This extraordinary prize winning first novel is a medley of three exuberantly written interconnected stories. First there is the story written by hilarious Ukrainian Heritage Tour guide and translator Alex Perchov. Alex describes the trip that Jewish-American Jonathan Safran Foer is making to Ukraine to try and locate a Ukrainian woman called Augustine from the small shtetl called Trachimbrod. Augustine helped his grandfather escape from the Nazis. On the trip are also Alex's begrudging grandfather the driver and his mad dog Sammy Davis Jnr, Jnr. It is Alex's use of the English Thesaurus that provides hilarious descriptions of the events. The second story is written by Jonathan Safran Foer. It is a trip into the magical goings on at Trachimbrod from its foundation in the 1790s and also in the 1940s. This describes Safran's earliest ancestors lusting after a girl called Brod and also his grandfather with a withered arm's sexual exploits in the 1940s. In the third story Alex is writing letters to Jonathan to wittily comment on the second story that Jonathan is sending him and also on the first that he himself is writing. All three stories meet at the holocaust when the Nazi's wiped out Trachimbrod and hundreds of other Jewish towns in the Ukraine. The group meet someone who might be Augustine and Alex's grandfather recounts the act that has haunted his life when he betrayed his Jewish best friend to a certain death at the hands of the Nazis in order to save his own life.
This report prepared by John Marcel