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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.)
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Once you know that Keret's work has been featured on NPR's This American Life and Selected Shorts, it becomes hard to think of these 30 pieces as short stories. The adenoidal 35--going-on-13 tones of the former program's host grate in the mind like the voices of Woody Allen, Shelley Berman, and other ur-stand-ups, and the veil is parted. These aren't stories, they're routines! They're mostly told in the third person by the same kind of guys (once, gal) as the protagonists: schlemiels, though the singles among them are also slackers.^B They're modern young Israelis fixated on sex, unable to make lasting connections, frustrated to quiet madness, and feckless as . . . a stand-up's persona. Most of their stories are could-be realistic, a few are ultimately sentimental, and the best are arguably the fantasies, such as the volume opener, whose protagonist has a girlfriend ("the sex is dynamite") who becomes a fat, hairy, party-animal guy at night, and is still as much fun to be with. Vulgar, sad-sacky stuff, but amusing. Ray Olson
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This is a great book, even for those with afflicted with a short attention.Published 5 months ago by Uriah J. Kilgore
Gave it as a Christmas gift and just flipping through it beforehand I couldn't put it down. Hilarious writing. Read morePublished 8 months ago by C. Finch
This author is wacky. I like that. Fantasy, fun, silliness, oddity, and horror. What could be better.Published 11 months ago by Jessica Salmonson
Adolescent sensibility, not in a good way: look-at-me sketches that almost never fail to go for the cheapest effects. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
the best thing I like about this book was everything,
I love the author's style of writing, cynical and honest, not patronizing in any matter.
These stories are entertaining in a very perverse way. Someone told me these were young adult stories, but I would not let my teenaged grandson read them. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Katherine P. Sharp
Keret commands a powerful cast of completely three dimensional individuals who manage to navigate with varying degrees of success the ridiculous, hilarious, and heart-breaking... Read morePublished on October 13, 2011 by M. Bono
You can learn a lot with this book looking into it's storys. You have only to open your eyes and your mind.Published on March 24, 2010 by Jose Carlos Macho Martinez
"The Nimrod Flipout" is a collection of extremely short stories. There are thirty that span only 160 pages. Read morePublished on February 10, 2010 by D. Rodefeld