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Tel Aviv Noir
     

Tel Aviv Noir

5.0 2
by Etgar Keret (Editor), Assaf Gavron (Editor)
 

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Gon Ben Ari's story "Clear Recent History" has been named a finalist for the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award for Best P.I. Short Story!

"This consistently strong collection showcases a group of Israeli writers who are not well known in the U.S. Definitely one of the highlights in the long-running Akashic series."
--Booklist,

Overview


Gon Ben Ari's story "Clear Recent History" has been named a finalist for the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award for Best P.I. Short Story!

"This consistently strong collection showcases a group of Israeli writers who are not well known in the U.S. Definitely one of the highlights in the long-running Akashic series."
--Booklist, Starred review

"May be the very best in a generally solid series....This collection escapes the limits of formula fiction and sets the bar high for subsequent Noir offerings. The genre is hot, Tel Aviv is exotic, and this volume is outstanding. What's not to like?"
--Library Journal, Starred review

One of Jewish Journal's Noteworthy Books for the New Year

"Even in the Holy Land, people find ingenious ways to screw up their own lives, as the latest entry in Akashic's Noir Series proves....Editors Keret and Gavron stress not what makes Tel Aviv unique but what it has in common with other cities: its people's endless, often fruitless struggle to cash in on a losing hand."
--Kirkus Reviews

"There's a marvelous underlying tension to [the stories], a paranoid tinge, as if some vast monstrous conspiracy is lurking behind every misdeed and bad stroke of luck."
--San Francisco Book Review

"The collection reflects much of the daily reality of the city, but not the sort one is likely to read in tour guides....There's a complexity and virtuosity to plot and prose that leaves the reader with a sense of satisfaction and appreciation, despite the typically devastating denouement of the tales....Superb."
--PopMatters

"Readers interested in exploring the dark side of Tel Aviv will be fascinated by these short pieces of noir literature."
--Times of Israel

Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched with the summer '04 award-winning best seller Brooklyn Noir. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city. For Tel Aviv Noir, Etgar Keret and Assaf Gavron have masterfully assembled some of Israel's top contemporary writers into a compulsively readable collection.

From the introduction by Etgar Keret:

"In spite of its outwardly warm and polite exterior, Tel Aviv has quite a bit to hide. At any club, most of the people dancing around you to the sounds of a deep-house hit dedicated to peace and love have undergone extensive automatic-weapons training and a hand-grenade tutorial...The workers washing the dishes in the fluorescent-lit kitchen of that same club are Eritrean refugees who have crossed the Egyptian border illegally, along with a group of bedouins smuggling some high-quality hash, which the deejay will soon be smoking on his little podium, right by the busy dance floor filled with drunks, coked-up lawyers, and Ukrainian call girls whose pimp keeps their passports in a safe two streets away. Don't get me wrong--Tel Aviv is a lovely, safe city. Most of the time, for most of its inhabitants. But the stories in this collection describe what happens the rest of the time, to the rest of its inhabitants. From one last cup of coffee at a café targeted by a suicide bomber, through repeat visits from a Yiddish-speaking ghost, to an organized tour of mythological crime scenes that goes terribly wrong, the stories of Tel Aviv Noir reveal the concealed, scarred face of this city that we love so much."

Featuring brand-new stories by: Etgar Keret, Gadi Taub, Lavie Tidhar, Deakla Keydar, Matan Hermoni, Julia Fermentto, Gon Ben Ari, Shimon Adaf, Alex Epstein, Antonio Ungar, Gai Ad, Assaf Gavron, Silje Bekeng, and Yoav Katz; translated by Yardenne Greenspan.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"For anyone interested in some of Israel's best younger writers, as well as the seamy underside of its most populous city, Tel Aviv Noir will keep your adrenaline flowing at any hour."
--Jewish Book Council

"Distinct Tel Aviv neighborhoods...lay bare their gritty, less-than-lovely aspects....Even the seamiest side of Tel Aviv is briefly redeemed."
--Lilith Magazine

"This is a terrific collection to pick up, read a story or two, then return to, for different slices of life in Israel."
--Chicaco Jewish Star

"Excellent....It is delightful to discover these writers....This book will shine a different light on your next visit to Israel."
--CJ: Voices of Conservative/Masorti Judaism

"An ambitious collection of unique stories told in lucid, and often lurid, detail."
--Jewish News (UK)

