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Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel by Shalom Auslander

Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Shalom Auslander

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3943527,176 (3.53)26
Title:Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel
Authors:Shalom Auslander
Info:Riverhead Hardcover (2012), Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library, Early Review Copy
Tags:fiction, new york state, holocaust, family interaction, anne frank

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Hope : A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander



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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Outrageously funny, so wildly original you forgive a certain amount of repetitiveness, a rude offspring of Philip Roth and Franz Kafka. The sort of book where you constantly want to put it down and call everyone you know to read them the passages you just read.

Solomon Kugel is a neurotic obsessed with death who recently moved with his family to a farmhouse in upstate New York. One night he hears noise coming from the attic, goes up to investigate, and discovers Anne Frank living up there. But not just any Anne Frank, but a cranky, old, foul-mouthed one who is trying to write a book but laboring under the weight of her previous book which, as she constantly reminds us, sold 32 million copies.

Meanwhile, downstairs Kugel's Mother is obsessed with the Holocaust, constantly invents stories about being a survivor, along with bizarre claims (like: see this lamp it's your uncle, but the sticker on it says "Made in Taiwan." Well they wouldn't put Made in Auschwitz on it would they. This then gets repeated with a bar of ivory soap).

The book explores optimism vs. pessimism, the former being personified in Kugel's brother-in-law (Pinckus, who appears to be a stand in for Stephen Pinker) and the later in Kugel and his hilarious psychiatrist Professor Jove.

I don't want to spoil any more, you should just read it. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
hideous ( )
  jeamjik | Sep 16, 2013 |
Solomon Kugel buys his family a farm house in the quiet town of Stockton NY, where nothing has ever happened.
Not long after moving in, a string of arson fires begin to occur in the area and Solomon Kugel finds an old woman living in the attic. She claims she is Anne Frank.
The book is reminiscent of Philip Roth and Portnoy's Complaint. Solomon is preoccupied by death and dying. He is continuously trying to determine the perfect last words, even keeping notebooks filled with his possible options.
He feels guilty about even thinking of kicking Anne out of the attic. His wife accuses him of putting everything and everyone else before his own wife and son. ( )
  aimless22 | Jun 12, 2013 |
I doubt I'll get around to this, but it might make a fun companion read to Anne Frank later this year.
  AlCracka | Apr 2, 2013 |
Tragedy this was. I realize this is satire of Holocaust porn, but I don't think I'm even qualified to either commend it or decry it. Without judging its subject matter and keeping only Kugel's mental state in mind, this was a great, fun read. But, how depressing, even as it was highly entertaining. All that fixation about last words. Poor, poor Kugel - with a mother like that he never had a chance. ( )
  Chaitra.Ganesh | Mar 30, 2013 |
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First words
It's funny: it isn't the fire that kills you, it's the smoke.
In the attic.
A ticking?
A tapping.
As if some mouse were gently crapping, crapping on his attic floor.
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Disambiguation notice
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Book description
On retrouve toute la verve et l'imagination iconoclaste de ce jeune écrivain , bien décidé à s'en servir pour démontrer les nuisances de tout fondamentalisme
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Relocating his family to an unremarkable rural town in New York in the hopes of starting over, Solomon Kugel must cope with his depressive mother, a local arsonist, and the discovery of a believed-dead historical specimen hiding in his attic.

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