Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How This Night Is Different: Stories” as Want to Read:
How This Night Is Different: Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How This Night Is Different: Stories

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Elisa Albert's debut story collection marks the arrival of an extraordinary new voice in fiction. In "How This Night Is Different," Albert boldly illuminates the struggles of young, disaffected Jews to find spiritual fulfillment. With wit and wisdom, she confronts themes -- self-deprecation, stressful family relationships, sex, mortality -- that have been hallmarks of her ...more
Hardcover, 198 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Free Press (first published 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How This Night Is Different, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How This Night Is Different

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 281)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Michael Janairo
In the title story of Elisa Albert's comic and irreverent debut collection, "How This Night is Different" (Free Press; 208 pages; $18), a young woman brings her boyfriend home to meet the family during Passover and to introduce him to his first seder.

She describes him to her mother as "Kind of like a Jew for Jesus, but minus the Jew part." And to him, she summarizes the meal as "You get constipated, you get sick on bad wine, you talk biblical mythology until everyone nods off in their bone-dry
This collection of short stories may even be better than The Book of Dahlia, which is incredible because I loved The Book of Dahlia. Both emotionally satisfied and filled with envy, I want to write Elisa Albert a creepy love letter -- not unlike the one to Philip Roth that concludes this book.
Leah Wener-Fligner
When I read book jacket quotes like the one from Variety on the edition I read, generally I run screaming. "A dark, witty, and incisive take on modern-day disaffected Jewish youth," screams the cover. Yeah? Go incise yourself, pretentious reviewer. This time around, I must eat my words. How This Night Is Different is WONDERFUL. I agree with some of the other reviews here that it suffers a little bit from same-old-narrator--I read through it four stories at a time and then felt the need for a lit ...more
Elisa Albert's short stories were bitingly sarcastic, funny, and filled to the brim with this postmodern Jewishness of Judaism as experienced by Jews who feel largely out of sync with their heritage and/or life.

Most of the stories revolved around sardonic, pill-popping slightly self-absorbed female characters. Sometimes, their behavior leaned a little too much towards sensationalism for the sake of sensationalism, especially in "Everything But," which struck me as patently unrealistic. Other sto
I maybe would have liked this, had I read it in middle or high school. I'm pretty sure I WROTE some of these stories in middle or high school. But you know what? I grew up and realized they were stupid. Apparently I'm much more comfortable with my Judaism than Elisa Albert. The only story I sort of liked was "The Living", just for the fact that I relate to how Shayna feels on large group trips. But even that story felt unfinished, missing something.

Otherwise? I don't need long descriptions
Wait! This isn't the review it appears to be! How This Night Is Different IS an excellent collection of short stories, but the book I really want to talk about is Elisa's new novel, The Book of Dahlia, due out this spring. She's a friend of mine, so I'm obviously completely biased, but I thought the book -- about an underemployed, sardonic twentysomething dying of cancer -- was great: as funny as it was sad, and vice versa. So I'm building advance buzz, as they say (biased, biased buzz). March 2 ...more
I can't say I got much out of the stories. They never felt finished to me.
I wanted to love this book, but i didnt really. It was just ok.
I liked this book, but I think I would have appreciated it more if I had read it before Book of Dahlia. It's hard to choose between giving it 3 or 4 stars. Why isn't there an option for 1/2 stars?
Hot tapdancing Jebus, I loved this book. I think I want to marry Elisa Albert. This is one of the few books that really struck my Jewiness, however small that is.
Aug 16, 2007 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Oriana Leckert
LOVE LOVE LOVE her. Can tell it's her first book but love her. Jil, you were right, sorry it took me so long to finally read it!
I kind of fell in love with her and her ability to make me laugh. Don't skip the letter at the end to Philip Roth.
this book f**king rocks. seriously. it makes me proud of my imprint, which is pretty hard to do.
Caro Buchheim
very enjoyable, smart and universal writing about the female experience. loved it.
short stories centering on Jewish holidays--very funny and irreverent
one of my FAVORITE authors.
Zachary Salmon
Zachary Salmon marked it as to-read
May 25, 2015
Bec Rindler
Bec Rindler marked it as to-read
May 08, 2015
Mary marked it as to-read
May 07, 2015
kati marked it as to-read
May 04, 2015
Sally marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2015
Laura marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2015
Tami marked it as to-read
Apr 27, 2015
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2015
Liz marked it as to-read
Apr 21, 2015
Sascha marked it as to-read
Apr 13, 2015
Julie marked it as to-read
Apr 09, 2015
mag marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • There Are Jews in My House
  • Beware of God: Stories
  • One More Year: Stories
  • The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme
  • Yentl's Revenge: The Next Wave of Jewish Feminism
  • In the Image
  • New Addresses
  • Gulf Music: Poems
  • Dolly City
  • The Talmud and the Internet: A Journey between Worlds
  • Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza
  • This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation
  • The New York Stories
  • The Promised Land
  • Letty Fox: Her Luck
  • The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living
  • Kaaterskill Falls
  • Soul of Wood
ELISA ALBERT, author of The Book of Dahlia and a collection of short stories, has written for NPR, Tin House, Commentary, Salon, and the Rumpus. She grew up in Los Angeles and now lives in upstate New York with her family.
More about Elisa Albert...
The Book of Dahlia After Birth Freud's Blind Spot: 23 Original Essays on Cherished, Estranged, Lost, Hurtful, Hopeful, Complicated Siblings Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York

Share This Book