Hot Best Seller

Let There Be Light

Availability: Ready to download

A bold retelling of the Book of Genesis, starring a female God, from the acclaimed New Yorker cartoonist and author of Passing for Human In this ambitious and transcendent graphic novel, Liana Finck turns her keen eye to none other than the Old Testament, reimagining the story of Genesis with God as a woman, Abraham as a resident of New York City, and Rebekah as a robot, a A bold retelling of the Book of Genesis, starring a female God, from the acclaimed New Yorker cartoonist and author of Passing for Human In this ambitious and transcendent graphic novel, Liana Finck turns her keen eye to none other than the Old Testament, reimagining the story of Genesis with God as a woman, Abraham as a resident of New York City, and Rebekah as a robot, among many other delightful twists. In Finck's retelling, the millennia-old stories of Adam and Eve, Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob and Esau haunt the pages like familiar but partially forgotten nursery rhymes―transmuted by time but still deeply resonant. With her trademark insightfulness, wry humor, and supple, moving visual style, Finck accentuates the latent sweetness and timeless wisdom of the original text, infusing it with wit and whimsy while retaining every ounce of its spiritual heft. Let There Be Light is proof that old stories can live forever, whether as ancient scripture or as a series of profound and enchanting cartoons. The Book of Genesis is about some of the most fundamental, eternally pertinent questions that we can ask: What does it mean to be human? What is the purpose of our lives? And how should we treat one another? The stories that attempt to answer these questions are an immediate link with the people who first told them. Unable to fathom the holiness and preciousness of that notion, or put it into words, Finck set out to depict it. The result is a true story of creation, rendered by one of our most innovative creators.


Compare

A bold retelling of the Book of Genesis, starring a female God, from the acclaimed New Yorker cartoonist and author of Passing for Human In this ambitious and transcendent graphic novel, Liana Finck turns her keen eye to none other than the Old Testament, reimagining the story of Genesis with God as a woman, Abraham as a resident of New York City, and Rebekah as a robot, a A bold retelling of the Book of Genesis, starring a female God, from the acclaimed New Yorker cartoonist and author of Passing for Human In this ambitious and transcendent graphic novel, Liana Finck turns her keen eye to none other than the Old Testament, reimagining the story of Genesis with God as a woman, Abraham as a resident of New York City, and Rebekah as a robot, among many other delightful twists. In Finck's retelling, the millennia-old stories of Adam and Eve, Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob and Esau haunt the pages like familiar but partially forgotten nursery rhymes―transmuted by time but still deeply resonant. With her trademark insightfulness, wry humor, and supple, moving visual style, Finck accentuates the latent sweetness and timeless wisdom of the original text, infusing it with wit and whimsy while retaining every ounce of its spiritual heft. Let There Be Light is proof that old stories can live forever, whether as ancient scripture or as a series of profound and enchanting cartoons. The Book of Genesis is about some of the most fundamental, eternally pertinent questions that we can ask: What does it mean to be human? What is the purpose of our lives? And how should we treat one another? The stories that attempt to answer these questions are an immediate link with the people who first told them. Unable to fathom the holiness and preciousness of that notion, or put it into words, Finck set out to depict it. The result is a true story of creation, rendered by one of our most innovative creators.

