In Los Angeles in 2022, the Jacobson family is coming apart at the seams. A flood of Israeli refugees into the country has brought deep hostilities and latent anti-Semitism to the forefront of American life. Amid this fraught political climate, the Jacobson family gathers for Passover, reuniting from around the world for the first time in years. But despite the backdrop of increased intolerance and terror, their immediate problems seem to be more personal than political. The three adult children of Julian and Roz Jacobson — Moses, Edith and Jacob — find themselves in various states of crisis, the result, each claims, of a lifetime of mistreatment by their sociopathic father. The Jacobson offspring have begun to suspect Julian is hastening their mother’s demise. And years of resentment reach a climax as the siblings debate whether to go through with the real reason for their reunion: an ill-considered plot to murder their father and end his iron rule once and for all. That is, if they can put aside the bickering and the grudges, not to mention the festering relationships they have with their partners and with one another long enough to act.
"Essential reading for our times."
—MATTHEW THOMAS, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves
"A wickedly funny, intelligent examination of the dynamics of a uniquely strange family, and David Samuel Levinson guides these characters through a plot that intensifies in such unexpected ways. Against a backdrop that feels both terrifying and yet utterly plausible, Levinson again and again finds ways to make the struggles of this clan explode with a kind of humor that most writers could not dream of pulling off. A daring, memorable novel."
—KEVIN WILSON, author of The Family Fang
"An absolute joyride through the dark, beautiful terrain of the near future. Reading these pages is such a deep pleasure for the reader, to see these crystalline sentences pour forth, each one full of life and imagination. I loved this book, and will continue to read it."
—REBECCA LEE, author of Bobcat and Other Stories
"Tell Me How This Ends Well is Cormac McCarthy’s The Road doing 70 mph in reverse on the 405. David Samuel Levinson’s dystopian vision is deeply strange in the best way, perverse and precise and teeming with life, reminiscent of George Saunders, Flannery O’Connor, Nathanael West. A comic novel firing on all cylinders, with one eye on the highway and the other to our future."
—DANIEL TORDAY, author of The Last Flight of Poxl West
"Like absolutely nothing I’ve read before, Levinson’s brilliantly unsettling, fiercely funny novel takes on both dangerous intolerance in the near-future world, and in the confines of one wildly destructive family, where ties tighten like nooses and kith and kin can become like warring political systems. Affecting and hilarious, and filled with dark truths that gleam like jewels. I totally loved it."
—CAROLINE LEAVITT, author of Cruel Beautiful World