Nov.)
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From Booklist

We all know the story of mighty Samson and seductive Delilah and how she cut his hair, robbing him of his strength and allowing his enemies to capture him, and how he pulls down the pagan temple. But there's so much more to the Old Testament story. Maine, in his third biblical retelling, uses it all, putting his masterful spin on the details. While chained to the pillars of the temple waiting to die, Samson tells the story of his life, from his miraculous birth, to his revenge against his Philistine bride's village, killing 3,000 with the jawbone of an ass, and finally his disastrous affair with Delilah. He did it all with God's incredible strength flowing through him. For Samson, the Philistines are God's enemy usurping the Promised Land, whereas the Philistines, according to the temple priest who taunts him, are happy to coexist. As Samson says, this is not a happy story, but it is one that will resonate with today's headlines and leave the reader thinking. Elizabeth Dickie
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
After the brilliance of "The Preservationist," I was mildly disappointed with David Maine's follow-up, "Fallen." Both books succeeded in making ancient stories breathe with vitality and even a certain modern sensibility, but "Fallen" felt less fresh, more forced. So I opened up "The Book of Samson" wondering what to expect?

This third tale in Maine's biblical repertoire is everything I hoped. And more. Not only does the story of Samson and Delilah (spelled Dalila, in the book) come alive, it reads like a thriller. Racing from scenes of Samson's momentous birth to his in a Dagon temple, this book gives new insight into a well-worn tale. It answers questions of logic, it explores questions of faith, and it leaves open-ended its interpretation of these issues as they relate to modern conflicts between Palestinians and Jews. Perhaps the most impressive element is Maine's ability to give Samson his own voice, a distinctly different one from that in Maine's previous books. When he utters his final sentence in the wonderfully rendered finale, you believe his every word.

With this glittering, yet gritty, example of characterization and narrative, David Maine vaults high up my list of authors to follow with fervor in the coming years. He writes with reverence for his source material, while never thinking too highly of his subjects--men and women, just like me or you. They sweat, they curse, they occasionally do great things.

"The Book of Samson" ranks easily in my Top Five for 2006.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DieHard on July 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read this book without ever hearing anything about the author or the book so I was totally in the dark, having only the book jacket to clue me in. I was pleasantly surprised and laughed through the entire (short) book. The story is not biblically and maybe not historically accurate but Maine never claims it to be. It is irreverant and sometimes graphic, but never disrespectful. Some conservative Christians may take issue with Maine's take on the story of Samson, but this one found it endearing, entertaining, and hilarious. I'm now reading The Preservationist.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Del Sesto on November 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I discovered David Maine only a few short months ago, and have devoured all three of his novels in that time. I absolutely love his works, and will eagerly await his next novel.

Samson is a fascinating character, complex and real. The story fast paced and interesting.

Maine uses humor and humanity in all his books, and as a result takes these familiar scenes and implants them in our minds in a whole new way.
His playfulness with language is wonderful, though at times I found the odd punctuation distracting.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Seth H. Hock on May 31, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I loved David Maines 2 prior books, so of course I had to get the book of samson. After reading the reviews here I wasnt sure how good it was going to be. But after reading it myself Id say its definitly worth reading. Sure there are some parts that may not be 100% correct or even far feched...but its a novel...your allowed to make stuff up. Although each book has been great in its own way. I still hold the preservastionest to be my favorite. And I would encourge anyone to start with that book. But they are all great.
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