30 review for Let There Be Light

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    I read Liana Finck's Passing for Human and am familiar with her work in The New Yorker, so picked this up the other day, in part because my eyes focused on the attractive cover. This book is a more than 300-page adaptation of the Book of Genesis with God as a woman (which is of course not an original idea, but it's well done here, both humorous and insightful). Finck is respectful of the "original" that she read as the first book of the Torah, so her version is both whimsical and thought-provoki I read Liana Finck's Passing for Human and am familiar with her work in The New Yorker, so picked this up the other day, in part because my eyes focused on the attractive cover. This book is a more than 300-page adaptation of the Book of Genesis with God as a woman (which is of course not an original idea, but it's well done here, both humorous and insightful). Finck is respectful of the "original" that she read as the first book of the Torah, so her version is both whimsical and thought-provoking on this book's tales of Earth's and humankind's beginnings, our difference from other animals, and all the familiar stories in it. It's a longish book, and way complicated, just as any translation of Genesis must be. I own Robert Crumb's The Book of Genesis, which includes every single word from the King James version of the Bible. Fundamentalists say every single word is literally true, and better to read than any other books on the planet, and it is a good collection of sometimes didactic, sometimes bizarre, but nevertheless interesting and instructive tales. Crumb was in part responding to the humorous assertion from some Christians who want to censor all sorts of books for excessive sex and violence and crazy flights of fancy. Read the Holy Bible! That's the one! Sure, read Genesis to your children, go ahead, and see if you can take this pastiche from different texts that is Genesis and make it into a sweet and straightforward tale. Whoa! Talk about sex and violence! However, Finck does not get all graphic here about either the sex or the violence. She makes it clear that women are ignored or abused through the book, but seeing it all through the lens of God-as-Woman makes it for her more palatable and relatable. Finck says in her afterword that she hopes her book gives people the encouragement to develop for themselves a relatable version of God. Is this what when I grew up they called "relativism," as in make-the-Bible-say-whatever-it-is-you-want-it-to-say so you can justify your own behavior? No, Linck just thinks you can't believe in a God you can't relate to. The "begats" are always a challenge in these early books. So much begatting! And the men seem to begat men, since there is no mention of women (so the illustration of men giving birth out of different parts of their bodies is amusing). So do you like reading about Noah and God's angry destruction of all the humans on the planet (except Noah and his wife) and most of the animals as punishment? Yeah, okay, you can have that story and make a picture book out of it (as people have!). But what about Noah's wife?! And the men in this book such as Noah who live to 950 years old?! Literally true? Old math vs new math? But hey, I want to find out the name of Noah's personal trainer! In the end, Finck both 1) doesn't encourage you to take all of Genesis as literally true, though 2) it gives a fairly standard rendition of the core of the book, seen through a (softly, respectfully) feminist lens. The art is wonderfully light and colorful and engaging. One of the best comics works of the year.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    A wonderfully inventive retelling of the book of Genesis by New Yorker cartoonist Liana Finck.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ingrid Stephens

    This graphic novel is a reimagined take on the Old Testament with God as a woman. (God has always been a woman to me so I see this more as a correction of the Old Testament than a reimagining...) Finck starts at the very beginning, the creation of the heavens and earth. Seems God created the universe and earth because she was bored. Sounds about right. And man was created because she was lonely, and the creatures she had already made did not look or think as she did. God gave the first man, Adam, This graphic novel is a reimagined take on the Old Testament with God as a woman. (God has always been a woman to me so I see this more as a correction of the Old Testament than a reimagining...) Finck starts at the very beginning, the creation of the heavens and earth. Seems God created the universe and earth because she was bored. Sounds about right. And man was created because she was lonely, and the creatures she had already made did not look or think as she did. God gave the first man, Adam, the job of choosing the names for her creations, and like most men he took this way too seriously and decided that God was an old, bearded, angry man. Why God didn't set him straight right off the bat is still lost on me, but it seems she wanted her pet to be happy, and if that made him happy she would ignore the mistake. The only creature that refused to allow Adam to give it a name was Lilith, his first wife. She refused to allow him to call her woman, and when God made a second woman, Eve, Lilith wanted her to understand who and what God was. This was why she gave her the apple from the tree of knowledge. This was one of the most poignant illustrations for me. As Eve bit the apple, every fear, uncertainty, self-loathing, flowed into her as well as the knowledge of what these things meant. God had told them not to touch this tree to protect them from these feelings and to know nothing but contentment. Liana Finck shows a wonderful sense of ironic and insightful humor. More than once I either chuckled or laughed out loud, something I never did while reading the Bible as a child or an adult. I really loved this. If I had kids I would use it as a way to tell them the stories of the Old Testament in a way they could not only relate to but understand. When I was young I found the first book of the Bible frightening, as an adult I list it as one of the greatest horror books ever written. Such violence, betrayal, killings, slavery, revenge, and loss was and still are amazing to me as a basis for proving we were created by a loving being. Highly recommended even if you are not the religious sort, no matter what religion you practice. It is a story that has been passed down for centuries, and these stories should never be lost. The expected publishing date for Let There be Light is April 12, 2022. Thanks to @Netgalley, Randon House Publishing, and Liana Finck for the opportunity to read this eArc in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stevie

