Beware of God by Shalom Auslander

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Violent rabbis, lovelorn wives, a busy Grim Reaper, shame-filled simians, and one seriously angry deity populate this humorous and disquieting collection.
Shalom Auslander's stories in Beware of God have the mysterious punch of a dream. They are wide ranging and inventive: A young Jewish man's inexplicable transformation into a very large, blond, tattooed goy ends with a Talmudic argument over whether or not his father can beat his unclean son with a copy of the Talmud. A pious man having a near-death experience discovers that God is actually a chicken, and he's forced to reconsider his life -- and his diet. At God's insistence, Leo Schwartzman searches Home Depot for supplies for an ark. And a young boy mistakes Holocaust Remembrance Day as emergency preparedness training for the future.
Auslander draws upon his upbringing in an Orthodox Jewish community in New York State to craft stories that are filled with shame, sex, God, and death, but also manage to be wickedly funny and poignant.

About Shalom Auslander

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Shalom Auslander has written for The New Yorker, Esquire, and The New York Times Magazine, and is a regular contributor to NPR’s This American Life. His short story collection Beware of God was published in 2005.
Published November 1, 2007 by Simon & Schuster. 208 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction

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An 18-year-old Lubavitcher yeshiva student wakes up one morning in the form of a “very large goy” and terrorizes the community of bickering rabbis in “The Metamorphosis.” In “God Is a Big Happy Chicken,” newly dead Yankel Morgenstern ascends to heaven to discover that God is—surprise!—Chicken him...

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It's tempting to describe the theme of Shalom Auslander's debut short-story collection Beware Of God in terms of a Joan Osborne lyric: "What if God was one of us?"

Mar 29 2005 | Read Full Review of Beware of God: Stories

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