"Hi Maurice." "Hi Suzanne."

"You must be relieved that we are pretty much done with our thesis."

"Seriously! I am very excited. How will we spend our new free time? Magazines? The gym? Napping? Chatting up friends? Crappy TV? Finally watching Wall Street?"

"Actually, I was thinking we should read Life and Fate, 'an epic tale of World War II and a profound reckoning with the dark forces that dominated the twentieth century.' It's only 871 pages, not including the introduction (about the life of Vasily Grossman, the author) and the list of characters at the end who we'll never get straight because they are all long Russian names and there are jillions of them. I'm so excited."

"I hate you."

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