    This was a pretty straightforward retelling of Genesis. God is depicted as a woman, which isn't particularly bold, as there is Biblical precedent for that. The art style isn't what I am normally drawn to. Overall, this was fine. I probably would have skipped this one if the publisher hadn't reached out. This was a pretty straightforward retelling of Genesis. God is depicted as a woman, which isn't particularly bold, as there is Biblical precedent for that. The art style isn't what I am normally drawn to. Overall, this was fine. I probably would have skipped this one if the publisher hadn't reached out.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vivek Tejuja

    Let me just say this right at the outset: I love this graphic novel. This wonderfully smart and highly inventive reimagining of the Book of Genesis by Finck is a graphic novel for the ages. God is imperfect in Finck’s retelling. God is moody. God is neurotic. God is a woman, and God exists. Let There Be Light is so much more than a retelling. It shatters so many myths, constantly rethinking stories and filing the gaps in the fables as it goes along, giving it a spin of its own, saying and depict Let me just say this right at the outset: I love this graphic novel. This wonderfully smart and highly inventive reimagining of the Book of Genesis by Finck is a graphic novel for the ages. God is imperfect in Finck’s retelling. God is moody. God is neurotic. God is a woman, and God exists. Let There Be Light is so much more than a retelling. It shatters so many myths, constantly rethinking stories and filing the gaps in the fables as it goes along, giving it a spin of its own, saying and depicting what it has to, seeped in its own philosophy of life, death, and including art. Finck’s God is funny, adorable, wants to and does her own thing, carries a wand (well like witches do, isn’t it?), feels bad about herself and also the world as incidents happen, prone to self-doubts, and overall is a God that is also prone to punishing and providing hints to her people about what’s to come. The art is minimalistic–in panels of black and white, sometimes spouting colour in-between, making very relevant points. This God also keeps on creating – nothing impresses her, and nothing will. The plot also jumps blending The Book of Genesis to present-time in a very interesting and fun manner. Finck also introduces us to Lilith – the first wife of Adam, as being the snake in the Garden of Eden – a monster. She makes Adam believe that she is a he – an old man with a beard and thus then creates Eve, the woman. There is so much going on in this graphic novel – the Cain and Abel story, the story of their children and more, about how God doesn’t want to be seen at all, she doesn’t want to reveal herself, the tower of Babel and the story of language, and how God outshines in the first couple of chapters, only to become invisible in the rest. The beauty of Finck as an artist is that she doesn’t provide explanations at every panel nor does she believe in giving the reader a template to follow. Her art is playful, sad, and all over the place just as it should be in the creation of life on earth and what came next. Finck is a marvellous artist and a very engaging storyteller, constantly making the reader turn the page, and go back to start all over again. A must-read!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Taryn Palmisano

    Liana Finck’s Let There Be Light is very much like her personal work you’d find on her Instagram. Even without her signature drawing style you’d know this is hers. This graphic novel is a reimagining of Genesis, with God as a woman and through Liana’s comical, morbid (in only the best of ways) lens. It is a very straightforward retelling, in that it is familiar, however with Liana’s spark it is also something quite new and strange. There is an art to taking something common or known and pointing Liana Finck’s Let There Be Light is very much like her personal work you’d find on her Instagram. Even without her signature drawing style you’d know this is hers. This graphic novel is a reimagining of Genesis, with God as a woman and through Liana’s comical, morbid (in only the best of ways) lens. It is a very straightforward retelling, in that it is familiar, however with Liana’s spark it is also something quite new and strange. There is an art to taking something common or known and pointing out the absurdity of it. Fink has that quality in spades. I would recommend this to those that have enjoyed David Byrne’s Arboretum, and The Adventuress, or The Three Incestuous Sisters by Audrey Niffenegger. All four have this same tongue in cheek, macabre story telling with magical and/or religious run-ins.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sasha Rogelberg

