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Tell Me How This Ends Well

by David Samuel Levinson

Tell Me How This Ends Well by David Samuel Levinson X
Tell Me How This Ends Well by David Samuel Levinson
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There are currently 15 member reviews
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  • Portia A. (Monroe Township, NJ)
    More frightening than funny
    Considering the uptick of anti semitism our country has experienced recently, I found this story to be upsetting rather than funny.
    The story hinges on a plot to kill an abusive man, who no doubt deserved it, but interwoven in the plot was the effects of the hatred evinced toward the Jewish people.I hope the book isn't prescient.
    The book is well written and worth reading.
  • Dorothy M. (Maynard, MA)
    If you like your humor served dark
    The three Jacobson siblings have agreed to come together for what they expect to be their ill mother's last Seder. But under this pretense lies the more immediate intent of providing their mother with a final few months of peace by eliminating their abusive father. They have, however, all been so damaged by that father that it seems unlikely they can maintain enough focus and cooperation to even get through the Seder. Set in a California in the near distant future where anti Semitic violence has become the norm and the misuse of water is a jail offense, what should be funny outlandish plot points now seem painfully possible. Several years ago Tom Lehrer said that once Henry Kissinger received the Nobel Peace prize sarcasm was no longer possible. Given the state of the country I found this book -- that I had looked forward to as mostly comic --to be mostly sad. But perhaps an interesting warning light.
  • Daryl B. (Poolesville, MD)
    Crazy Story
    This was a very funny but at the same time disturbing story. A little too much background detail made it at times a bit draggy. I had a hard time finishing it. Not sure I would recommend it for my book club...the characters were a little too over the top.
  • Nadja J. (Los Altos, CA)
    I wanted to like it
    I picked this up as a reader in a book club but I also work as a bookseller for Linden Tree Books in Los Altos, CA, so I often read pre-release books and consider whether or not I would recommend a book to customers. This, unfortunately, would not be a recommendation. I found the characters, with only one exception, to be harsh caricatures rather than real people. I am Jewish, of the same age, educational background, socioeconomic status, and even from the same geographical area as most of the main characters, and I did not find them believable. As disturbingly prescient as the premise of the book might be given the current political climate, I did not feel the author hit the right notes (or maybe I missed a key theme?) with this one.
  • Amy S. (Tucson, AZ)
    Almost Gave Up
    It took me three different tries to finally get through Jacob's section, which, unfortunately, was the beginning of the book. The writing seemed cumbersome and indulgent; overly (and unnecessarily) wordy. The author seemed to relax as he made his way into the telling of Edith's and Moses' stories. I found myself more engaged at this point. I did not find myself laughing at parts that were probably supposed to be funny, and it was difficult for me to empathize with the various family members the entire 402 pages. At some point, one must take responsibility for his own life, regardless of damage inflicted by parents.
  • Michelle M. (Palm City, FL)
    Where Are The chapter Headings?
    I have never read a book that didn't have chapters. This book was divided by the main characters in the book and yet it would continue with the story which seemed very convoluted to me. The words just rambled on like someone relating a story without taking a breath. I was tired of all the abuse these poor characters endured from their father, Julian.
    I would not recommend this book to anyone.
  • Harriette K. (Weston, FL)
    Tell Me How This Ends Well
    A very disfunctional Jewish family is gathering for the Passover holidays at the home of one of the sons in Southern California. The second reason for meeting is the plan to kill their father, disagreeable beyond comprehension. That the story is set five years in the future puzzled me, but further reading revealed that by this time, Israel had been invaded, carved up by its neighbors, and a huge influx of Israeli refugees had swarmed into the U.S. and antisemitism is epidemic. This is billed as a comic novel, but I found little to laugh at. Had I read this story a month or so ago, I might have reacted differently, but given the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and bomb threats targeting Jewish institutions, I'm not laughing. The story has some good moments, but not many.
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