The Nimrod Flipout

Etgar Keret, Author, Miriam Shlesinger, Translator, Sondra Silverston, Translator , trans. from the Hebrew by Miriam Schlesinger and Sondra Silverston. Farrar, Straus & Giroux $12 (167p) ISBN 978-0-374-22243-7

Keret, an Israeli writer who also writes children's books and collaborates with illustrators on graphic stories and novels, specializes in brainteasing short short stories reminiscent of the "Shouts and Murmurs" section of the New Yorker —30 are packed in this thin volume. A typical Keret situation is enacted in "Your Man": the narrator finds that his girlfriends inexplicably break up with him in the back of taxicabs while the radio always announces a caller from a certain address. He goes to the address, finds photos of his exes tacked to the wall and erupts in violence, with repercussions that give new meaning to masochism. Dogs play a role in Keret's stories similar to the sly role they assume in Thurber cartoons, hovering between the fantastic and the everyday, and sex is an obsession ("Actually, I've Had Some Phenomenal Hardons Lately" is one story's title.) In "Fatso," a man's girlfriend confides a secret: she turns into a rotund male at night. Like French surrealist Marcel Aymé, Keret keeps his stories one dimensional, but it's a dimension he has mastered, one that peels away the borderlines of normalcy. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/30/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-4299-3320-9
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