Saturday, August 04, 2007

Review of The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander

1970s Buenos Aires is a time and place few of us know well. But Mr. Englander gives us a glimpse of the horrible times we have conveniently forgotten. Kaddish is an Jew, outcast by the community for being illegitimate and the son of a prostitute, his job is to erase the names of ancestors of currently prominent Jews in Argentina's volatile society. The cemetary is full of characters from the wrong side of the tracks but Kaddish is the only one who doesn't want to forget these dead. He brings his son Pato on his midnight jobs with a chisel and hammer, but as most fathers and sons these two argue over everything. Their arguments reach a climax when Pato is taken from the family home by suited men without a word exchanged. Events spiral downward. A portrait of a marriage, a community, the nature of hope and a entire country haunted by the disappeared. Hilarious and devastating in turns, I recommend this book to anyone who prefers literary fiction and expanding their knowledge of cultures.

Latest book club at Roseville Library is the Singles Club on the third Thursday of the month
August 16 Mediterranean Caper by Clive Cussler

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