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Suddenly, a Knock on the Door [Paperback]

Etgar Keret , Sondra Silverston , Miriam Shlesinger , Nathan Englander
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Mar 2013

Etgar Keret is an ingenious and original master of the short story. Radical, witty and always unusual, declared a 'genius' by the New York Times, Keret brings all of his prodigious talent to bear in this bestselling collection.

A man barges into a writer's house and, holding a gun to his head, demands that he tell him a story, something to take him away from the real world. A pathological liar discovers one day that all the lies he tells come true. A young woman finds a zip in her boyfriend's mouth, and when she opens it he unfolds to reveal a completely different man inside. Suddenly, a Knock on the Door is at once Keret's most mature and most playful work yet, and establishes him as one of the great international writers of our time.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (7 Mar 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0099563320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099563327
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 251,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Etgar Keret has written several great books, but this is his greatest. These stories are the most funny, dark and poignant I've read in a long time. It's tempting to say they are his most Kafkaesque, but in fact they are his most Keretesque" (Jonathan Safran Foer)

"Distinctive, understated and very funny... If you read only one book of short stories this year, it should be this one" (Daily Mail)

"Etgar Keret is a great short story writer whose work is all the greater because it’s funny...The stories are all thought-experiments. What if, they ask. Why not? And, what the heck? Like all art, they are highly patterned, highly charged, refracted reflections on the chaos and randomness of everyday existence" (Guardian)

"A maddening, abruptly moving and effortlessly funny collection ... Clever, relevant and oddly resonant, Suddenly a Knock on the Door is Keret’s best, most mature work and the perfect introduction to his sad, strange and moving fiction" (Independent)

"At once sophisticated and anti-literary, extremely funny and slyly serious. While invariably set in contemporary Israel, and full of sex and violence, they also hark back to older storytelling traditions such as the parable, the folk tale and the absurdist fiction of Gogol and Kafka" (Observer)

Book Description

From the critically acclaimed master short-story teller Etgar Keret, comes this long-awaited and bestselling collection

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love it! 15 Nov 2013
By Linda L
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book of short stories is great! It's funny, weird, interesting and easy to read before bed!
My first Etgar Keret book, but definetly not my last!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suddenly, 14 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Suddenly, a Knock at the Door, Etgar Keret's first new collection in ten years, offers a masterful selection of short stories. Like those in his previous collections, the stories in Suddenly... are delightful little tales of the drama and absurdity of everyday life. These are extraordinary stories of seemingly average folks and the strange and surreal circumstances in which they find themselves.

While Suddenly... is full of so many great stories that it is hard to pick favourites, there are a number of tales that particularly stand out. In `Simyon' a young woman confronts the death of her forgotten husband, while in `Unzipping' the truth about a boyfriend's character is revealed. Both of these stories offer surprisingly insights into the nature of humanity and the quality of relationships. Many of Keret's stories are woven around the mundane spectres of daily life but some of them are quite delightfully, magically odd. In `What, of this Goldfish, Would You Ask' a documentary filmmaker stumbles into a lonely Russian's contemporary Aladdin-style dilemma, while `Haemorrhoid' presents a surprising take on the nature of power and affliction. These are just four favourites from the collection but there are many more sublime stories to be enjoyed.

It's hard to spot Keret himself among the disparate characters who people this collection, although several of the stories are about writers. In `Suddenly, a Knock on the Door', the title story and first in the collection, a writer has to ward off increasingly aggressive demands that he produces a new story. Hopefully there were fewer pistols involved in the writing of this book. In `Creative Writing' Aviad's girlfriend experiences unexpected success with her story writing while Aviad himself can't seem to master the ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome stories 28 Aug 2013
By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
"Tell Me A Story" opens this book of short stories, as a writer called Etgar Keret is forced at gunpoint to make up a story on the spot by a home invader. As more characters are introduced - a survey taker, a pizza delivery man, all of whom turn up at his door in succession like in a sitcom - each of them enter his flat, pull out a weapon and demand a story. This sense of playfulness and originality runs through a lot of the short stories in Keret's latest collection, "Suddenly, A Knock On The Door".

Keret's stories move fluidly between literary styles from surrealism, like in the first story, to magical realist like in "Lieland". In this story a man who has told lies his entire life discovers - via a gumball machine - that a land exists where all of his lies are reality. Every unfortunate character from this man's made-up stories lives in Lieland. The handicapped cousin he used as an excuse for being late to work one time? He lives in Lieland. Hundreds of lies made real in this strange land. Other stories in this vein include "Unzipping" where a woman discovers a zip on her boyfriend's tongue and, upon unzipping it, reveals a similar-looking man but with an entirely different personality.

Though these stories are enjoyable for their inventiveness and imagination, Keret's other types of stories involve everyday settings and people to equal effectiveness. "Cheesus Christ" is one such story where a man's dying words in a fast food restaurant sets off a chain of events for everyone involved with the business, centred around the inclusion of a non-cheese hamburger to the menu. In "Teamwork" a father believes that his very young son wants him to kill his mother-in-law (or is that just his imagination and own dark desires?) and concocts a brutal plan of murder.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Suddenly, a Knock on the Door 5 April 2013
By VM
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Suddenly, a Knock on the Door - absolutelly brilliant author. He can be sad , he can be sarcastic, he can turn the everyday and make you think of the not so happy endings of his stories. Or just delay the end of the story.I recommend Etgar - great story teller!
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