kaddish.com by Nathan Englander

kaddish.com

Nathan Englander

Sharp, irreverent, hilarious, and wholly irresistible, Nathan Englander shares a tale of a son who makes a diabolical compromise that captures the tensions between tradition and modernity.

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The celebrated Pulitzer finalist and prize-winning author of Dinner at the Center of the Earth and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank delivers his best work yet, a streamlined comic masterpiece about a son’s failure to say Kaddish for his father.
Larry is the secular son in a family of Orthodox Brooklyn Jews.  When his father dies, it’s his responsibility to recite the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, every day for eleven months.  To the horror and dismay of his sister, Larry refuses—imperiling the fate of his father’s soul.  To appease her, Larry hatches an ingenious if cynical plan, hiring a stranger through a website called kaddish.com to recite the prayer and shepherd his father’s soul safely to rest.
Sharp, irreverent, hilarious, and wholly irresistible, Englander’s tale of a son who makes a diabolical compromise ingeniously captures the tensions between tradition and modernity—a book to be devoured in a single sitting whose pleasures and provocations will be savored long after.


Advance Galley Reviews

As someone who has had to say Kaddish for 11 months, the premise of the story resonated with me and the execution of the story was very good. The story was fast paced, with realistic characters, and several surprising plot twists. A warning to any religious readers out there - this book contained an offensive/inappropriate scene towards the beginning (with multiple references to it later on) that was probably designed to help show the development of the main character, but in my opinion, the superfluous scene took away from the whole book.

I love the premise of Kaddish.com by Nathan Englander. The author takes us into the world of the very devout orthodox/Hassidic Jew. The struggles a devout Jew would have with the secular world/community in which he lives as well as the yin and yang of the religious/culture of the devout Jew. Englander's hook is how "Larry/Shuli" can justify just about anything based on religious writings/texts and his interpretation--even theft/corruption as he discovered about the website Kaddish.com. A VERY TIMELY story; funny and sad at the same time, because everyone we know can justify just about anything--even politicians.

 


More to Explore

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  • Dinner at the Center of the Earth
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

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