Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel [Shalom Auslander] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A New York Times Notable Book The rural town of. Hope: A Tragedy. Shalom Auslander. Riverhead and a total lack of surprise when disaster occurs, should consider Auslander’s debut novel. We all know that the Holocaust is a great source of comedy, right? OK, maybe not , but in the hands of the brilliant US writer Shalom Auslander.

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Jun 02, Hannah rated it liked it Shelves: Coming back to it months later, I still remember all the outrageous things that made me laugh, or made me shake my head in confusion.

Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander

View all 12 comments. The central plot is about Solomon Kugel, an exurban who hpoe his family to this bucolic setting only to discover that the aged, decrepit, cantankerous Anne Frank is living in the attic of his new home—defecating in his forced air registers and writing a smutty novel.

She’s a bitter old woman who swears, eats dead birds and defecates down air vents. Well, kind of, but not really.

Please try again later. A Tragedy is an iconoclastic marvel, as hilarious as it is horrific, and a damn good read to boot.

And she was born in Brooklyn. One imagines the conversation would have gone something like this:. After a day of reflection, though, I think what’s holding me back from a higher review is Shalom Auslander’s first full-length novel takes a slight detour from his usual angst about Orthodoxy see Foreskin’s Lament and Beware of God: Bree moves out after Kugel refuses to evict the old lady from the attic. The age-old literary trope of discovering a crazy lady living in your attic and the symbolism there.


The story is very over the top and hard to believe. I know from reading Auslander’s other works that he has some strong opinions about post-holocaust Jewish culture. I really didn’t like this! It is hard to watch the self destruction when it seems as absurd and unlikely.

We get a lot of Solomon Kugel’s neurotic and nihilistic inner life, ruminating on the concept of hope as something that brings us down. She was an innocent victim of the Holocaust. Not an ellipsis, though.

Whatever you want to say about Auslander as a Jew, he is a talented writer. I laughed out loud much of the way. This book did not work for me.

We are experiencing technical difficulties. Coyote about the ridiculous oppression that pursues Kugel… Vivid and very hard to stop thinking about. A Tragedy succeeds shockingly well.

Hope: a Tragedy

A madman bearing matches is merely one among his gallery of unsettling individuals. The book is dark, yes, but also, it is funny. Auslander has published a collection of short stories, Beware of God and a memoir, Foreskin’s Lament: Auslander is the author of… More about Shalom Auslander.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. To hope, we must misremember. Although his methods strike us as cruel and—yes—certainly draconian, he believed a better life was in fact possible i. If the post-war hero cult is to be made fun of, I would rather see the people who put her on a piedestal ridiculed than her. Want to Read saving…. This particular mother’s imagination, in tandem with her guilt, leads her first to imagine herself in the camps and then to imagine herself an actual survivor.


If this is you, avoid this book. Her skin, sallow and gray, was thin, almost transparent; the hair on her head, what there was of it, was sparse in some places, bare in others. Its a giant ball of fire, kids. That, she said with a sigh. I found this book outrageously funny, but I am sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

His blinders are particularly annoying when he cannot see or at least respond to the needs of his immediate family. And then, literally on top of all these, Kugel discovers a malodorous old woman living in his attic. Twisted-humor at its best!!! Having read and enjoyed Auslander’s memoir, ‘Foreskin’s Lament’, I’d thought about buying this novel quite a few times s finding it in a second hand shop.

Anne FrankSolomon Kugel. I don’t mind strong or simplistic language per se, if it makes sense, but a whole novel with a long line of basic dialogues, spiced tragefy with godammits and fucks, isn’t exactly what I want to waste my time on. Stay in Touch Sign up. Distorted though they may be, I recognize them easily here.