A Movie about Noah and the Ark--and Books, Too

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library - Central Library

A Movie about Noah and the Ark--and Books, Too

Featured Movie Tuesday July 29 at 6 p.m. in A-5

noahThink you know all about the story of Noah and how he built an ark?  There's more to it all than you might think.  The movie will let you imagine the saga we all think we know, in graphic detail, with some additions that you may decide add to the account--or not. Some praised the movie as an exciting take on the story, that could provoke good discussions on its meaning; others disliked the violence, and the departures from the original story, too.  Russell Crowe says it was physically tougher than Gladiator to make.  

The special effects seem to get good marks from all sides.  Come and see it--decide for yourself!

There is also a new book that will let you in on how we came to have the story in the first place, and the people, places and, yes, for the skeptics, even the history behind it all, The Ark Before Noah, by Irving Finkel.  Dr. Finkel, a curator at the British Museum, is a world authority on ancient Mesopotamia.  In 2009, a previously unknown cuneiform tablet with a new  Babylonian version of the story of the ark, was brought to the Museum.  This started Finkel on years of research and detective work, which he recounts in a 
book that is much more interesting than I expected.  He is that rare scholar who can write excitingly about his work, and grab your attention even with the details of the development of an alphabet as foreign to us as cuneiform. Much more important, his work provides intriguing insights as to the relationship of the Babylonian stories to the later accounts in the Bible, which he notes added "a fresh and independent moral quality" to the tales from Babylon.

To explore the story from another angle, there is a new book for young people about a stowaway on the ark, titled Storm, by Donna Jo Napoli. Sebah is a 16 year old survivor of the floods, who encounters the ark and 
scrambles aboard from her raft,  hiding out among the animals. One reviewer described it as historical fiction by a gifted writer, another as a sort of midrash on the story, respectful of the original, but a very different perspective.  These are just two of the books you can find in the library; there are many more--scholarly analysis, storybooks for toddlers, novels for teens and adults--too many to name here.