Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Three Floors Up Paperback – October 10, 2017
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“Mesmerizing…this book and its conflicted apartment dwellers stayed with me long after I finished reading.” —NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
“Smart and absorbing…Nevo shows us life’s complexities in a thoroughly satisfying read.” —LIBRARY JOURNAL, Starred Review
“Eshkol Nevo, in his astoundingly moving new book, Three Floors Up, brilliantly captures how the landscape of a marriage can become tenuous and dark while parents struggle with children who seem to need a little extra help. His three loosely interwoven stories take place in an upper-middle-class apartment building in Tel Aviv where neighbors observe one another quietly, grappling with their own growing desperation.” —JERUSALEM POST
"Nevo (Neuland, 2014, etc.) is a bestselling Israeli author, and his most recent book to be translated into English makes it easy to understand why. His writing is compelling...[he] is a funny, engaging writer." —KIRKUS REVIEWS
“Israeli bestseller Nevo (Neuland) returns with a transporting novel about the furtive lives of three tenants in a suburban Tel Aviv apartment building…Nevo’s narrators range from despicable to endearing, and he handles each with a sure hand, resulting in a multifaceted narrative that is easy to be carried away by.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
“Best-selling Israeli novelist Nevo, his Hebrew fluidly translated by Sondra Silverston, cleverly infuses these quotidian albeit schadenfreude-inducing dramas with numerology (“everything is in threes”), Freudian analysis (the “three floors up” of id, ego, superego), the power of secrets (plus the greater threat of revenge), and the literary necessity for confessions (“if there is no one to listen–there is no story”).” —BOOKLIST
“The novella-length chapters offer a compelling critique of Israeli society. But Nevo’s chief strength lies in his ability to fashion wonderfully relatable characters whose troubled voices, as well as mysterious and impulsive moods, render the work a page-turner…Nevo’s talent for embedding telling character traits and cultural anecdotes through quick one-liners is perhaps his greatest asset. The prose sings in places, and Three Floors Up is difficult to put down.” —JEWISH NEWS SERVICE
"Israeli author Eshkol Nevo’s novel explores the social and cultural fabric of Israel through three tenants on three separate floors of an apartment building in Tel Aviv. Their individual stories and struggles are braided together with tight, terse prose, forming a cohesive picture of the broader society in which they reside." —WORLD LITERATURE TODAY
“A brilliant novelist, Eshkol Nevo vividly depicts the grinding effects of social and political ills played out in the psyche of these flawed, compelling characters, often in unexpected and explosive ways.” —BOOKREPORTER
“Lively, tripartite novel by Eshkol Nevo, a highly admired Israeli author…Nevo creates three compulsive narrators, three unsparingly candid monologues, three stories that expose the psyches of people caught at critical points in their lives…Perceptive and compelling, Three Floors Up plays with the form of the novel itself and keeps the reader absorbed in its sets of triads.” —JEWISH BOOK COUNCIL
“Three Floors Up by Israeli novelist Eshkol Nevo offers an intriguing and layered view into life in Tel Aviv. The novel centers on three families living on separate floors of an apartment building on the outskirts of the city. Through the lives and interwoven stories of the three families, Nevo presents a broad and complex portrait of Israeli society.” —SIGNATURE READS
"Eshkol Nevo is a fascinating story teller who gives the reader a broad and diverse picture of Israeli society.” –Amos Oz, internationally bestselling author of A Tale of Love and Darkness
“Recognizable characters and situations make Eshkol Nevo’s newest novel, Three Floors Up, an economical yet masterful invention of three households in a suburban Tel Aviv building...Written simply but imaginatively, translated fluidly by Sondra Silverston, each story is an evening’s reading because you won’t want to stop.” —AMERICAN JEWISH WORLD
“Eshkol Nevo is a brilliant literary chemist who succeeds in extracting from daily life’s most mundane events, the deepest crystallized essence of the contemporary Israeli psyche.” —Etgar Keret
“Eshkol Nevo writes beautifully, funnily, and wisely about men and women…Friendship, envy, love, misery, endurance—he captures the lot.” —Roddy Doyle
"This is a thought-provoking book, but it remains very accessible and fun to read. Although each section can be read independently, it is anything but a loose collection of stories. There is a uniform atmosphere of mystery and foreboding, with a barely concealed threat of violence. Readers will need to read the novel in its entirety to fully appreciate the gradual build-up of unease, while the ending provides a solution for some, but not for all." —NECESSARY FICTION
About the Author
Born in Jerusalem in 1971, Eshkol Nevo studied copywriting at the Tirza Granot School and psychology at Tel Aviv University. Today, Nevo owns and co-manages the largest private creative writing school in Israel and is considered the mentor of many upcoming young Israeli writers. His novels have all been top bestsellers in Israel. His novel Homesick (Chatto & Windus, 2008) was a finalist for the prestigious Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, World Cup Wishes was a finalist for the Kritikerpreis der Jury der Jungen Kritiker (Austria, 2011), and Neuland was included in The Independent's list of Books of the Year in Translation (2014)
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Each of the three sections of the novel has a first-person narrator. Arnon tells his story to a writer friend of long duration over lunch. Hani of the second floor sends a long handwritten letter (“email is too dangerous”) to her friend Netta. Devora , the third floor resident, sends a phone message to her dead husband Michael, who was also a judge.
