R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis

Published January 11, 2010 by Molly

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Robert Crumb is possibly the only person could take a segment of text that has been translated into *literally* every language and somehow make it fresh. His version of the The Book of Genesis takes its text straight from the King James Version of the Bible and presents it, in Crumb’s words, as “a straight illustration job” with no liberties taken. Thus we get Adam and Eve, Sodom and Gomorrah, Cain and Abel and the rest of the stories covered in the first fifty chapters of the Bible, all fleshed out in classic Crumb form. There are brawny babes, hairy dudes, a wild-eyed God and many excellent depictions of lust, fury, temptation and agony.

Two things makes themselves clear upon paging through the book. One: the subject is perfectly matched to Crumb, whose signature has long been a fascination with both the fiery and foolish elements of human behavior. Two: these are stories that everyone should know, not necessarily as elements of a religious instruction but as damn good yarns in their own right. Like gummy vitamins, Crumb’s Book of Genesis is a delicious way to stuff yourself with vital nutrients.

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