Persuasively Written Book Jacket Copy:
Shalom Auslander's stories in Beware of God have the mysterious punch of a dream. They are wide ranging and inventive: A young Jewish man's inexplicable transformation into a very large, blond tattooed goy ends with a Talmudic argument over whether or not his father his father can beat his unclean son with a copy of the Talmud. A pious man having a near-death experience discovers that God is actually a chicken and he's forced to reconsider his life – and his diet. At God's insistence, Leo Schwartzman searches Home Depot for supplies for an ark. And a young boy mistakes Holocaust Remembrance Day as emergency preparedness training for the future.
Auslander draws upon his upbringing in an Orthodox Jewish community in New York State to craft stories that are filled with shame, sex, God and death, but also manage to be wickedly funny and poigna.
Praise for Beware of God:
"... (an) extraordinary collection, which has an energy, a precision and a deep black humour I haven't seen in a long time. I suggest you read it, in order, in one go. It won't take long; the stories are short. It's like drinking 14 shots of vodka. The effect is similarly disorienting... They read as though they have, in the writer's dream formulation, written themselves. I found myself asking, again and again, "why hasn't this been done already?" That's a good sign - a sign, almost, of genius; or at least of something pretty close to it. You will not get these out of your head once they're in there."
-- Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian
"Let us now praise satirical Jews... In his debut collection of short stories, "Beware of God," Auslander takes his knife to the pious veneer of modern-day religious Jewish life and makes sport of exposing its underbelly. For the Gen-X and Gen-Y Jews who wear "Moses is my homeboy" t-shirts and read Heeb Magazine, a poet laureate may be in the making.... There is little fear in this generation of American Jews, and there is none in Auslander's writing."
-- The Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review