The Nimrod Flipout

The Nimrod Flipout

by Etgar Keret

Paperback(First Edition)

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From Israel's most popular and acclaimed young writer—"Stories that are short, strange, funny, deceptively casual in tone and affect, stories that sound like a joke but aren't" (Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi)

Already featured on This American Life and Selected Shorts and in Zoetrope: All Story and L.A. Weekly, these short stories include a man who finds equal pleasure in his beautiful girlfriend and the fat, soccer-loving lout she turns into after dark; shrinking parents; a case of impotence cured by a pet terrier; and a pessimistic Middle Eastern talking fish. A bestseller in Israel, The Nimrod Flipout is an extraordinary collection from the preeminent Israeli writer of his generation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374222437
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 04/04/2006
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 594,430
Product dimensions: 5.45(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.46(d)

About the Author

Etgar Keret is the author of three bestselling story collections, one novella, three graphic novels, and a children's book. His fiction has been translated into sixteen languages and has been the basis for more than forty short films (including the winner of an MTV prize). He lives and teaches in Tel Aviv.

Read an Excerpt


Surprised? Of course I was surprised. You go out with a girl. First date, second date, a restaurant here, a movie there, always just matinees. You start sleeping together, the sex is mind-blowing, and pretty soon there’s feeling too. And then, one day, she shows up in tears, and you hug her and tell her to take it easy, everything’s going to be OK, and she says she can’t stand it anymore, she has this secret, not just a secret, something really awful, a curse, something she’s been wanting to tell you from the beginning but she didn’t have the guts. This thing, it’s been weighing her down, and now she’s got to tell you, she’s simply got to, but she knows that as soon as she does, you’ll leave her, and you’ll be absolutely right to leave her, too. And then she starts crying all over again.

I won’t leave you, you tell her. I won’t. I love you. You try to look concerned, but you’re not. Not really. Or rather, if you are concerned, it’s about her crying, not about her secret. You know by now that these secrets that always make a woman fall to pieces are usually something along the lines of doing it with an animal, or a Mormon, or with someone who paid her for it. I’m a whore, they always wind up saying. And you hug them and say, no you’re not. You’re not. And if they don’t stop crying all you can do is say shhh. It’s something really terrible, she insists, as if she’s picked up on how nonchalant you are about it, even though you’ve tried to hide it. In the pit of your stomach it may sound terrible, you tell her, but that’s just acoustics. As soon as you let it out it won’t seem anywhere near as bad—you’ll see. And she almost believes you. She hesitates and then she asks: What if I told you that at night I turn into a heavy, hairy man, with no neck, with a gold ring on his pinkie, would you still love me? And you tell her of course you would. What else can you say? That you wouldn’t? She’s just trying to test you, to see whether you love her unconditionally—and you’ve always been a winner at tests. In fact, as soon as you say it, she melts, and you do it, right there in the living room. And afterward, you lie there holding each other tight, and she cries because she’s so relieved, and you cry too. Go figure. And unlike all the other times, she doesn’t get up and go. She stays there and falls asleep. And you lie awake, looking at her beautiful body, at the sunset outside, at the moon appearing as if out of nowhere, at the silvery light flickering over her body, stroking the hair on her back. And within five minutes you find yourself lying next to this guy—this short fat guy. And the guy gets up and smiles at you, and awkwardly gets dressed. He leaves the room and you follow him, spellbound. He’s in the den now, his thick fingers fiddling with the remote, zapping to the sports channels. Championship soccer. When they miss a pass, he curses the TV; when they score, he gets up and does a little victory dance.

After the game he tells you that his throat is dry and his stomach is growling. He could really use a beer and a big steak. Welldone if possible, and with lots of onion rings, but he’d settle for pork chops. So you get in the car and take him to this restaurant that he knows about. This new twist has you worried, it really does, but you have no idea what you should do. Your command-and-control centers are down. You shift gears at the exit, in a daze. He’s right there beside you in the passenger seat, tapping that gold-ringed pinkie of his. At the next intersection, he rolls down his window, winks at you, and yells at a girl who’s trying to thumb a ride: Hey, baby, wanna play nanny goat and ride in the back? Later, the two of you pack in the steak and the chops and the onion rings till you’re about to explode, and he enjoys every bite, and laughs like a baby. And all that time you keep telling yourself it’s got to be a dream. A bizarre dream, yes, but definitely one that you’ll snap out of any minute.