These three families are loosely intertwined. They may see each other at the ATM machine, hear arguments coming from one of the other apartments, catch a glimpse of a neighbor looking out a window or meet in the parking lot. But what bonds them closer is though each family is unique in the way their lives get turned upside down, they are all eerily similar. Perhaps what they all have most in common is that they are all deeply involved in the lives of their children—or want to be—and they fear that they may not be able to protect them.
What drew me most to this emotionally compelling novel is Mr. Nevo’s compassion for his characters. Even though they may be flawed, there are no evil people here, not even Assaf’s brother Eviatar in spite of the serious mess he creates for himself. And the author says a lot about love. In one of the most moving sections of this fine novel Hani writes to her friend: “I think that one of the things I’m most proud of as a mom is that I’ve taught my children that the first way to show love is with physical contact.” She goes on to say that neither her grandmother nor her mother hugged. But she has broken the chain. She hugs her daughter. “So she’ll hug her daughter too.” [Finding this paragraph is one of the many reasons to love this book.] Another character gives his definition of love: “the knowledge that, in a world of lies, there is one person who is totally honest with you and with whom you are totally honest, and there is truth between you, even if it isn’t always spoken.” Mr. Nevo also writes of loneliness, particularly as seen in the character Devora who misses her husband: “I didn’t understand how I could have kept it in check for a year: there was no one waiting for me at home.” She further states: “At night I reach over to your side of the bed, looking for you” And suddenly she cannot remember the shape of her husband’s ears-- as he gradually slips away from her. She also is spot on on what she has learned: “there is no such thing as a normal person.”
The author in the creation of these three Israeli families has achieved what every serious novelist hopes for: they are universal.
On floor one lives Arnon, his attorney wife, and their two daughters. Arnon used to have a business designing unique restaurant interiors but at some time in the past, his business failed. He is concerned about the welfare of his oldest daughter and feels that his wife is too critical of her. He and his wife take advantage of their elderly neighbors, often asking them to watch the children but not paying them anything for their baby sitting services. As the story progresses, Arnon becomes more and more concerned about his daughter's welfare and obsessed with the possibility that he is responsible for having put her in danger. The more he 'talks' to an old friend, it becomes clear that his marriage is in trouble due to his fears and actions.
On the second floor lives Hani, a married woman with two children. The downstairs neighbors refer to her as 'the widow' because her husband is always traveling. When her husband's brother appears at her door, she lets him in despite the fact that he is a fugitive from both the law and loan sharks. In addition, he and her husband have been estranged for years. Hani voices understanding of the potential danger she incurs by harboring a fugitive but at the same time she is excited and enthralled by his presence. Hani 'sees owls' that she interprets as bad omens and questions whether she is imagining the whole situation. "And what you imagine can haunt you for the rest of your life."
Devora, a retired judge and widow, lives on the third floor. As she is cleaning out her dead husband's study, she finds an old answering machine with his voice on it. She decides to 'talk' to her husband via messages on the machine. For decades, Devora has been doing the 'right thing', living a conservative life in suburbia. One night she decides to participate in a demonstration march and comes in contact with idealistic young people and a mysterious man of about her age. This man appears to know a lot about Devora and she can't recall where their paths have crossed. The impact of this night on Devora's life is profound.
Three floors and three very different stories play out in a brilliant narrative. Eshkol Nevo is an astute observer of the human psyche and demonstrates an unusually fine knowledge of Freud. He gets into his characters' minds and interprets their actions with a brilliance rarely encountered in literary fiction.