Hope: Book summary and reviews of Hope by Shalom Auslander

Hope

A Tragedy

by Shalom Auslander

Hope by Shalom Auslander X
Hope by Shalom Auslander
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2012
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

The rural town of Stockton, New York, is famous for nothing: No one was born there, no one died there, nothing of any historical import at all has ever happened there, which is why Solomon Kugel, like other urbanites fleeing their pasts and histories, decided to move his wife and young son there. To begin again. To start anew. But it isn't quite working out that way. His ailing mother stubbornly holds on to life, and won't stop reminiscing about the Nazi concentration camps she never actually suffered through. To complicate matters further, some lunatic is burning down farmhouses just like the one he bought. And when, one night, Kugel discovers history - a living, breathing, thought-to-be-dead specimen of history - hiding upstairs in his attic, bad quickly becomes worse.

The critically acclaimed writer Shalom Auslander's debut novel is a hilarious and disquieting examination of the burdens and abuse of history, propelled with unstoppable rhythm and filled with existential musings and mordant wit. It is a comic and compelling story of the hopeless longing to be free of those pasts that haunt our every present.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Brutal, irreverent and very funny. An honest-to-goodness heir to Portnoy’s Complaint." - Kirkus

"Given his audaciously funny memoir, Foreskin's Lament (2007), it isn't surprising that Auslander's first novel is defiantly hilarious, but its riotous and downright sacrilegious satire wildly exceeds expectations...Along with its lacerating irreverence and tonic comedy of angst, Auslander's devilishly cunning, sure-to-be controversial novel poses profound questions about meaning, justice, truth, and responsibility.

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Author Information

Shalom Auslander

Shalom Auslander was raised in Monsey, New York. Nominated for the Koret Award for writers under thirty-five, he has published articles in Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Tablet, The New Yorker, and has had stories aired on NPR's This American Life. Auslander is the author of the short story collection Beware of God and the memoir Foreskin's Lament. He lives in New York City. Find him at www.shalomauslander.com.

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