Hope: A Tragedy

Shalom Auslander

2013 Winner

Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize

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27 September 2012
352 pages

'Possibly the funniest novel of the decade' Sunday Times, Books of the Decade 2010-2019

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.

‘The humour, at times can leave you gasping . . . comic brilliance’ Sunday Times

‘Singularly inventive and superbly shocking . . . nothing short of genius’ Scotland on Sunday

‘He will make you laugh until your heart breaks’ New York Times Book Review

‘I think it’s a brilliant book, I think it’s as good as Portnoy’s Complaint’ David Baddiel, Open Book, BBC Radio 4

‘One of the best books I read last year. It’s hilarious . . . I think we should all read it.’ Naomi Alderman, Open Book, BBC Radio 4

One of the funniest, wrongest books of the century

Richard Godwin, The Times