Shalom Auslander's stories have the mysterious punch of a dream: a pious man having a near-death experience discovers that God is actually a chicken, and is forced to reconsider his life -- and his diet.
Leo Schwartzman searches Home Depot for supplies for an ark. And a young boy mistakes Holocaust Remembrance Day as emergency-preparedness training for the future.
Auslander draws upon his Orthodox Jewish upbringing to craft stories that are filled with shame, sex, God and death.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 208 pages
- Publisher: Pan Macmillan
- Publication Date: 05/01/2007
- Category: Short stories
- ISBN: 9780330442046
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by wandering_star
A collection of calculatedly outrageous short stories. Almost all of them target religion - often by satirising organised religion, personal faith (characters praying to something which is clearly not a god) or Talmudic debate (about issues which are clearly not religious or Biblical). Others imagine what would happen if the God of the Old Testament was literal truth in the twenty-first century ("The angels stood quietly at the back of His office, their eyes locked nervously on the place where their feet would have been" - from possibly the best one of the stories, "Somebody Up There Likes You"). They are pretty deadpan, and I read the first few stories shaking with laughter. But I would recommend against reading the whole book in one go, as I did - there were definitely diminishing returns, not only because of the similarities of style and subject matter, but because as you read on, the book felt increasingly angry and less and less funny.
Review by CliffBurns
Very, very funny book but not for fundamentalist types of any persuasion. Auslander knows exactly where to stick the knife in...and twist.