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Pizzeria Kamikaze Paperback – March 28, 2006

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Adapted by Israeli writer Keret from his own short story, and drawn by Hanuka, this rather slight graphic novel was originally serialized in the comic Bipolar. Narrator Mordy is a 20-something slacker who's killed himself, only to discover that the afterlife for suicides is rather like his previous existence, except with everyone's mortal injuries visible. (The dead can also perform miracles, but only if they're nothing particularly special.) He's got a job in a pizzeria, and a bunch of go-nowhere friends—but then his old roommate, who's thrown himself out a window, turns up and tells Mordy that the girl he killed himself over has also done herself in. Mordy and his pal Uzi head off on a not-particularly-vigorous search for her and find that she's fallen in with someone who calls himself the Messiah King, who has plans of his own for the intentionally dead. As a satire of the culture of blankness, it's somewhat feeble—Keret spends so much time setting up the ground rules for his limbo that the plot barely has a chance to develop, and it's hard to work up much sympathy for any of his affectless suicides. Hanuka's duotone artwork improves as the story goes along, building to some eerie images of heavenly tedium.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Alternative Comics (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891867903
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891867903
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 7.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,091,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Etgar Keret was born in Ramat Gan in 1967. His writing has been published in The New Yorker, Zoetrope and the Paris Review. His books has been translated into 37 languages. In 2007, Keret and Shira Geffen won the Cannes Film Festival's "Camera d'Or" Award for their movie Jellyfish. In 2010 Keret received the Chevalier Medallion of France'sOrdre des Arts et des Lettres. The Seven Good Years will be published by Riverhead Books in spring 2015.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso' on August 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
A wondrous conceit (which I won't give away) exquisitely realised in black, white and silver (and dazzlingly translated by Miriam Shlesinger). In adapting his own short story for this format Etgar Keret in my view improved on it mightily. This doesn't work for everyone, to judge from the other reviews, but to me this is a thrilling human drama that resonates with metaphysical depth (sounds poncey? so be it) - the vividness of the language ('grody' for grotty - love it!), the ingenuity and tightness of the plot, the many pictorial felicities (more please, Asaf Hanuka) and a search for truth that I don't think has been better articulated in comics since Mr Natural. Puts me in mind of that one-off movie Memento (tho that was actually a little thin on metaphysical depth), even down to its structural inconsistencies, which add to its tension, complexity and psychological depth. Yep, this is us, and whoever said life would be simple? A coup for Alternative Comics, late of Gainesville FL, recently revived in Cupertino CA. Reprint this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Etgar Keret, Pizzeria Kamikaze (Alternative Comics, 2006)

I'd had this sitting on my list of "stuff I want to get out of the library eventually" for years before I watched Wristcutters: A Love Story. I had somehow never made the connection between the controversial film and this book (which, if I recall correctly, I first heard about through Bookslut long before the movie's release). After seeing the book mentioned in the opening credits, however, I bumped it up to the top of the priority list. And here we are.

Pizzeria Kamikaze is the tale of Mordy, who's currently stuck in the afterlife. Which is kind of like Tel Aviv, only dirtier. He killed himself over a girl, you see. Now he's stuck working in the afterlife pizza parlor mentioned in the title, hanging out with his friend Uzi (bet you can guess how he killed himself). Until one day when the grapevine discharges the information that his ex-girlfriend has also killed herself (in despair over Mordy killing himself, no less), and Mordy and Uzi head out on the road to find her in the wilds of the afterlife. And they do get wild.

What strikes me most about this is that there's so much more Keret could have done with it. He adapted his own story ("Kneller's Happy Campers") to graphic novel form, and it seems like there was a lot of room for expansion here. We get what we get, though, and I like what we get a good deal. (Especially when you compare the movie's idiotic ending to the real thing, which makes a ton more sense.) Keret knows how to do a lot in very few words, and with the brevity of this, that's a talent that comes in very handy. It's a graphic novel that requires a lot of the reader; there's much to be had between the lines. But for the careful reader, it's a rewarding experience. ****
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Back in 2001, Israeli writer Keret's collection "The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God and Other Stories" was one of my favorite books of the year. So, I was psyched to see that he'd taken one of its stories ("Kneller's Happy Campers") and hooked up with well-known NY-based illustrator Tomer Hanuka to create a graphic novel. The story originally ran in segments in Hanuka's comic book, Bipolar, and here gets a really nice square format treatment in rich black and metallic silver ink on a lovely paper stock.

The story opens from the bottom of a grave, as protagonist Mordy informs us that he committed suicide. Immediately thereafter we learn that he is now "living" in a kind of afterlife inhabited solely by those who have killed themselves. It's very much like the "real" world, only most people walk around scarred by the manner in which they killed themselves (for example his sidekick sports a large bullet hole in his forehead). The exception are "Juliets" -- those who used methods such as poison or ODing, that left them unmarked. In any event, 20something Mordy leads a slackerish afterlife, holding down a crummy job at a pizzeria, and going to the same bars every night and never meeting anyone he connects with. The problem is that he pines after his presumably still living ex-girlfriend, who was ostensibly the reason for his suicide.

About a third of the way into the story, he learns that she also killed herself, and so he drags his pal Uzi off on a quest to find her. They drive out into the countryside, pick up a gorgeous hitchhiker, and end up at a weird kind of kibbutzish place where people can perform little miracles. The plot gets even more surreal after that, and sort of disolves into nothing.
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