On the way back, you ask him where he’d like you to drop him off, and he pretends not to hear you, but he looks despondent. So you wind up taking him home. It’s almost three a.m. I’m hitting the sack, you tell him, and he waves his hand, and stays in the beanbag chair, staring at the fashion channel. You wake up the next morning, exhausted, and your stomach hurts. And there she is, in the living room, still dozing. But by the time you’ve had your shower, she’s up. She gives you a sheepish hug, and you’re too embarrassed to say anything. Time goes by and you’re still together. The sex just gets better and better. She’s not so young anymore, and neither are you, and suddenly you find yourselves talking about a baby. And at night, you and fatso hit the town like you’ve never done in your life. He takes you to restaurants and bars you didn’t even know existed, and you dance on the tables together, and break plates like there’s no tomorrow. He’s really nice, the fatso, a little crass, especially with women; sometimes the things he comes out with make you want to sink into the floor. Other than that, he’s lots of fun. When you first met him, you didn’t give a damn about soccer, but now you know every team. And whenever one of your favorites wins, you feel like you’ve made a wish and it’s come true. Which is a pretty exceptional feeling for someone like you, who hardly knows what he wants most of the time. And so it goes: every night you fall asleep with him struggling to stay awake for the Argentinean finals, and in the morning there she is, the beautiful, forgiving woman who you love, too, till it hurts.

THE NIMROD FLIPOUT Copyright © 2002, 2006 by Etgar Keret

Table of Contents


The Nimrod Flipout

Shooting Tuvia

One Kiss on the Mouth in Mombasa


The Nimrod Flipout

Shooting Tuvia

One Kiss on the Mouth in Mombasa

Your Man


Eight Percent of Nothing

Pride and Joy

Surprise Egg


Actually, I've Had Some Phenomenal Hard-ons Lately

More Life

Glittery Eyes

Teddy Trunk



For Only 9.99 (inc. Tax and Postage)


