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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: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,314,974 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

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Simon Savidge Reads TOP 1000 REVIEWER 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 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
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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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Lawson VINE VOICE on 5 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Books about Israel and the Palestinians are treading difficult grounds. There are so many entrenched positions and pre-conceived notions that it is difficult to say anything new, illuminating or fresh. This wonderful book does all that and more. In some ways it reminded me of the film Babel which demonstrated how almost random events and coincidences in different people's life stories could overlap and interact. In this case the separation of the two main characters is because one (the Croc of the title) is Israeli and the other is a Palestinian. Through much of the book they have no direct interaction. However, we see that the Israeli is trying to live a normal life working and trying to sort out his personal relationships whilst trying to ignore the ever present fear of terrorist attack; a fear which he has to confront directly not once but on a number of occasions. Simultaneously a Palestinian talks to his father of studying and trying to establish himself in a profession whilst day to day being subject to anything from petty restrictions to arbitrary travel restrictions which in the end costs life through denial of simple medical care and access to water.
Each deals with this in their own way with a complex mix of anger and despair, but each preserves some humanity in circumstances which become more and more extreme.
This is not a book which simply tells a story; indeed the story itself is rather more symbolic than realistic, relying on coincidences which are improbable in the extreme if analysed literally. However, the circumstances that make life intolerable for each side of the divide are made understandable, as is the complex anger, resentment, and sadness, and humanity too. It is a book of violence and tenderness that has fixed itself in my memory and given me much to ponder.
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By Glasgow Dreamer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 April 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'v etried to get into this book a number of times now. The blurb makes it look an interesting read, and I was looking forward to getting an insight into what it is like "on the ground" in this troubled part of the world.

However, like at least one other reviewer, I was disappointed by the lack or realism here; the characters, and what happened to them, were rather unbelievable, and the unfamiliar sounding names didn't help (admittedly not solely the author's fault - this is possibly why he used a nickname "Croc" for a principal character).

This feeling of incredulity also left me wondering how much of the background comment on the political/social situation could be taken as authentic.

Given what I had read about the book, mainly on Amazon, I expected more/better. I found the book tough going and not particularly engaging, and I confess I have yet to complete it; I don't know if I will.
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