Kirkus Reviews
2014-09-18
Even in the Holy Land, people find ingenious ways to screw up their own lives, as the latest entry in Akashic's Noir series proves. Tel Aviv is a modern city in an ancient land. It has clubs where 20-year-olds like Essy and Danielle, in Julie Fermentto's "Who's a Good Boy!," get drunk, bum cigarettes from strangers and look for love in all the wrong places. It has technology, like the electronic surveillance in Silje Bekeng's "Swirl" and the computer Gideon Tzuk uses to watch pornography in Gon Ben Ari's "Clear Recent History," unaware that it's watching him back. But its heartbeat is its people, looking to thrive or maybe just survive. In "Sleeping Mask," by Gadi Taub, Shiri takes a new look at the world's oldest profession to clear her father's gambling debts. Srulik, in co-editor Gavron's "Center," switches between construction work when it's sunny and private investigation when it rains. In Yoav Katz's "The Tour Guide," an entrepreneur offers tourists a look at famous crime scenes. And Margalit Bloch supplements her meager income after her husband's death by selling off the possessions of people who died without heirs in Gai Ad's "The Expendables." Most touching are the people just looking to connect, like the grocery clerk who makes dinner for a customer in Deakla Keydar's "Slow Cooking," the barista who serves mineral water to the Grim Reaper in Alex Epstein's "Death in Pajamas," the hashish peddler who falls in love with a Russian thug's sister in Antonio Ungar's "Saïd the Good," or the couple whose lives are turned inside out by their finicky dog in co-editor Keret's "Allergies." Editors Keret and Gavron stress not what makes Tel Aviv unique but what it has in common with other cities: its people's endless, often fruitless struggle to cash in on a losing hand.
Publishers Weekly
08/25/2014
Israeli founding father David Ben-Gurion famously stated, “We will know we have become a normal country when Jewish thieves and Jewish prostitutes conduct their business in Hebrew.” That “normality” is certainly evident in the 14 stories in this routine Akashic anthology, which feature murderers, hookers, pimps, drug dealers, and mobsters, both Jewish and Arab, though it’s not always clear how they fit the noir label. Some selections could have been transplanted from Tel Aviv to other cities with only minor changes—and none deals with politics or the Palestinian situation. The standouts are Gai Ad’s “The Expendables” and Antonio Ungar’s “Said the Good.” James M. Cain would recognize the setup of Ad’s story, in which the life of an attractive widow takes a violent turn after her husband’s cancer-related death leaves her at loose ends. Ungar’s tale of warring organized crime factions would certainly make Ben-Gurion feel , for better or worse, that Israel is now normal. (Oct.)
Library Journal
★ 09/01/2014
Since the start, Akashic's short story series has been a classy enterprise, specializing in crime noir set in specific locations. The 66th volume may be the very best in a generally solid series. Edited by noted Israeli writers Keret (Suddenly, A Knock at the Door) and Gavron (Almost Dead), this collection runs the gamut from Lavie Tidhar's fantasy of a detective who works in parallel worlds ("The Time-Slip Detective") to Matan Hermoni's "Women" about a writer who inherits a ghost and Deakla Keydar's touching story ("Slow Cooking") of an abandoned wife who finds purpose aiding African refugees who are worse off than she is. Shimon Adaf's gnomic contribution, "My Father's Kingdom," is only nominally a detective tale. In it, a student becomes obsessed with the esoteric poems of a poet who committed suicide. It reads like Franz Kafka filtered through Jorge Louis Borges. Antonio Ungar's "Säid the Good" tells a remorselessly unsentimental account of star-crossed lovers, vengeance, and death, and in the most conventional offering, Assaf Gavron's "Center," a PI tracks down a missing person by following the trail of his severed parts. VERDICT This collection escapes the limits of formula fiction and sets the bar high for subsequent "Noir" offerings. The genre is hot, Tel Aviv is exotic, and this volume is outstanding. What's not to like? [Scribner is publishing Gavron's Bernstein Award-winning The Hilltop in October.—Ed.]—David Keymer, Modesto, CA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781617753152
Publisher:
Akashic Books
Publication date:
10/07/2014
Series:
Akashic Noir Series
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Tel Aviv Noir


By Etgar Keret, Assaf Gavron, Yardenne Greenspan

Akashic Books

Copyright © 2014 Akashic Books
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61775-154-7



INTRODUCTION

The Dark Side of the Bubble


When I was a kid we didn't have a car. My dad and I didn't like taking the bus, and preferred to walk. I liked the peace and quiet of walking. Dad liked being able to smoke. Sometimes, when we walked down the neighborhood's main street together, Y's car drove by. Y was one of the most famous criminals in the country in those days. He'd pull up and greet my father. He'd ask how he was and how my mother was and offer us a ride. Usually we said no, but once or twice he gave my dad a ride to a meeting on the other side of town.

