Hope: A Tragedy

Hope: A Tragedy

3.41 (3,976 ratings by Goodreads)
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FROM THE CREATOR OF SHOWTIME'S "HAPPYISH" The bestselling debut novel from Shalom Auslander, the darkly comic author of "Foreskin s Lament "and "Beware of God." "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. 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."show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 353 pages
  • 132.5 x 204 x 27.5mm | 272.15g
  • Riverhead Books
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1594486468
  • 9781594486463
  • 1,235,586

About Shalom Auslander

Shalom Auslander was raised in Monsey, New York. Nominated for the Koret Award for writers under thirty-five, he has published articles in "Esquire," "The New York Times Magazine," "Tablet," "The New Yorker," and has had stories aired on NPR's "This American Life." Auslander is the author of the short story collection "Beware of God" and the memoir "Foreskin's Lament." He is the creator of Showtime's "Happyish." He lives in New York City. To learn more about Shalom Auslander, please visit www.shalomauslander.com.show more

Review quote

Praise for Hope: A Tragedy "Staggeringly nervy... Other fiction writers have gotten this fresh with Anne Frank. But they don't get much funnier... [Auslander] is an absurdist with a deep sense of gravitas. He brings to mind Woody Allen, Joseph Heller and - oxymoron here - a libido-free version of Philip Roth... It's a tall order for Mr. Auslander to raise an essentially comic novel to this level of moral contemplation. Yet "Hope: A Tragedy "succeeds shockingly well." - "New York Times" "Shalom Auslander is my kind of Jew -- an unapologetically paranoid, guilt-ridden, self-loathing Diaspora kvetch, enraged by a God he can't live with or without. 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. He's a black comic who's alloyed the manic existential shtick of Lenny Bruce with the gallows humor that's been a staple of the repertoire since the Babylonian Exile.... He is patently not good for the Jews.... A virtuoso humorist, and a brave one: beware Shalom Auslander; he will make you laugh until your heart breaks." - "New York Times Book Review" "Absurdist, hilarious ... Part Sholom Aleichem, part Woody Allen, part homage to Philip Roth's "The Ghost Writer," it is a story of neurotic Jews, the problem of memory and the solace of suffering. "It's funny," begins the novel, and it is.... To hope, we must misremember. So we build structures of misremembering: We build fictions. Auslander's first novel, "Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel "is a beautiful one." -- "Cleveland Plain Dealer" "An irreverent (and how!), dark (to say the least), hilarious novel about a man who finds a beloved historical figure hiding in his attic." -- "O, the Oprah Magazine" "A caustic comic tour de force." -- "NPR" "There is an admirable fearlessness to Shalom Auslander's writing . . . [His] ruminations and his clever inversions of conventional wisdom can challenge rshow more

Rating details

3,976 ratings
3.41 out of 5 stars
5 18% (702)
4 33% (1,300)
3 30% (1,180)
2 14% (548)
1 6% (246)
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