“Gavron has written a highly entertaining novel about a problem so complex that a political and territorial resolution has eluded the world’s leaders for over half a century. Fahmi’s general good-naturedness and Croc’s dark humor won me over quickly. Both wonder who or what is guiding their destinies; in the practical view of the reader, that would be Gavron, using his equally appealing characters to present a compassionate and even-handed perspective on his volatile country.”
“Gavron has crafted a compulsively readable, bleakly funny thriller that covers a lot of ground—lampooning secular Israelis’ superficial distractions and cult of celebrity, blasting the country’s Manichean political discourse, and taking swipes at religious self-righteousness and closed-mindedness, both Muslim and Jewish—while offering a generous and humane portrait of his two tragically conjoined protagonists. It is an admirable achievement.”
Review of Almost Dead by Joel Streicker, in the Case Western Reserve University Judaic Studies website.
Reading with German politician (former foreign minister and current head of opposition) Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Gollwitz Castle, Brandenburg, near Berlin. Dr. Steinmeier read from the German edition of the novel “Alles Paletti” (Moving).
“A black comedy about suicide bombing, in which a 30-something Israeli survives three attacks in one week and becomes a national symbol of resilience. The moral heart of the novel, through, resides in a second protagonist, a conflicted Palestinian terrorist lost in the depths of coma sleep: His dream-like memories make palpable both his reluctance and complicity.”
David L. Ulin’s 6 favorite books, published in The Week.
This photo was taken by Gerhard Kassner for the Berlinale Film Festival. It was hang on the wall of the Berlinale Theater for the duration of the festival, where I was a member of the First feature jury.
“It would be hard to imagine any political, historical or cultural account of the troubles of the Middle East that would lay bare the desolation of its endless, mindless hatred as well as this short novel does.” Review by Laura Hadley in Utah’s Daily Herlad.
“A black comedy about suicide bombing, written with a deft and telling eye. Narrated, in turn, by an Israeli and a Palestinian, this novel resonates with a moral vision so unrelenting that we can’t help but confront (and more importantly, recognize) the confusion and divided loyalties on both sides.”
David L. Ulin’s favorite books of the year, published in the Los Angeles Times.