When I put down this book, I had to sit quietly and take a few deep breaths. The end had been hinted at in the narrative, yet came as a shook. In "My First Sony", Benny Barbarash tells the story of an extended Israeli family through the eyes and ears of Yotam, who records family conversations and events. The characters are varied and well drawn - one can empathise with them all and understand why they take the positions they do in the family feuds described. The plot is sometimes confusing, as the narrative jumps back and forth in time, but comes to a clear and powerful denoument in the final pages. Barbarash doesn't succeed in presenting the narrative as that of a child in the way that, say, Paddy Clarke does in "Roddy Doyle Ha Ha Ha", but the reader is presented with a microcosm of contemporary Israeli society - religious against secular, right against left - as well as a fine portrait of a tragic relationship between two very complicated people. Barbarash doesn't quite achieve all he aimed at, but the book nonetheless comes highly recommended.