Hope: A Tragedy

Hope A Tragedy

Shalom Auslander

First Sentence:      It’s funny: It isn’t the fire that kills you, it’s the smoke.

Back of the book:

Solomon Kugel has had enough of the past and its burdens. So, in the hope of starting afresh, he moved his family to a small rural town where nothing of import has ever happened.

Sadly, Kugel’s life isn’t that simple. His family soon find themselves threatened by a local arsonist and his ailing mother won’t stop reminiscing about the Nazi concentration camps she didn’t actually suffer through. And when, one night, Kugel discovers a living, breathing, thought-to-be-dead specimen of history hiding in his attic, bad very quickly becomes worse.

Quotes from the book:

Of course they didn’t always shoot a second time into the mass graves. That’s life for you: a colossal inescapable corpse pile – and no second shooting.

‘Pessimists don’t build gas chambers.’

He imagined the scene at the gates of heaven to be not unlike that at the finish line of a long and gruelling marathon: everyone high-fiving, hugging, collapsing, elated that it’s over, yes, it’s finally over, pouring cups of water over one another’s heads and saying, Holy shit, dude, that was fucking brutal. I am never doing that again.

* * * *

Last Sentence:      What about that smell? she asked.

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