Friday, June 30, 2017

Tell Me How This Ends Well: A Dark Family Comedy

In 2022 Los Angeles the Jacobson family is gathering for Passover. Their matriarch is dying and her three kids are planning for the Angel of Death to visit dear old dad. They just want mom's last days to be happy and peaceful.

"America First" resulted in allowing a military takeover of Israel by surrounding Arab countries. The Jews were forced out to find new homes across the world. Germany has welcomed the Jews, perhaps as expiation for their past sins. America has seen a rise in Anti-Semitism and terrorist attacks on Jews.

Julian Jacobson deserves the title of world's worst father and husband. He married heiress Roz, but with the birth of their first child Mo, the honeymoon was over.

Julian is disappointed in each successive child--Mo, Edith, and Jacob--and he deals out abuse that impairs them all their lives, into their adult relationships. Mo works out at the gym for a "few hours of intense weight lifting and cardio to expunge these memories." Renewed, Moses returns from "the battleground of the past having once again slain the fire-breathing dragon that was dad."

"He just stabs with his mouth."

The kids wonder why Roz has stayed with the selfish bastard. Now there is evidence that Julian is hastening Roz's demise, perhaps to keep her money from going yo his disappointing kids. The sibs plot, plan, and argue while realizing just how evil their father really was. The ending is a surprise and a satisfying twist.

Tell Me How This Ends Well by David Samuel Levinson surprised me. The novel is wildly funny, and yet is deadly serious. I loved the dark comedy and the over-the-top characters. It is also a chilling look at how America, and the world, is evolving. Readers who enjoy dark comedy on "taboo subjects" --like patricide, an unethical ethics professor, and the disposal of dead bodies--will love this book.

I received a free book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Tell Me How This Ends Well
by David Samuel Levinson
Hogarth Books
$27 hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-451-49688-1