One night, when I was already in high school, the evening news reported that Y had been arrested as a murder suspect. Dad, who was watching with me, lit a cigarette and shook his head. "This has to be a mistake," he said. "You know Y. How could they accuse someone so warm and kind of murder?"

Almost thirty years later I found myself sitting with Johnny Temple of Akashic Books at a coffee shop in SoHo. When he asked me to edit the anthology Tel Aviv Noir, I felt a little like my father in front of the television. I wanted to say, "Tel Aviv Noir? This has to be a mistake." Tel Aviv is one of the happiest, friendliest, most liberal cities in the world. What could possibly be dark about our sunny city, a city nicknamed "The Bubble" due to its sense of complete separation from the violent, conflicted country in which it is situated? Compared to Jerusalem—torn apart, exploding with nationalism, xenophobia, and religious zeal—Tel Aviv has always been an island of sanity and serenity. If you don't believe me, you can ask my eight-year-old son, who walks to school by himself every day, fearlessly. Stories of crime and sleaziness taking place in my beloved city sounded about as unbelievable to me as the accusations against Y had sounded to my father.

By the way, Y is no longer with us. A bomb attached to the bottom of his car took care of that. But Tel Aviv is still around, and considering and reconsidering the question, I realize that in spite of its outwardly warm and polite exterior, Tel Aviv has quite a bit to hide. At any club, most of the people dancing around you to the sounds of a deep-house hit dedicated to peace and love have undergone extensive automatic-weapons training and a hand-grenade tutorial. This isn't a conspiracy, my friends, just one of the fringe benefits of a country that institutes mandatory military service.

The workers washing the dishes in the fluorescent-lit kitchen of that same club are Eritrean refugees who have crossed the Egyptian border illegally, along with a group of bedouins smuggling some high-quality hash, which the deejay will soon be smoking on his little podium, right by the busy dance floor filled with drunks, coked-up lawyers, and Ukrainian call girls whose pimp keeps their passports in a safe two streets away.

Don't get me wrong—Tel Aviv is a lovely, safe city. Most of the time, for most of its inhabitants. But the stories in this collection describe what happens the rest of the time, to the rest of its inhabitants. From one last cup of coffee at a café targeted by a suicide bomber, through repeat visits from a Yiddish-speaking ghost, to an organized tour of mythological crime scenes that goes terribly wrong, the stories of Tel Aviv Noir, edited by Assaf Gavron and myself, reveal the concealed, scarred face of this city that we love so much.


Etgar Keret Tel Aviv, Israel July 2014


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Tel Aviv Noir by Etgar Keret, Assaf Gavron, Yardenne Greenspan. Copyright © 2014 Akashic Books. Excerpted by permission of Akashic Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


Etgar Keret was born in Tel Aviv in 1967. He is the author of five collections of short stories, three children's books, and three graphic novels. His writing has been published in the New Yorker, Zoetrope, and the Paris Review. His books have been translated into thirty-four languages and published in over thirty-eight countries. In 2007, Keret and Shira Geffen won the Cannes Film Festival's Caméra d'Or Award for their movie Jellyfish. In 2010, Keret received the Chevalier Medallion of France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He is the coeditor of Tel Aviv Noir.

Assaf Gavron is an Israeli writer and translator. He is the author of five novels and a short story collection. His fiction has been translated to many languages and adapted to the stage and cinema. He is the winner of several awards including the Israeli Prime Minister's Creative Award for Authors, Buch für die Stadt in Germany, and Prix Courrier International in France. Gavron is responsible for the highly regarded English-to-Hebrew translations of J.D. Salinger's Nine Stories, Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint, and Jonathan Safran Foer's novels. He is the coeditor of Tel Aviv Noir.

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Tel Aviv Noir 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An actual monkey could have written better skits or whatever than this...