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Cousins' Club
Cousin’s Club is a satiric novel about the least successful Jewish family in America and their odd solution to change their fortunes. The matriarch consults medieval Sephardic texts and determines that the next child born to the family will have a great mind. And because no one family is smart enough to raise him alone, he will be passed around from household to household, to gain the collected wisdom of the quirky clan. Among the many characters are his birth father who conjures up inventions that have already been invented. Aunt Georgia and Unkle Traktor, Trotskyists who are unsuccessful in their desire to be blacklisted. And Cousin Tummler, an unfunny comic, who is married to the volatile Muriel who are parents of a Buddhist and potential serial killer.

Semi Finalist

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10


Plot: Alexander writes a darkly comic novel about an eccentric Jewish family that hatches a novel plan to raise a genius child.

Prose: Alexander’s prose is droll, yet highly readable, humming forward with whip smart observations that never come across as pretentious or overreaching.

Originality: The story’s originality lies in the author’s ability to craft fresh and full characters; there is no other family quite like the preposterous and wholly lovable one he introduces here—and that is quite a feat.

Character Development: The novel excels at providing sharp insights into characters through effective dialogue and succinct descriptions. The extended family members Alexander introduces are entirely real in their neuroses, insecurities, and absurdities.

Date Submitted: June 28, 2017