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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Tan A. Summers on 03-12-12
Darkly humorous and a little disturbing
I grew up horrified by the Holocaust. I read Anne Frank when I was in junior high. In high school I read a three-volume documentary of antisemitism throughout history. I have to admit that I didn't know what to think about a book whose theme is, "never forgetting the Holocaust is not the same as talking about it all the time." I'm not sure even now that it's OK for a non-Jew to think this book is funny. OK, I admit it. I think it's funny. But I'm a little uncomfortable with thinking that.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Susanrachel Condon on 09-07-16
If you aren't familiar with Auslander's work, approach with caution. This book is exactly what I expected: dark, edgy and brilliant. It is incredibly well crafted, deeply irreverent and laden with what I consider excessive use of "profane" language. Tho
1 of 1 people found this review helpful