Hope: A Tragedy
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A New York Times Notable Book 2012
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 for Kugel…
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 Kugel bought, and when, one night, he discovers history—a living, breathing, thought-to-be-dead specimen of history—hiding upstairs in his attic, bad quickly becomes worse.
Hope: A Tragedy is a hilarious and haunting 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.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
I heard the author give a reading cynical, funny, and mysterious. Instead it was repetitive and predictable. I grew to dislike the petty boringness of the main character so much I had to force myself to finish the book. Not worth the time.
Laughed Out Loud
This book was fantastic. Such unexpected and hilarious characters. I laughed out loud and kept wanting to share parts of it with someone, yet it's difficult to read an excerpt without having the full context. Off to download my next Shalom Auslander book!