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CrocAttack! Paperback – 4 Mar 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007327463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007327461
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,313,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Excellent: smart, funny and authentic." Joe Dunthorne

'Assaf Gavron has done the impossible: written a darkly funny novel about suicide bombing. In a dazzling display of empathy, Gavron creates two equally compelling narrators, the bomber and his victim. This is a virtuoso work; a pitch-perfect rendering of real Israeli life in all its chaos, energy, humour and terror. I couldn't put it down.' Geraldine Brooks

Book Description

Why is everyone so paranoid in this country? Can't dark guys get on buses with suit bags any more?


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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Simon Savidge Reads on 31 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
`CrocAttack!' by Assaf Gavron is a book that would have come to my attention without any help as it is set in Israel, particularly Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which I fell in love with when I went there last year. However this would probably not be the ideal holiday read to take on a trip there or before you go as it looks at the terrorism seen in Israel. I should make clear though that this book is set almost a decade ago when the Israeli/Palestine tensions and conflicts were at their most destructive.

Eitan Enoch is your average business man who is in a slightly turbulent relationship (his girlfriend Duchi is an interesting character) and in a steady average job being paid to save and find time for companies like the UK's 118 118. On a normal routine bus ride to work in Tel Aviv one morning a fellow passenger begins to fret over a dark skinned man with a suit bag and believes he is a terrorist. Eitan, or `Croc' to his friends, simply laughs it off. When the bus then explodes not long after he has dismounted and gotten the lift up to work Croc can't believe what has happened. He also can't believe it when he is involved in another set of terrorist attacks and neither can the public soon elevating him into being a national figure something the terrorists themselves want stopped.

If that wasn't enough of a story line Gavron gives us another in alternating chapters which looks at the situation from a completely different angle, the mindset, feelings and driving forces of a terrorist. An initially unnamed young man lies in a coma unable to speak or communicate with the outside world, though he can understand what is going on around him, looking back at his life and how he came to be a suicide bomber and how his life came to that hospital bed at that time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Doh on 19 July 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
From the opening scene we take the viewpoint of Croc as he boards a Little No5 bus. Then an elderly lady comments that one of the passengers looks suspicious. Croc dismisses it only to find out later that the suspicious looking character was carrying a bomb.

Next chapter we are taking the alternate viewpoint from a suicide bomber named Fahmi. He's in a coma but aware of his surroundings and reflecting on his life.

An interesting start for what I hoped would be a good read. This novel looks at the situation from both sides but never really seemed to go anywhere with it and the characters seemed rather flat. The inital chapters were interesting but I quickly lost interest. It was a struggle to finish and by the end I wasn't really taking much of the story in. Overall, dull and unispired. Pity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. meiehofer VINE VOICE on 6 April 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I had high expectations of this book; unfortunately I was disappointed.

The eponymous Croc does provide some amusement. He appears to be a bit of a jinx as those around him come to sticky ends throughout the book (getting off the bus if you see him would be a good idea). Unhappily, for a supposedly darkly comic novel it is just not that funny.

There are two narrative strands in the book, mirroring the two sides in this Middle East conflict. The Palestinian "side" has little by way of laughs, but then perhaps that reflects reality.

I had hoped that this novel would provide me with more insight into the conflict bit I learned little if anything new.

Humour is of course a matter of taste and it may be that others would find this funny, but for me it failed on all levels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Dawson VINE VOICE on 29 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Unrest in the Holy land has been going on my entire life (and long before), to the point where the conflict between the Arabs and the Israelis seems almost like wallpaper and I am often too overwhelmed to attempt to understand the details. I'm not going to pretend this book is the best way to understand the nuances of the situation, but Assaf Gavron does an excellent job of putting human faces to both sides, and gives some insight into day to day life in this most troubled of areas. More to the point, he does it in a way which is entirely accessible - sometimes funny, usually dark, and always moving.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When Eitan Enoch, Croc to his friends, survives three terrorist attacks in a week, he becomes a celebrity throughout Israel. But he also comes to the attention of the terrorists behind the attacks, who decide that a symbol of Israeli defiance is the perfect target for a major bombing. With his nerves shredded and his personal life in disarray, Croc becomes obsessed with the girlfriend of a man he met in the first attack, but his journey leads him to cross paths with a young Arab man on a mission...

This is a dark and thought-provoking look at the current Israel/Palestine situation, told from both perspectives. We first meet Croc as a confident, cosmopolitan Israeli who works for a trendy start-up company dedicated to saving time and lives with his lawyer fiancee. On his way to work one day, the old lady beside him on the bus voices her suspicions of a young man with a suit bag but he downplays them, along with another passenger. Croc gets off the bus and moments later it explodes. After another two attacks, Croc is disintegrating, about to lose his job and girlfriend.

On the other side, Fahmi is a young Arab man in hospital in a coma, suspected of attacking the Croc. His story is revealed, as is what life is like in a Palestinian camp. Fahmi is a terrorist, but he is also a sympathetic character who quietly rebels against his fiercely jihadist brother. He is in love with childhood friend, and cares deeply for his younger sister and father.

This isn't a bad book, but I was a bit disappointed, as the blurb makes it sound like a visceral, blackly comic thriller, which it didn't turn out to be. There are moments of darkly surreal humour - Croc being kicked in the forehead by a severed foot during a bombing stands out - but the book isn't as sharp as I expected.
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