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THE MINISTRY OF SPECIAL CASES - Book Review

The opening scene is a sinister metaphor for a dark period in Argentina’s history – the fearsome junta of the 70ies. Kaddish, under the cover of darkness is removing Jewish names from headstones in a forgotten cemetery in Buenos Aires. The ‘erasing’ – the ‘disappearing’ continues as a growing evil in a government that breeds corruption.


The author, Nathan Englander demands patience as he often, cleverly creates confusion, only to suddenly adjust the focus, revealing clarity that creates maximum impact on the reader.


His black humour provides relief for the growing despair Kaddish, his family and a nation suffer, attempting to survive a ruthless dictatorship. The author’s wit and love for the absurd flavours his narrative so it reads like a fable, possibly softening the horror hidden deeper in Argentina’s Dirty War.


I fell under Englander’s spell, who kept me on edge until the last page.



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