I got my second book of Etgar Keret short stories on Friday for the 2-hour bus trip each way to Haifa (people are pretty much back to the regular routine, though some still understandably quite rattled), and have been enjoying them so much I thought I’d post about him.
He’s basically the reigning Young Israeli Writer–I think he’s in his late 30s–and is a master of short, sharp, black-humored stories that leave this silence dangling in the air after you finish them. Here are a few: Halibut, The Nimrod Flip-Out, and do not miss the audio versions of Pipes and Fatso (read by Ira Glass, no less) You can go here to read some of his stuff in the original.
If you’re going to buy one book of his, though (and you should) it should be this one, because “Kneller’s Happy Campers” is one of his most famous stories for very good reason. I guess there’s even a movie based on it that’s getting good reviews and features, dang it, Tom Waits.
That’s all. Now those of you who don’t know, maybe will.
There is also a good graphic novel adaptation by Asaf Hanuka. When Wristcutters came to Seattle, my Jewish comix artist friend Miriam Libicki and I went with a bunch of folks to check it out. It’s quite good. Also, Miriam talked to the director Goran Dukic, and apparently the screen and comix adaptations developed simultaneously, each going in its own direction from Keret’s original, yet informing each other somewhat along the way. It’s neat to see how much life there has been to this piece! Now I just hope the film gets distribution.