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Like his earlier short story collection, this will draw you deep inside a world that is both new and familiar. I have recommended this book to many people, and each came away saying "Wow". It reminds me of "Life of Pi", not in its themes or characterizations, but in the way it deeply affects the reader. I think this would be a good book club pick, because there are so many facets in the book, so many directions in which the discussion could go. There are many characters in the novel, and none are given short shrift, all are fully realized, intriguing people. Amazing.
2007 Favorite Book for a reason!
The Ministry of Special Cases, by Nathan Englander, tells the story of a Jewish family caught up in the political corruption and upheaval of mid-70's Argentina. As one of BookBrowse's Best Books of 2007, it has all the things you'd expect from high-quality fiction: Great writing, deep characters, involving plot.
One of the things that makes this book so interesting, though, is that it changes character throughout, gradually shifting from a light tale that almost feels like a fable, to a serious family drama, to a tale that's ... well, much darker. Its intensity really sneaks up on the reader. It's rare that a novel takes me completely by surprise, but this one sure did!
It's a very powerful book, and one I highly recommend.