    Ariana did god is a woman first but that's ok Ariana did god is a woman first but that's ok

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Bergstrom de Leon

    A title will often speak to me and particularly titles recommended by a friend and nothing will speak to this preacher’s heart more quickly than a title with biblical language. So, when my colleague suggested I read, “Let There Be Light: The Real Story of Her Creation” by Liana Finck, it was an inevitable read. Finck takes much of Genesis and offers the stories of creation, family dramas, intrigue and heartbreak through a new form and perspective. She breaks the stories from creation through Jose A title will often speak to me and particularly titles recommended by a friend and nothing will speak to this preacher’s heart more quickly than a title with biblical language. So, when my colleague suggested I read, “Let There Be Light: The Real Story of Her Creation” by Liana Finck, it was an inevitable read. Finck takes much of Genesis and offers the stories of creation, family dramas, intrigue and heartbreak through a new form and perspective. She breaks the stories from creation through Joseph and divides them into three sections: Past, Present and Future. Each section offers the reader a fresh perspective on these well known (mostly) stories from the Pentateuch which three of the major world religions share. I loved Finck’s characterization of God and her work to create and be in relationship with that creation. It felt honest and authentic to the original texts, drawing out God’s shifts, changes and extreme emotions in some cases as well. Finck doesn’t shy away from, but leans into the more bizarre and perplexing stories from Genesis, such as Cain and Abel, Noah’s sons, Nimrod and others. I appreciate Finck’s courage to take on these stories and share them in a unique form. I did not enjoy the form as much as I thought I would. Finck’s illustrations in this graphic novel, though beautiful, are simply not to my taste and her interpretation for the stories in the Present and Future sections left me perplexed. Though this form was not something I fully enjoyed, I am glad to have read this graphic novel and seen such care in the characterization of feminization of God. I am a firm believer that to have a fuller understanding of God, we have to allow her/him/they to present in a variety of forms. For this reason I recommend the book to both the faithful and those who do not ascribe to any faith. Want more book content? Follow me at thebookwar.com

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette Porcello

    my first time reading a graphic novel like this - really cool & liberal retelling of the old testament. so glad stuff like this is out there :)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Spectacular. I read it in one sitting. Imaginative and inspiring - Liana breathes childlike life into a book that is continually being suffocated.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lorri Steinbacher

    God as a story we tell ourselves, instead of a story forced upon us.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer White

    Let There Be Light includes selected stories from the Bible as a female god watches from above. Finck gives her god a childlike personality and infuses humor into the vaguely familiar dark tales. In one of my favorite parts in her chapter called "The Begats," a chapter she advises you to skip if "you are easily bored" (76), the snake is talking to the Noah's unnamed wife as she stands on a chair holding a broom: "[Noah] pretends you're not as smart as he is. He gives you all the hardest work, wh Let There Be Light includes selected stories from the Bible as a female god watches from above. Finck gives her god a childlike personality and infuses humor into the vaguely familiar dark tales. In one of my favorite parts in her chapter called "The Begats," a chapter she advises you to skip if "you are easily bored" (76), the snake is talking to the Noah's unnamed wife as she stands on a chair holding a broom: "[Noah] pretends you're not as smart as he is. He gives you all the hardest work, which he later pretends was 'unimportant' work, beneath his notice" (86). This sounds a lot like men I've worked with in the past. So relevant. Then there are some lovely, insightful parts: "For only in God's absence can we begin to comprehend her love for us. Only then can we see her in ourselves" (134-135). The drawings look great, black and white with the occasional splash of red to indicate sin or violence. Finck ends with an author's note which explains how she thought about writing this. She says, "My real aim in making this book is to demonstrate that each of us is allowed to create god (or gods) in our own image. And that we must reshape the larger stories that are handed down to us... and tell them in a way that feels honest to us" (328). She definitely succeeded in that.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Claire Olivia

