Soundtrack

  • Narrator: Scott Brick
  • Length: 11 hours, 25 min
  • Published: 2008
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The Book of Lies

“So much harm comes into this world when the wrong thing is said. But that’s nothing compared to the pain
from what goes unsaid.”

Brad Meltzer—author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Book of Fate—returns with his most thrilling and emotionally powerful novel to date.

In Chapter Four of the Bible, Cain kills Abel. It is the world’s most famous murder. But the Bible is silent about one key detail: the weapon Cain used to kill his brother. That weapon is still lost to history.

In 1932, Mitchell Siegel was killed by three gunshots to his chest. While mourning, his son dreamed of a bulletproof man and created the world’s greatest hero: Superman. And like Cain’s murder weapon, the gun used in this unsolved murder has never been found.

Until now.

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Q&A

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Q. Who Is Benoni?

Benoni is the name of Abel’s dog. When Abel died, the dog was given to Cain. Known as Canaan dogs, the line of man’s original best friend still exists today.

The Canaan dog began in ancient times as a Pariah dog in Israel. It belongs to one of the most ancient family of dogs, and most likely Benoni’s breed, the Spitz.

The Canaan Dog, also known as Kelev K’naani, is a recent breed out of ancient Pariah dog stock similar to Benoni. Dog experts and world authorities on Pariah Dogs, Drs. Rudolph and Rudolphina Menzel, developed the Canaan dog from redomesticated Pariah dog stock captured in the Palestine.
Much like Benoni’s owners Cain and Abel, the Israelis have used the Canaan dog for guard duties, as messengers and as helpers.

The Canaan is an intelligent, trainable breed with keen senses of hearing and smell as well as excellent tracking ability. The Canaan dog, such as its earliest ancestor Benoni, is a medium-sized, sturdy, squarely proportioned dog with a bushy tail carried curled over the back when the dog is alert. The head is shaped like a blunt wedge with a shallow, but defined stop. The nose is dark and slightly slanted. The eyes are almond-shaped with dark rims and slant slightly. The pricked ears have a broad base, rounded tip, and are set high.

It is a very hardy breed, well-adapted to the deserts. Drawings of similar looking dogs were found in tombs dated to the 2200 BC and the caves of Einan and Hayonim are the sites in which the oldest remains of dogs have been found, from more than 10,000 years ago. Along with Benoni’s service of Cain and Abel, in the Bible there are a number of references to roaming dogs and dogs in the service of man.

Q. THE BOOK OF LIES is based on two true stories that remain mysteries: the murder of Abel by his brother Cain and the unsolved murder of Mitchell Siegel, whose son went on to create Superman. Why do these two murders fascinate you and how are they connected in your mind – and in this new book?

Every writer has a story they’ve been waiting their whole life to tell. This is mine. We are a country founded on our own legends and myths, and in this election year, where everyone is pushing hope, what’s crazy to me is that we still don’t know which of these myths are real.

Cain is known as one of the world’s worst villains, but maybe he’s not the bad guy in the story. And why did the world get Superman? Because a little boy named Jerry Siegel heard his father was murdered and, in grief, created a bulletproof man. These stories — about Cain and Abel, about Superman — are not just folklore. They’re stories about us. Our heroes and villains tell us who we are. And sometimes we need to find the truth, even if it means revealing our own vulnerabilities.

Q. How did his father’s murder lead Jerry Siegel to create the man of steel and why did he never talk about this during his lifetime?

For the past 70 years, the public has been told that Superman was created by two teenagers in Cleveland. And that’s true. Action Comics was published in 1938. But what no one realizes is that Superman was actually created in 1932, just weeks after Jerry Siegel’s father was killed in a robbery. So why does no one know the story? Because Jerry Siegel never told anyone.

Q. As a comics books author in addition to your work as a novelist, how has the legend of Superman influenced your work and why is it the perfect myth for America?

For the past 70 years, the public has been told that Superman was created by two teenagers in Cleveland. And that’s true. Action Comics was published in 1938. But what no one realizes is that Superman was actually created in 1932, just weeks after Jerry Siegel’s father was killed in a robbery. So why does no one know the story? Because Jerry Siegel never told anyone.

Need More Brad? Click below to see a full in-depth interview with him talking about his other books, writing in general, and why he always hates his author photos.