on 30 January 2011
The cover blurbs for this book are grounds for contravening the Trades Descriptions Act: it's not irresistible, exhilarating or wonderfully optimistic but a collection of - mercifully short - pieces that show how a dull writer can't transform the mundane and ordinbary into something else. The whole comes across as a monotonous collection of pointless anecdotes interspersed with the occasional idea that could have been interesting if the author had bothered to develop it.
The post-modern cop out that these pieces reflect real life is no excuse for the lazy writing: one voice throughout, usually in the first person, the result resembles being trapped with someone who thinks he is interesting and insists on repeatedly telling lifeless non-stories with the same boring voice.
There are writers who can make the ordinary seem interesting, fresh or amusing but Keret isn't one of them.
on 8 April 2006
Some of these stories are brilliant, 1st round knockout triumphs. Others are yawns. The range of quality goes all the way from about 3-10. I'd say buy the book for the knockouts but be ready for those yawns as well. The blurbs on the book are exaggerated and misleading, as blurbs often are. Maybe some day, but not in this collection.
on 9 November 2008
Etgar Keret's stories are bizarre and off-beat. He has a mind like a corkscrew
Most of his stories instantly ensnared me - pulling me right in from the very first sentence! Be warned - these tales are probably unlike anything else you may ever have come across.
The actual story called 'The Nimrod Flipout' - after which the book is named - had me laughing aloud. Other stories therein - such as the unforgettable 'Glittery Eyes' - are self-contained pieces of pure art. Each story is quick-paced - told with the sharp, ranting style of a stand-up comedian - but these stories are not jokes, (some of them are far from funny - though most of them are rich with absurdity.) He touches upon many everyday nuances - both light and dark and he writes with a deceptive simplicity. These stories are just so easily readible - sometimes compellingly so - but they contain myriad shades and moods.
These stories are, all at once - quirky, insightful, surreal, down-to-earth, zany, ironic, original, refresingly macho, totally unpretentious, and brilliantly clever.
Even if you don't normally read books, even if you never indulge in any sort of fiction whatsoever - you may still enjoy this book. Anyone, anywhere, will find something in this book that will grab, shock, amuse, inspire, provoke or entertain them. Read it, see if I am right - I dare you!