    This was an entertaining alternate retelling of the book of Genesis. The book is divided into three sections, and I think the first two sections were the strongest. Finck is at her best when she's exploring alternate ideas of God as opposed to the old-man-with-a-beard that he tends to be pictured. I love the idea of God being a woman (and there's definitely biblical text to support this, but I digress). There are a lot of tongue-in-cheek comments and jokes. When the book gets into Abraham's desc This was an entertaining alternate retelling of the book of Genesis. The book is divided into three sections, and I think the first two sections were the strongest. Finck is at her best when she's exploring alternate ideas of God as opposed to the old-man-with-a-beard that he tends to be pictured. I love the idea of God being a woman (and there's definitely biblical text to support this, but I digress). There are a lot of tongue-in-cheek comments and jokes. When the book gets into Abraham's descendants, it gets less interesting, and I think it would have been stronger if it were just the first two parts. The art isn't to my taste either because it's pretty simplistic (but this also encourages me to keep going with my own drawing, because simple doesn't mean unsuccessful!). Overall, this was a fast and entertaining read. Thank you to NetGalley for offering me a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Liana Finck follows closely the Genesis story, only changing a few details here and there. The biggest change being that God is in fact a Goddess. The story starts at the very beginning of the creation up to the story of Joseph. This retelling is more humorous than the original. I particularly enjoyed all the author’s side notes that amplify that effect. I had a little hard time for a few pages, wondering if that book was really for me. But I persevered and didn't regret it. I knew nothing about Liana Finck follows closely the Genesis story, only changing a few details here and there. The biggest change being that God is in fact a Goddess. The story starts at the very beginning of the creation up to the story of Joseph. This retelling is more humorous than the original. I particularly enjoyed all the author’s side notes that amplify that effect. I had a little hard time for a few pages, wondering if that book was really for me. But I persevered and didn't regret it. I knew nothing about Liana Finck before I saw this book as I was browsing for a new graphic novel to read. The very minimalist illustrations can be confusing at first, but as a matter of fact, they serve the story very well. Liana Finck’s interpretation is extremely touching and sensitive, especially when she describes God’s reactions in front of her Creation.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Rosner

    3 and 1/2 stars. It would help to be fairly familiar with the book of Genesis, but even without that knowledge this retelling, with God as a woman, makes a good story. Much of it, especially in the early part of the book made me laugh out loud. The Big stories mixed with human pettiness, and God’s equally petty behavior is so relatable that it’s impossible not to chuckle. I love the style of Fink’s drawings. Some of the characters are barely scratched out but every line has character and feels ne 3 and 1/2 stars. It would help to be fairly familiar with the book of Genesis, but even without that knowledge this retelling, with God as a woman, makes a good story. Much of it, especially in the early part of the book made me laugh out loud. The Big stories mixed with human pettiness, and God’s equally petty behavior is so relatable that it’s impossible not to chuckle. I love the style of Fink’s drawings. Some of the characters are barely scratched out but every line has character and feels necessary. She’s a marvel at creating interesting textures and negative spaces, large areas of darkness with scratchy expressive line, and her drawings tell you what you need to know. They’re both naive and sophisticated. I loved Passing for Human more but everything Liana Fink writes and draws is worth your time.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    What a lovely, sacrilegious, healing, confusing retelling of Genesis. As a person raised on Bible studies, this was particularly compelling, new, and yet familiar all at the same time. I've never related to God more than when she was represented by minimalist line drawing and just as emotional as any human. Thank you LIana Finck for sharing your craft. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for an early read. What a lovely, sacrilegious, healing, confusing retelling of Genesis. As a person raised on Bible studies, this was particularly compelling, new, and yet familiar all at the same time. I've never related to God more than when she was represented by minimalist line drawing and just as emotional as any human. Thank you LIana Finck for sharing your craft. Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for an early read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Keegan