My Girlfriend's Naked


A Visit to the Cockpit

A thought in the Shape of a Story

Gur's Theory of Boredom

The Tits on an Eighteen-Year-Old



Ironclad Rules

A Good-Looking Couple


Customer Reviews

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The Nimrod Flipout: Stories 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These stories have wonderful voices to them. They sound light and casual right before they punch you in the gut with something dark and emotional. Really powerful stuff.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The short stories are bizarre but written very well. I like the the stories are just a few pages long so you can read a bunch in short bursts of time like on break at work, in the car, etc...
NativeRoses on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fantastic group of micro-stories from an enormously inventive and talented author. i've never read anything quite like this before; almost every line zings.
yhaduong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not a book I would normally pick up or think to enjoy but actually proved to be quite good reading. The voice is predominantly irreverent and adolescent yet somehow never too vulgar despite the common themes of sex, ogling, death and cheating spouses. As someone else put it, Keret writes from the authentic point of view of a 13 year old but with a sardonic and sometimes satirical underpining.
jorgearanda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sharp, concise, humorous, surreal, fresh, and truly brilliant.
Reysbro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
brilliant collection of short stories - amusing funny ludicrous insightful and sometimes plain strange. A very entertaining read.
michiy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I quite enjoyed them. The stories almost read as a book as the narrator in each of the stories has a similar voice. The surreal-ness seems a little forced in some of the stories, but when they feel natural, the stories shine.
ericnguyen09 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hands down, Etgar Keret is unlike anything you'd ever read anywhere else. It's surrealism, yet through its surrealism, Keret explores the multiple facets of everyday life--all mostly in minimalistic flash fiction form. From love and loneliness, to family relationships and existential questions, Keret's collection never has answers, but despite it's surrealist bent, it manages to reflect human nature in realist form.The title story, for example, is a highly absurd tale of three friends who alternately become possessed by the spirit of their deceased friend, Nimrod, who killed himself after breaking up with his girlfriend. What ensues is a cycle of possession shared by the friends, until one of them gets married. In the end, there are only two left, as they contemplate a life that is lonely, yet lonely together.Loneliness is one of major themes in Keret's work. He speaks of men who are friendless, still haunted by their teenage days of teasing; guys who are lost even though they're in steady relationships; tales of hopeless desire and of girls who travel to another country to find out that they've been betrayed and they're going back alone. Again, despite the surrealism, Keret portrays human life dead on. It's sad at times, yet Keret makes sure to make it ironically hilirious at the same time and there are those moments of pure comic eurphoria. "Horsie" is one of them. So is "Baby" (perhaps the shortest story in this collection). While the length of some of these stories might leave some readers indifferent, asking "so what?", and his quirkiness can be overwhelming at times, undeniably, Keret is an entertaining writer, a wonderful craftsman, and his work a keeper in any collection.
donp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Decided I just had to get this book and it leapt to the top of my reading queue. I understand the comparisons to Lydia Davis, but the majority of the pieces, while compact, have a little more breathing room than the typical Davis piece. A very, very few stories left me wondering, "Great writing, but what was the point?" I might've given the collection four stars, except for two stories. One might think that no good could come out of stories entitled "Actually, I've Have Some Phenomenal Hard-ons Lately" and "The Tits on an Eighteen-Year-Old." They weren't my favorites, but I was pleasantly surprised by their depth; that pushed it over the top for me.
moonimal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I bought this book after watching part of $9.99 on netflix, and investigating the author. The stories are very short, which is appealing from a logistics standpoint (easy to read one or two of these each night before bed).
Magadri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Nimrod Flipout is one of the best collections of short stories that I have read in a long time. The characters, though strange and weird at times, are always easy to relate to on a human level. Keret's writing style is absolutely amazing. This book is laugh-out loud funny at some parts and incredibly touching at others. A well-rounded collection by a very talented author.
-Eva- on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What can I say, except Etgar Keret is a genius! To borrow the words of William Blake, "To see a world in a grain of sand" is what Keret does with all of his stories - at first glance, it's just sand, but when you stop and reflect, the whole world is contained within. Keret's short, quirky stories are seemingly surreal or just plain odd, but in each and every story is a core that speaks loudly of humanity and its follies, idiosyncrasies, and lovability. I can't recommend Keret highly enough.
corinneblackmer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This collection of tales, some of them micro-short and so abbreviated as to constitute a kind instant video take on an absurd, surrealistic, humorous incident, are so original and true to their own quirky, adolescent, prurient voice that it is hard to evaluate them. Collectively, if the stories constitute a portrait of Israel in the post-Oslo Accords era, then the author sees a good deal of unreality, loneliness, zaniness, internet business deals, infidelity, and social transformation. In one particularly memorable story, the doctor who does an autopsy on a woman who has been a victim of a suicide bombing discovers that she is riddled with cancer and would have died soon in all events. Should the doctor tell the family or withhold the information? In another, an angry father continues to try to kill an aggressive dog belonging to his son that keeps on coming back. In another, two sets of identical twins marry, but one man kills the other after he discovers he has committed adultery with the other woman (few outside can tell these individuals apart). In another, a man who should be happy because he has everything visits India with his father, who dies, and meet some Israelis who use religion as an excuse to obtain sex and faux enlightenment. In ¿The Thought in the Shape of a Story,¿ we are on the moon, where thoughts take distinct shapes. One person decides to break the traditions and to build a unique spaceship that will enable him to venture into the universe to discover other unique thoughts (in unique shapes). This angers the other inhabitants of the moon so much that they destroy the spaceship, which leads to their own demise, since all their thoughts are in the same fatalistic shape. There is a good deal of allegory in these latter-day Aesop¿s Fables on the situation in the Middle East and between the Palestinians and Israelis, and the indirection is delicious and a welcome antidote to political posturing.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
These short stories are strange, but good. The author has a great writing style and it feels like he is just talking to you. I like that the majority of the stories are just a few pages so they can be read in short bursts like on the bus, breaktime, etc....