The Son of Laughter is a contemporary retelling of Jacob’s story but told differently than most are used to. It’s an interesting take on a well-known Bible character.

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The Shield was another of the Fear’s names. According to Laughter, it means he shields the seed of Abraham the way a man starting a fire shields the flame. When Sarah was about to die childless, the Fear gave her a son. When Abraham was about to slaughter the son, the Fear gave him the ram. He is always shielding us like a guttering wick, Laughter said, because the fire he is trying to start with us is a fire that the whole world will live to warms its hands at. It is a fire in the dark that will light the whole world home.