Sarabeth's Reviews > The Ministry of Special Cases

The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander
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's review
Apr 15, 2012

it was ok
Read in April, 2012

This books started really strong. I loved the idea of a separate cemetery for the declined society of Jewish pimps and whores. The idea of erasing names from tombstones was also ingenious, and definitely made one think about past and present. The plastic surgery bit was so evocative it made me squirm.

However, at a certain point, the whole book started declining, as the novelty of the absurd decreased and the tedium increased. (This for me is easy to tell- some books keep you hooked until the end. This one sat on the shelf a month before I remembered that I wanted to finish and get it over with.) The ending- while an interesting juxtaposition of conclusions- was ultimately dissatisfying. This book DID give me a good "feel" for the Argentinian Jewish culture, and definitely makes me want to look more into the "disappeared." But overall I was underwhelmed and ultimately disappointed with this book.

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