cover image Cut Throat Dog

Cut Throat Dog

Joshua Sobol, trans. from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu, Melville International Crime (Random, dist.), $15 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-935554-21-9

Teasing out the storyline of Israeli playwright Sobol's English language debut requires more effort than readers may want to invest. Years earlier, the Israeli operative known as Shakespeare lost a good friend, Jonas, to a Syrian terrorist, Tino Rossi. Intelligence reported that Tino's corpse was found in the Libyan desert, but in the present, Shakespeare becomes convinced that the terrorist is alive and well and hanging out in Manhattan bars. Those expecting a standard, linear, stalking of quarry plot will be disappointed, and even Americans with some familiarity with Israeli society will find the author's baroque style, with lapses into broad parody, hard to digest. Sobol's dramas and his views on the Palestinian issue have been controversial in his native country, but this offbeat novel is unlikely to spark much debate, political or otherwise. (Nov. 2)