    a more lighthearted/humorous (and slightly feminist) retelling of the Old Testament where God is a woman, this was an interesting read! I feel like if you've never learned the stories in the Old Testament you might not find the commentary/changes as funny or interesting, but would still find it enjoyable. I loved the art style and illustrations also, the page where Eve bites the apple is 10/10 Thanks to Random House publishing for providing me with an e-arc to review! a more lighthearted/humorous (and slightly feminist) retelling of the Old Testament where God is a woman, this was an interesting read! I feel like if you've never learned the stories in the Old Testament you might not find the commentary/changes as funny or interesting, but would still find it enjoyable. I loved the art style and illustrations also, the page where Eve bites the apple is 10/10 Thanks to Random House publishing for providing me with an e-arc to review!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mary Northrup

    The New Yorker cartoonist Liana Finck takes on the story of creation and the stories of the Torah or Old Testament - Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, etc. But God is a woman and has quite a different attitude toward her creations. In graphic novel style, with simple (yet profound) black-and-white drawings, Finck gives a feminist twist to the seminal stories of the Jewish and Christian faiths.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I don’t think regular readers of this column will be surprised that the title of Liana Finck’s latest book caught my interest: “Let There Be Light: The Real Story of Her Creation” (Random House). The “Her” in the title is not a typo: In this graphic retelling of the biblical book of Genesis, God is a woman. See the rest of my review at https://www.thereportergroup.org/past... I don’t think regular readers of this column will be surprised that the title of Liana Finck’s latest book caught my interest: “Let There Be Light: The Real Story of Her Creation” (Random House). The “Her” in the title is not a typo: In this graphic retelling of the biblical book of Genesis, God is a woman. See the rest of my review at https://www.thereportergroup.org/past...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lourdes

    Thank you for NetGalley, I received an ARC for an honest review. The retelling of the Book of Genesis, starring a female Godmagining the story of Genesis with God as a woman, Abraham as a resident of New York City, and Rebekah as a robot, the graphics, and the storytelling were very genuine. I didn't think I was going to enjoy it, but I did. Liana Finck shows a wonderful sense of insightful humor. My first read from the author and I enjoyed it. Try it!! I think you will enjoy it!! Thank you for NetGalley, I received an ARC for an honest review. The retelling of the Book of Genesis, starring a female Godmagining the story of Genesis with God as a woman, Abraham as a resident of New York City, and Rebekah as a robot, the graphics, and the storytelling were very genuine. I didn't think I was going to enjoy it, but I did. Liana Finck shows a wonderful sense of insightful humor. My first read from the author and I enjoyed it. Try it!! I think you will enjoy it!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emily Holladay

    “Let Their Be Light” is a graphic novel retelling of Genesis with a female God. I found the story so beautifully told/pictures that it will definitely influence how I read scripture going forward. I loved it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    wonderful graphic novel with a subversive mother god plot.. slight rewritting of the old book (genesis) with a creative twist that makes this hard to put down until it is finished, read in one night, gleefully.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    Brilliant, hilarious, genius.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Diego Dotta

    I had so much fun reading it after going to sleep. I love it. Liana converted me to a believer in Her, the God!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Quick enjoyable read. 3.5/5

  27. 5 out of 5

    J. Bradley

    A better version of Genesis than the source text. Finck’s style is so vibrant and alive.

  28. 5 out of 5

    elena

    LOVED THIS LIANA FINCK YOU'VE DONE IT AGAIN. LOVED THIS LIANA FINCK YOU'VE DONE IT AGAIN.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amanda [Novel Addiction]

    I loved this. A different, but also incredibly accurate, take on the story of Genesis.

  30. 4 out of 5

    John

    3.5* actually. Always interesting, but first third of book really shines. Made me recognize just how much I think of God in gendered terms.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...