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Download Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Foreskins Lament: A Memoir Audiobook, by Shalom Auslander Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,654 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Shalom Auslander Narrator: Shalom Auslander Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2007 ISBN: 9781429587143
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Shalom Auslander was raised with a terrified respect for God. Even as he grew up and was estranged from his community, his religion, and its traditions, he could not find his way to a life where he didn’t struggle against God daily.

Foreskin’s Lament reveals Auslander’s youth in a strict, socially isolated Orthodox community, and recounts his rebellion and efforts to make a new life apart from it. Auslander remembers his youthful attempt to win the “blessing bee” (the Orthodox version of a spelling bee), his exile to an Orthodox-style reform school in Israel after he’s caught shoplifting Union Bay jeans from the mall, and his fourteen-mile hike to watch the New York Rangers play in Madison Square Garden without violating the Sabbath. Throughout, Auslander struggles to understand God and his complicated, often contradictory laws. He tries to negotiate with God and his representatives: a day of sin-free living for a day of indulgence, a blessing for each profanity. But ultimately, Auslander settles for a peaceful cease-fire, a standoff with God, and accepts the very slim remaining hope that his newborn son might live free of guilt, doubt, and struggle.

Auslander’s combination of unrelenting humor and anger renders a rich and fascinating portrait of a man grappling with his faith, family, and community.

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Quotes & Awards

  • One of the 2007 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fleur | 2/20/2014

    " One of the funiest book i've ever read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 2/18/2014

    " This is an extremely angry book, but pretty darn funny as well. I won't pretend that my own devout religious upbringing was anywhere close to as strict as Auslander's - but a lot of theological wrestling rings a bell with me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gitta | 2/13/2014

    " Shalom Auslander is almost as funny as David Sedaris. This book, his memoir, is a little dark, but is a really fascinating look at childhood in Orthodox Jewish community. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 2/9/2014

    " Shalom has written the quintessential book about what religion can do to a child's mind. Jew's are known for their guilt complexes, right behind Catholics. Shalom makes you live and breath what it is like to live a live of constant fear. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate Turner | 1/25/2014

    " Auslander's acerbic wit is delightful! I knew growing up as an Orthodox Jew is no picnic, but this book really hammered that home for me. Poor Shalom, having to sneak out for guilty Slim Jims, museum trips, and porno mags under the eye of an a-hole Sky-Dad! I had to confirm with my wife (an ex-Orthodox Jew) that there are such ridiculous events as "Blessing Bees". Overall, a funny, troubling, informative memoir. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh | 1/18/2014

    " Great memoir. Sardonic, brave, honest. Now I've got to go find everything this guy has ever written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alwina | 12/19/2013

    " Maybe it's just where I work and have worked for so long, but this was very funny--I heard the author reading on NPR, picked-up the book and finished it the same night. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paul Gilbert | 12/17/2013

    " In the end, Shalom Auslander was just a little too angry and messed up for it to be a fun read. I think he's better in small doses, like his pieces for This American Life. He did pique my interest in orthodox Judaism, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mia | 12/11/2013

    " this book is both hysterically funny and exceptionally well-written. i've been trying to get every single person i know to read it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alyssa | 11/3/2013

    " Interesting, but a little too depressing. I really got the feeling that the author is never going to be able to move on from his bad childhood in a orthodox community. I kinda wanted to scream at him to get over it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 9/24/2013

    " If I could give this book six stars, I would! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alice | 5/16/2013

    " This is a hilarious, thought-provoking memior. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Brimm | 2/7/2013

    " Absolutely hilarious story of an Orthodox kid that goes off the deep end. Truly one of the funniest books I have ever read. Laugh aloud (if you aren't Orthodox. If you are, do not get caught reading this!) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jody | 10/8/2012

    " I have read other books with similar themes that I liked better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 3/30/2012

    " I wasn't crazy about this book as I was reading it but after our bookclub discussion I found I enjoyed it more looking back on it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tina | 2/4/2012

    " The author had a rather humorous voice, but the story itself wasn't that memorable for me. I'm always a fan of memoirs, though, as well as Jewish culture. Hence, the attraction. I would recommend, but only if asked. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheryl | 1/12/2012

    " It feels a bit wrong to enjoy miserable people so much. And as a cradle Catholic, I find his stories about being raised as an Orthodox Jew fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ilse | 12/22/2011

    " Heerlijk... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Thryn G | 9/30/2011

    " This guy would have been a neurotic mess no matter WHAT religion he was raised in. I don't think Judaism can be blamed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel Jones | 9/7/2011

    " oy! this is blistering, black-humored, kiss-your-family-goodbye-forever, stuff. i loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gail | 4/25/2011

    " Painfully angry; a very uncomfortable reading experience. Not recommended for anyone who is easily offended, as it is profane and blasphemous. Many found this book funny; I didn't. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stefania | 4/14/2011

    " Esilarante! Auslander (l'ho scritto bene?) ci racconta di un dio così umano e così vicino che non solo lo conosce personalmente, ma ce l'ha anche personalmente con lui! Una gustosa lettura di umorismo yiddish ai giorni nostri! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy | 4/9/2011

    " Orthodox Judaism's answer to Augusten Burroughs. This memoir is both painfully raw and outrageously funny. Not for the faint of heart. This is a man gripped by a strong belief in a God who is out to punish him and, folks, he's pissed about it.

    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Plg | 3/7/2011

    " __lo estoy leyendo en español, claro__ "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mimi | 2/7/2011

    " This guy is funny! I'm glad he's not dead, and glad his baby isn't dead or his wife. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lucblondeel | 1/17/2011

    " Foreskin's Lament; A Memoir
    He has been theologically abused
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 12/28/2010

    " I'm at page 20 and I've laughed out loud at least 5 times.

    I'm finished and have laughed all the way through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindie | 12/20/2010

    " His writing is very funny -- despite the tragic story. I am not sure how much of his childhood he can blame on Orthodoxy -- it seems to me, the real villian here is alcoholism, with a second-runner up going to the codependency of his mother. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grenouille | 11/22/2010

    " Esilarante. Forse un po' ripetitivo, ma davvero divertente.
    Un Philip Roth più angosciato ("Il lamento di Portnoy" è lo spunto per il titolo), più cinico, e decisamente più spassoso.
    Grazie ad Elettra Caporello (la traduttrice) che me ne ha parlato e mi ha fatto incuriosire. "

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About the Author

Shalom Auslander was raised in Monsey, New York. Nominated for the Koret Award for writers under thirty-five, he has published articles in Esquire, New York Times Magazine, Tablet, and the New Yorker and has had stories aired on NPR’s This American Life. He is the author of the short-story collection Beware of God and the memoir Foreskin’s Lament. He lives in New York.