- Paperback: 167 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (April 4, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374222436
- ISBN-13: 978-0374222437
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 11.7 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Nimrod Flipout: Stories 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
This author certainly has a twisted mind and I was always surprised at his creativity. The stories made me uncomfortable even though I was aware that the writer had complete control of his craft and was trying to say something. Because I was reading this book as an assignment for a book discussion group I forced myself to finish it. I found it also refreshing to see how this author's mind worked.
I definitely recommend this book for those readers like me who look for something unique and different. It is a skewed view of the world that is not always pleasant. But, honestly, I hated every minute of it.
As I read through Flipout, I made notes on the stories I was particularly fond of, at the end, I ended up with a list of 10. "Fatso," "Your Man," "Surprise Egg," "Glittery Eyes," "A Thought in the Shape of a Story," "Gur's Theory of Boredom," "Bwoken," "Ironclad Rules," "A Good Looking Couple," and "Angle." They range from insightful, to funny, to emotionally moving. The other twenty stories included here were just icing on the cake.
Keret's pacing is very impressive, and everything moves forward at a brisk pace. Nothing important omitted, nothing needless retained. A worthwhile read, definitely.
I've asked my local library to purchase ALL of Etgar Keret's published works, and plan to do the same for my personal collection. These stories are often laugh-out-loud and read-aloud weird and wonderful - like wasabi peanuts, they have zing and crunch - and leave me wanting more!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love the author's style of writing, cynical and honest, not patronizing in any matter.Read more