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CrocAttack! [Paperback]

Assaf Gavron
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Mar 2010

A darkly comic novel about the bizarre realities of life in Israel today.

Why is everyone so paranoid in this country? Can't dark guys get on buses with suit bags any more?Eitan Enoch - 'Croc' to his friends - is taking his usual bus to work in Tel Aviv one morning when a fellow passenger starts to worry about the dark-skinned man with the suit-bag sitting up at the front.

Thus begins a week of bloody bombings and bloodier reprisals, at the end of which Croc is transformed into an inadvertent national celebrity: 'CrocAttack - the man the terrorists couldn't kill!' Naturally, the Palestinian cell behind the attacks are less than happy about this reluctant symbol of Israeli defiance. They may not have been after him before, but they are now.

Meanwhile, in a hospital somewhere in Jerusalem, a young Palestinian suicide bomber lies in a coma, fighting for his life and trying to piece together how he got there - and just exactly what happened when he finally met the Croc…

Fast as a thriller, blackly funny and very contemporary, CrocAttack! is the story of the lethal convergence of two very different lives, and a tragicomic portrait of the country exploding around them.

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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: 21.4 x 13.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 943,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"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?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not A Load of Croc At All 31 Mar 2010
By Simon Savidge Reads TOP 500 REVIEWER
`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
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, rather dull. 19 July 2010
By Doh
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
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two People 17 Jun 2010
By Patrick Duffy VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A dark but humourous read where we have two characters on opposite sides. The auther catches the tone of the environment smattered with a survivor of terrorist attacks and those who are plotting attacks.
The story switches nicely from aspects of the two main characters and you can see where it is going but yet the book keeps you hooked as you want to see how events play out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars compulsive 10 May 2010
Excellent,sensitive and captivating account of the issues from both perspectives.
The style and character development are so good-it's the kind of book you can't put down even when you want to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No Great Insight 6 April 2010
By H. meiehofer VINE VOICE
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Darkly comic insight into a tragic situation 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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sadly touching and sympathetic 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to follow
The book is probably an excellent one for those with a better knowledge of the Arabic/Israeli names and geography of the country than I have. I had to give up in th end.
Published 14 months ago by Mark Dene
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
I really wanted to like this book; in fact I've picked it up a number of times, started it and put it back again. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Boof
2.0 out of 5 stars When 'darkly comic' means 'not funny'
Dark comedy can be excellent, but not a near total eclipse. And a promising-sounding story can't come alive on the page by itself. Read more
Published on 21 Oct 2011 by the antiquary
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
Croc Attack is a classic case of a novel being OK. There's nothing to dislike in it; there's an interesting setting, some light moments of comedy, some political thinking, some... Read more
Published on 23 Feb 2011 by MisterHobgoblin
5.0 out of 5 stars I can see why some Israelis got very upset about this book
Seems to me to do a good job of making all the characters real and the story compelling. Making all the characters real, of course, makes it difficult for those who think that one... Read more
Published on 9 Dec 2010 by Gerald Law
3.0 out of 5 stars Avoid this if you're planning a trip to Israel!
When Eitan Enoch, Croc to his friends, survives three terrorist attacks in a week, he becomes a celebrity throughout Israel. Read more
Published on 17 May 2010 by AR
4.0 out of 5 stars Israel's 'Catch-22'
Oh dear, the title. So let's get that bit out of the way first because it's probably going to be the biggest single factor if this book falls short of the success it deserves. Read more
Published on 9 May 2010 by Jonathan Posner
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a struggle, don't know if it's worth the effort.
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... Read more
Published on 22 April 2010 by Glasgow Dreamer
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