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A blind date

March 1, 2021

This week’s Sunday dinner was a blind date with Shalom Auslander.

The meal may not look all that pretty, but, trust me, it was delicious: venison bangers with creamy, cheesy mash and Jamie Oliver’s red onion gravy. Yum.

The book was delicious, too.

I’d never heard of Auslander until Dough Johnstone (one of the writers I follow on Twitter) gave a big thumbs up to his newest novel.

This prompted an exchange.

Although Auslander is a New Yorker, I actually had to order the book from the UK, so it took a while to arrive. Here’s a closer look at the cover.

Note the adjectives: blistering, audacious, staggering, appalling. Oh, yes, and outrageous.

Solomon Kugel has recently moved with his wife and young son from the city to a charming farmhouse in the countryside. The house was a bargain, not least because it comes with a smell no one can identify. One night, alarmed by a noise in the attic, Kugel goes to investigate and discovers the source of the smell: an aged and slightly decaying Anne Frank – not murdered as a teenager at Bergen-Belsen, but alive (just about) and living in the farmhouse attic for the past 40 years. Yes, outrageous is a good word.

Quite how Anne Frank ended up in this New England farmhouse has yet to be explained (if it ever is). So far all I know is that she is making me laugh out loud.

Auslander is an excellent dinner companion (although I understand why Johnstone suggested he might not be to everyone’s taste) and he was pretty good in bed later.

I am looking forward to getting to know him better.

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