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Suddenly, a Knock on the Door: Stories (edition 2012)

by Etgar Keret, Nathan Englander (Translator), Miriam Shlesinger (Translator), Sondra Silverston (Translator)

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2821739,987 (3.96)49
Member:markgozonsky
Title:Suddenly, a Knock on the Door: Stories
Authors:Etgar Keret
Other authors:Nathan Englander (Translator), Miriam Shlesinger (Translator), Sondra Silverston (Translator)
Info:FSG Originals (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Suddenly, a Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret

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"Este cuento es el mejor del libro. Más que eso, todavía. Es el mejor cuento del mundo. Y no es que lo hayamos decidido nosotros. Lo han decidido por unanimidad centenares de especialistas independientes que lo han comparado en sus laboratorios con una muestra representativa de la literatura universal. Este cuento es una innovación exclusvamente israelí. Seguramente se estarán preguntando cómo es posible que hayamos sido nosotros quienes lo hemos escrito y no los gringos. Pues que sepan que los mismos gringos se preguntan lo mismo. Y no son pocas lass vacas sagradas del mundo editorial estadounidense que van a perder su trabajo por no haber tenido preparada a tiempo la respuesta...porque este cuento no esta aquí para humillarlos. Está aquí para que se sientan bien". Etgar Keret en Cuento Vencedor de De Repente un Toquido en la Puerta. ( )
  darioha | Feb 9, 2016 |
Especially fantastic collection as an audiobook. I have no idea how Keret assembled such an all star cast. Every story has a twist and all of them seem to work. ( )
  albertgoldfain | Feb 3, 2016 |
Etgar Keret’s short stories are very short – the longest ones are around ~10 pages. They usually have some bizarre, metafictional or fantastical elements and are a quick read. I’d previously read another collection, The Nimrod Flipout, and enjoyed that one although I don’t think any of the individual stories stuck with me. This collection was similarly fun and the stories flew by, although there were some that seemed pointless and others relied on random twists at the end.

I liked the more metafictional stories about writers – the first one “Suddenly, a Knock on the Door”, where the author-narrator is forced to come up with stories; “The Story, Victorious” – a bit Calvino-esque; “Creative Writing”, where stories from a writing workshop reflect a troubled relationship; and “What Animal Are You” which shows a writer pretending to write for a picture. A number of stories find various sad loners, widows and widowers or single fathers in absurd or unreal situations. “Cheesus Christ” moves through a series of people with fleeting connections, showing their sad lives and problems. Two soldiers come to inform a woman that her husband “Simyon” is dead, but there’s a problem: she’s not married. This one had a nice twist – good for such a short story. In “Healthy Start” a lonely man pretends to be whoever it is that random people at a diner are looking for. A hopelessly in love man imagines parallel worlds where he is happy in “Parallel Universes.” There are many very short stories in this collection and of course not all of them work. “Pick a Color” about people of differing colors interacting, is rather simplistic; “Grab the Cuckoo by the Tail”, about a recently dumped man and his annoying friend doesn’t quite hit the mark. Despite the fantastic nature of some of the stories, they are firmly grounded in the everyday and illuminate the ironies, absurdities, and sadness of ordinary life.

I don’t know that any of these stories are going to stick with me, but it was a good read and I kept wanting more. ( )
  DieFledermaus | Jan 4, 2015 |
A collection of short stories, with usual the Etgar Keret themes: the surrealism of living in Israel, suicide, alternative personal histories and women who disappear out of your life. Not as good as (or maybe less of a surprise than) the first book of his that I read (Happy Campers), but still a very enjoyable and wistful read. ( )
  fist | Jul 19, 2014 |
As someone who writes for a living, Keret’s way to dish out ideas by the dozen is borderline annoying: “Here’s a great concept which gets three pages, here’s a clever idea which gets, um, four and a half”. He uses exactly as much text as he needs to to present each story, and not a line more: an angel is faced with someone who actually wishes for world peace with his dying breath. A man wakes up from a coma, and can’t find a way to explain to his wife how much more wonderful it was than being awake. And three distant business acquaintances find themselves the only guests at a birthday party – and the birthday boy seems to have gone missing. A contract killer finds Hell is very different than he thought.

Some stories here are more everyday, borderline realistic, than I’ve read from Keret before. The blend in this book seems eclectic and all over the place, but somehow also works fantastically as a whole. Most impressive of all is that Keret isn’t just about the clever idea and the cool twist. He also manages to conjure interesting, relatable characters and say something about life in contemporary Israel. This is truly a big bag of delicious nibbles. Great, great, great stuff. ( )
1 vote GingerbreadMan | Apr 22, 2014 |
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"To Shira"
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"Tell me a story," the bearded man sitting on my living-room sofa commands.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374533334, Paperback)

Bringing up a child, lying to the boss, placing an order in a fast-food restaurant: in Etgar Keret’s new collection, daily life is complicated, dangerous, and full of yearning. In his most playful and most mature work yet, the living and the dead, silent children and talking animals, dreams and waking life coexist in an uneasy world. Overflowing with absurdity, humor, sadness, and compassion, the tales in Suddenly, a Knock on the Door establish Etgar Keret—declared a “genius” by The New York Times—as one of the most original writers of his generation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:52 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Combines absurd, humorous, and poignant themes that reveal the fierce humanity of characters in surreal situations.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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