46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Amazing experience. Not enough superlatives for this book.,
This review is from: Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel (Hardcover)
Humor and horror. Wise and weird. Real and surreal. You name a paradox and this book owns it. I couldn't put it down, except when I had to just stop and think about it. Then I went back for more. My opinion in context: I have worked for 5 years now in a Jewish institution. I work with Holocaust survivors, their descendants, and the American Jews who witnessed from afar. I am a WASP by birth and an atheist by intellect. This book let me understand the paranoia that intelligent Jewish professionals who have no direct connection to the Holocaust tell me that they feel, that they imagine coming, and that they almost expect. It explains--without explaining--so many things I have tried to understand. It is a ladder up into an attic in the heads of every Jew I have met--and I believe it has given me a glimmer of understanding. As an atheist, this is a tour de force of my own strange attic. What a book.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 16, 2012 10:54:08 AM PST
I too am an atheist. With all due respect, if you want to understand the mind of the Jewish people, read a careful thinking, historic, brilliant figure like Maimonides. Reading this book for insights into Jewish thought and mood is like reading something by Pat Robertson to understand Christianity. Both people are more than a little nuts (at least Auslander admits he's off his rocker). This book might give you some insight into the pathology of narcissism and anhedonia. But for Judaism and Jewish culture it's pretty much a zero.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012 2:29:35 PM PST
Most Jews have not read Maimonides but all of them know about the Holocaust. Jews are psychologically very much survivors who experience the world through the lens of post traumatic stress disorder even if they are third or fourth hand removed from those events. Israel too in many ways has a post traumatic national culture- that is why they are so worried about Iran getting a bomb. I am a psychiatrist and I have a graduate degree in Jewish history- that accounts for my diagnosis. I think Just Saying is right on the money. Most of my non-Jewish friends don't get that this collective historical trauma is the engine of Jewish sensitivity/paranoia.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 12:55:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2012 1:06:48 PM PDT
J. Austin says:
Hope: A Tragedy: A Novel No matter what novel you read, if the book gives you a miniscule of understanding, it's a rare treat and treasure. My dear Atheist brothers, if you study the Jewish people and their history, you will discover the Truth about God and Who He is. I dare you to search with an open mind! There is so much more for you to discover.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2012 5:57:25 PM PDT
J. L. Troise says:
If I were a Jew who went through the Holocaust, the last thing I'd do is believe in a god!
Posted on Mar 15, 2013 10:44:03 AM PDT
"atheist by intellect"?!
That has to be one of the world's greatest oxymorons. How sad and shallow your life must be. Open your eyes, there is a vast universe of knowledge and wisdom you have yet to discover and experience. How unfortunate and limiting for you.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013 11:56:39 AM PDT
Just saying says:
Hmmm. I don't see how it is possible to be an atheist by faith. THAT would be an oxymoron. My life is wonderful. Thanks for your concern.
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