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Review Excerpts

New York Sun – July 6, 2007
“The use and abuse of Holocaust commemoration is the subject of a new satirical novel, "My Holocaust," by Tova Reich. This book addresses the degradation of Holocaust memory by those who have taken the responsibility to maintain it upon themselves — the leaders of the museum. The issues raised in the book are not only meritorious but also are crucial.” – Diana Furchtgott-Roth

The Atlantic Magazine – July/August 2007
“In this merciless satire on the American glorification and commodification of victimhood, every group vies for the distinction of having suffered the most. As one of the characters (the president of Holocaust Connections Inc.; slogan: ‘Make Your Cause a Holocaust’) observes, ‘Everyone wants a piece of the Holocaust pie.’ Reich, whose husband once was the director of the Holocaust Memorial Museum, writes with intense authority and relentless humor, so that this bitter poison goes down like sweet butter.”

Bookmarks Magazine – June 2007
“More than 70 years later, most writers still tread softly when it comes to the six million Jews (and countless others) who died at the hands of the Nazis. My Holocaust is a totally different breed. A shocking, brave satire, the novel digs into those who, in the name of avenging six million deaths, commodify tragedy. Tova Reich never trivializes the Holocaust: indeed, by presenting the outlandishness of her characters' cheap morality, she encourages readers to ponder the gravity of the Holocaust. With humor and anger, My Holocaust enlightens.”

Christian Science Monitor – May 29, 2007
“Anyone with reasonably thick skin and a sense of humor would be challenged to make it all the way through My Holocaust without laughing out loud. But like most intelligent humor, its real merit comes from its social commentary. Reich's intent is not to be glib about the Holocaust, but rather to pillory those who've profaned its memory for their own purposes. What ensues is a hilarious – and, at times, uncomfortable – commentary about the human tendency to aggrandize individual suffering and use it as a claim to any number of entitlements. Still, underneath all of Reich's barbs, is an underlying compassion.” – Tom A. Peter

Hartford Courant – April 15, 2007
“[A] viciously funny, head-spinning novel about the commoditizing of victim-hood and the marketing of memorialization… With humor that excoriates and rage that radiates from the page, Tova Reich lays into those who, in the process of avenging the six million Jews who died in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, sell their own souls. But while Reich may have a few large axes to grind, the book soars far above any personal settling of scores. In the end, Reich abandons the lacerating humor for a cry from the heart.” – Carole Goldberg

Chicago Sun Times – April 15, 2007
“The heady and complicated satire, My Holocaust, is amusing and, at times, very funny.Reich is also unforgiving, caustic and liberating. Despite a humorous, if cutting, tone and occasional mystical references, My Holocaust is dead serious in intent. It's about the defilement and trivialization of memory. Packed with the verbal equivalent of sight gags... My Holocaust entertains, though its overall effect is sobering. Reich uses wit, a sociologist's apprehension of cultural trend, and humor to deflate impostors, even the self-aggrandizing Maurice. The story is fantastic, the notion behind it all too real.” – Carlo Wolff

Philadelphia Inquirer – April 10, 2007
“Tova Reich is fearless, in the best possible way, and her take on the culture of victimization spares no captives in the gulag of self-anointed martyrdom. My Holocaust wickedly cuts to the bone in a way that makes Christopher Buckley's comic romps, which I admire, seem like teething exercises. Reich's gift for satire is impeccable, her ear for absurdity pitch perfect. Reich is fearless in taking on such an essential subject with such insight and unerring humor. I take no offense in being offended, if the truths revealed enlighten. Sometimes it's good to be slapped silly by words.” – Karen Heller

Los Angeles Times – April 8, 2007
“A worthy addition... [My Holocaust] is subversive, painful, brilliant and, yes, both laugh-out-loud funny and illuminating. The brilliance of Reich's satire is its grounding in reasonable yet opposing perspectives. She then turns our solid moral ground to muck by pushing her characters and their agendas to ridiculous extremes. But My Holocaust is satire, not polemic; Reich makes us ache with both laughter and pain. ‘It's OK, I'm half-Jewish!’ I felt like assuring a waiter while laughing at My Holocaust over lunch. Then I found myself appreciating all the more Reich's dexterous provocation to question myself, and our world, anew.” – Tara Ison

The Washington Post – Sunday, April 8, 2007
“Serious and hilarious and utterly scathing – no, lacerating; no, disemboweling – My Holocaust takes no prisoners in its two short, bookended chapters and its two lengthy set pieces. There's something in My Holocaust to offend everyone... Yet there's almost – dare I say it? – faith at work in Reich's willful outrage. Beneath the humor lies the pure fury that once animated thoughts about the original atrocity. Tova Reich is the master of fury's return.” – Melvin Jules Bukiet

Entertainment Weekly (Pick of the Week; "A") – March 30, 2007
“No activist on behalf of any suffering class, however worthy, gets by unscathed in My Holocaust, Tova Reich's incendiary, important, furiously hilarious satire of the victim-commemoration industry. Reich's outrageous tale of well-intentioned tastelessness threatens to spin out of control on every page, yet the buffoonery twirls confidently on its own diamond-sharp tip of erudition. The idea is so goggling, and this book so special, that it's fitting to end on an inscription in the visitors' book imagined by Reich at her dream/nightmare victims' museum: ‘I enjoyed it very much. Thank you for making the Holocaust possible.’” – Lisa Schwarzbaum

Forward – March 23, 2007
“Deliciously wicked... The book is far more than the story of a couple of boobs trying to run a museum. It is, rather, a much grander indictment, an indictment of an entire universe of groups... all looking to claim their own little slice of Holocaust victimhood. Despite parallels to real-world entities, this is a work of the imagination, through and through.” – Gabriel Sanders

Booklist Review – March 15, 2007
“While Reich’s focus is on the Holocaust and its symbol, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, her broader target is manipulation and mendacity in contemporary society. Reich has assembled an outlandish cast… and although this satire could be tighter, it is piercing and perceptive and cuts a wide swath.”

Publishers Weekly – February 29, 2007
“In this savage satire of Holocaust commemoration’s misuses, Reich paints and pillories a culture of victimhood that, with its accompanying commemorative kitsch, all but eclipses the actual victims. Reich’s satire is broad, scabrous, cynical, over-the-top, often hilarious— and likely to cause a scandal.”

Kirkus Review – February 1, 2007
“A harshly provocative satire on the commodification of the Holocaust and competition for greater victimhood. Reich brings a relentlessly withering judgment to bear on the proliferation of museums, elites and status claims that have sprung from the Shoah. Reich's scathing critique expels some powerful darts of wit and perception from its arsenal of absurd characters, extreme points-of-view and acidic commentary, and concludes with a sly nod toward how certain survivors might operate. An exceptionally sacred cow is slaughtered by a clever but monotonous barrage of words.”
 

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