Sunday, December 19, 2010

Foreskin's Lament

Written by: Shalom Auslander

First line: When I was a child, my parents and teachers told me about a man who was very strong.

Why you should read this book: Although he has left the values of his ultra-orthodox Jewish upbringing far behind him, the author still believes in god: to wit, he believes that god is a colossal asshole just lying in wait to screw with him, and the occasion of his wife's pregnancy leaves him vulnerable to a wide variety of painful retribution by this vindictive deity. Integrating the story of his childhood, trapped by the restraining rituals of his community, his father's violent anger, his mother's impossible expectations; and the increasing dilemma that he faces as he determines whether or not to circumcise his unborn son to appease a family from which he is largely estranged, this memoir covers all the personal and painful ground that draws him forward. Guilt over sins real and imagined, an obsession with sex, pornography, masturbation, drugs, non-kosher food, and pretty much everything forbidden to him in his childhood forges an angry and humorous retrospective of the author's journey toward fatherhood and professional success.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You always know the right brachot.

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