Fiction Norman Kotker Learning About God

ISBN 13: 9780805007268

Learning About God

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9780805007268: Learning About God

Book by Kotker, Norman

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From Publishers Weekly:

In spiritual turmoil unrelieved by the catharsis of reconciliation with God, Bergen-Belsen survivor Chaim Fogel struggles toward death. But this inventive novel leavens the bitter story of his plight with scenes marked by gallows humor: the annual survivors' banquet at a ritzy New York hotel; the engagement of his daughter to a black man (a professor like Fogel himself) and their subsequent black-and-white wedding; even, at the end, the bizarre spectacle of his wife biting into a jelly doughnut at the moment the surgeon's scalpel bites into Fogel's brain. The story, with peripheral glimpses of his daughter's Cambridge menage and the bitterly ironic tragedy of the misshapen son she bears, centers on Fogel's headaches. No brain tumor, says the CAT scan; see a psychiatrist, says the sages. Group therapy doesn't help either. Fogel's private diagnosis is that God is laughing. Filled as it is with suffering and terrible uncertainty, this book provides astonishing insights into the human effort to understand what is beyond understanding. Kotker describes how to laugh at oneself in the process, to recognize that famine and bounty coexist, and to learn, in the course of it, something about God.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Chaim Fogel expects no blessings from God. Surviving the Holocaust was no godsend, just another evidence of Jehovan caprice. Rationalist, scholar, and professor (NYU) of the Enlightenment, Fogel escapes Hitler only to succumb to the strains of suburban America: a daughter wed to a black, a son dedicated to making Zen films, fellow survivors celebrating annually with parties at the Plaza. Plagued by headaches, he seeks help in group therapy, the new rationalism. Scenes of great comedic force ensue, but beneath the hilarity lies a brooding polemic as Fogel defies God but affirms his own existence as a Jew who has suffered unjustly. God , the occasionally intrusive narrator (Kotker's weakest device), emerges as one of the least attractive manifestations of the godhead ever. Job was luckier in his judge. A readable, funny, and terrifying novel. Arthur Waldhorn, City Coll., CUNY
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Norman Kotker
Published by Henry Holt & Co (1988)
ISBN 10: 0805007261 ISBN 13: 9780805007268
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Book Description Henry Holt & Co, 1988. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0805007261

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