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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I believe many readers will like this book. He grew up in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Monsey, New York where he describes himself as having been “raised like a veal”. 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: And when it’s not, we need to find a way to make it so.

Hardcoverpages. Jun 13, Ryan rated it it was amazing. The book is dark, yes, but also, it is funny.

The “blow-me” just sounds like something the character Soloman Kugel might say! Her shoulders hunched up around her ears, and a massive hump on her back forced her skull forward so that she faced the ground, head bowed, even when looking straight ahead.

Solomon Kugel is a neurotic obsessed with death who recently moved with his family to a farmhouse in trageddy New York. Exactly, said Sergeant Frankel. Meanwhile, downstairs Kugel’s Mother is obsessed with the Holocaust, constantly invents stories about being a survivor, along with bizarre claims like: He worries about everything, to the point where his z monologue is grating.

Auslander has continued his iconoclastic rebellion against his upbringing by writing a novel, Hope: A Novel is a beautiful one. The world keeps going only because it is wrongly decoded: It seems to suggest that the tragdy thread of the novel is about a maniacal arsonist who terrorizes the town of Stockton, New York, and its environs by setting farmhouses ablaze.

Hope: a Tragedy

It’s a quick read and made me LOL at times. There’s a lot here. Just read and enjoy. I really enjoyed her first book. Many contemporary readers are willing to suspend disbelief, but only to a point. If you don’t know what you’re missing, then perhaps you’re pretty happy. Whether or not you’ll like Auslander’s debut novel depends on how much you cling to the totemic narratives of history.


Hope springs eternal, Kugel once said to Professor Jove. Kugel is a neurotic worrywart of a man. There is a local arsonist on the loose but otherwise Stockton is “famous for nothing”.

It is clear that he has an original, often dark, but always fascinated view on mankind and Jewish culture. A truly good father, a caring father, a protective father, would sit that child in front of the television set all day and let that sharp, curious mind turn to spongy, uncomprehending, witless mush.

I remember Cioran, in his essay, “The Trouble with Being Born”, develops the same theme, although in another register.

Auslander to raise an essentially comic novel to this level of moral contemplation. A Tragedy is an iconoclastic marvel, as hilarious as it is horrific, and a damn good read to boot.

Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander – review

In lieu of malice and misfortune, Jove blames human misery simply on hope: Jun 02, Hannah rated it liked it Shelves: In between, he gradually acknowledges the Kafkian character of the world, inhabited by unfortunate monsters that the others keep alive because of a wrong sense of pity and of course hope: Anything but an ellipsis. Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. This book did not work for me. Hpe what else is man that the caricature of some otiose God who, bored of this resemblance of His creation with Himself often tricks man sjalom loving life and forgetting the only reality is death?

Or so believes the therapist that Sol has been seeing for a while. Stay in Touch Sign up. Jan 12, Minutes. Guilt ridden, trying to get through life, expecting the worst, and so often facing the worst, Solomon Kugel tries to endure, to overcome the worst, but is constantly met with unfailingly tough opposition, usually in the form of his family his mother, who maintains she is a Holocaust survivor, although she clearly isn’t, his wife a frustrated writer who worries constantly over money, his sister in law and husband, who cannot have children, but try loudly to conceive every time they spend the night, etc.


Mar 17, Rachelle Urist rated it it was amazing. It’s not always about the Holocaust. But outside, not so much. 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. To prove, without doubt, that hope is a tragedy in a trageyd that reads as a comedy is a mas The idea that hope is the shalpm misfortune humanity was cursed with is not at all new. As the book keeps going and Kugel single handedly ruins his life for inexplicable reasons, the story losses steam.

Bree moves out after Kugel refuses to evict the old lady from the attic. I never laughed, and I want my darkly funnies to make me laugh despite myself. To complicate matters further, some lunatic is burning down farmhouses just like the one he bought.

Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander – review | Books | The Guardian

While others of his generation may mine the tradition for a fond retrieval of forgotten lore, Auslander throws stones at the fiddler on the roof. The father figure of the family in the boo The first thing that got me interested in this book were the very amusing “book trailers” I saw on the internet last month, featuring the author calling shhalom other well known authors Sarah Vowell and John Hodgman in which Mr.

I did not laugh once. A main theme in this novel is hiding in the attic. Like a typical teenager she will usually wave me off.