Magazine article Tikkun

The Nimrod Flipout

Magazine article Tikkun

The Nimrod Flipout

Article excerpt

[BOOKS] Capsule Reviews THE NIMROD FLIPOUT, by EtgarKeret. Forrar, Straus and Giroux. 2006

THE COVER OF ETGAR Keret's new short story collection, The Nimrod Flipout, depicts a middle-aged Israeli man in a pink bunny suit. With a smoking shotgun in hand and the shy, apprehensive expression of a child who has just broken an expensive vase, he surveys a field of what looks like dead penguins. Although this scene is not contained in the book, it's hard to imagine a better representation of the strange world his characters inhabit.

In short, uncanny, and often hilarious bursts, Etgar Keret taps into the profound existential absurdity of being Israeli, of waking up every morning in a tiny, battle-torn Jewish state on the edge of the Eastern Mediterranean, of going to work, eating sunflower seeds, and watching TV, all the while wondering, "When will I be blown up?" In the process of excavating this particularly Israeli truth, Keret also unearths the profound existential absurdity of life in the early twenty-first century, of being alive at all.

But in spite of all this philosophizing, Keret's characters are regular guys: hummus-eating, weed-smoking schlumps, who happen to have stumbled into a Keretian wormhole. …

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