Hope A Tragedy Author:Shalom Auslander 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’... more »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.« less
Solomon Kugel is a neurotic salesman who has just moved his family to a quiet farmhouse to escape the stress of city life. Kugel is consumed by thoughts of death and obsessed with finding the perfect "last words" to utter before death and the perfect epithet to put on his tombstone. But Kugel doesn't find rural life less stressful. One sleepless night, he investigates a strange sound and makes a discovery in his attic that will change his life forever. Often irreverent, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and even sad in parts, "Hope: A Tragedy" is more about how we live our life than about how we prepare to die. Kugel just needs to figure that out.
I can't believe I read the whole thing! I usually quit reading a book I do not like but finished this one. Characters were not strong and I did not relate to where the story was going, which ended up being nowhere.