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Be My Knife (1998)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312421478, Paperback)Be My Knife, by the highly acclaimed Israeli novelist David Grossman, explores the perennial dilemma of unrequited love. Grossman, however, is far too original a novelist not to give his story a twist. The book opens with a letter written by Yair Einhorn, a neurotic, compulsive rare-books dealer, to Miriam, a beautiful, mysterious woman he glimpses "at the class reunion a few days ago--but you didn't see me." Her offhand gesture and brief, enigmatic smile prompts him to send her a passionate letter, what he calls a "restrained suicide note." To his joy and amazement, she writes back to him. So begins an extraordinary love affair by letter, recounted for the first 200 pages by Yair's impulsive, impassioned, and angst-ridden letters to Miriam. When Miriam finally finds her own voice toward the end of the book, Yair has raised the reader's expectations so high that ultimately her character is rather disappointing. Be My Knife is a novelist's novel about obsession, compulsion, and desire. The writing is dense, demanding, and full of moments of great poetry and inventiveness, but it can become difficult and obscure. Stylistically Grossman is experimenting with plot and character in the grand modernist tradition, and Yair is reminiscent of the tormented "little men" in the works of Joyce and Beckett. However, at times Grossman's brilliant artfulness overwhelms a potentially fascinating story. --Jerry Brotton, Amazon.co.uk
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:48 -0400)
"An awkward, neurotic seller of rare books writes a desperate letter to a beautiful stranger whom he sees at a class reunion. This simple, lonely attempt at seduction begins a love affair of words between Yair and Miriam - two married, middle-aged adults, dissatisfied with their lives, yearning for a sense of connection that has always eluded them - and reawakens feelings that they thought had passed them by. The correspondence between them unfolds into a dialogue of their most naked confessions to reveal a man whose life has been one of duplicity and a woman who fills her own with distraction to avoid the painful secrets of her past."--BOOK JACKET.
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