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The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God & Other…
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The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God & Other Stories

by Etgar Keret

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3671229,545 (3.91)50
  1. 00
    The Nimrod Flipout: Stories by Etgar Keret (2810michael)
    2810michael: På dansk: "8% af ingenting"
  2. 00
    Vite brevi di idioti by Ermanno Cavazzoni (2810michael)
    2810michael: På dansk: "Buschaufføren der ville være Gud - og andre historier"
  3. 00
    The fetish, and other stories by Alberto Moravia (2810michael)
    2810michael: På dansk: "En ting er en ting"
  4. 00
    The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami (brianjungwi)
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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
What an odd mind this author has. It's amazing what he's able to do in just a few pages. ( )
  JennyArch | Apr 3, 2013 |
There is a direct path between Keret's fevered imagination and his written page. There are no speed limits or detours. The stories won't be inhibited by oppressive laws of physics, or even by reality. These are short intense bursts of 'what ifs'.
In "One Last Story and That's It", a demon shows up to the house of a writer, to take away his talent. The writer begs him to let him do just one more story. Well, ok, the demon agrees, and so he just hangs out for a bit, watching tv and drinking lemonade. Finally the time comes, and the demon pulls out the talent, folds it neatly and packs it away into a box lined with styrofoam peanuts. The writer half-jokes, hey if you get overstocked on that talent, I'll be glad to take it back. And the demon starts to think, this job is such a crock of shit. Just two more stops til the end of the day.
"A Souvenir of Hell" is about a tourist village, located at the mouth of the entrance to Hell. It capitalises on the tourist traffic going to Hell. "Hole in the Wall" is a place to yell wishes in to, so a man wishes for and gets an angel, who is some stooped skinny guy that wears a trench coat to hide his wings.
Surreal, bizarre, funny.
( )
  BCbookjunky | Mar 31, 2013 |
The first collection of short stories by Israeli writer Etgar Keret published in English starts out brilliantly, with several surreal and fantastic tales that seem to be a witches' brew of the best of Jorge Luis Borges, mixed with a splash of Julio Cortázar and José Donoso. In the title story, a principled but misunderstood bus driver invokes a higher calling to serve one of his passengers, though with an unexpected result. In "Uterus", a young man despairs when his mother's organ, preserved for prosperity in a local museum, is sold and then hijacked by eco-terrorists. And, in "A Souvenir of Hell", a young Uzbek woman works at a convenience store which primarily serves the residents of Hell, who emerge from its mouth for one day of freedom every 100 years. However, the stories in the latter half of the book, particularly the lengthy Kneller's Happy Campers, were very disappointing to this reader. Despite this, I was sufficiently impressed and enthralled with many of Keret's stories in this collection, and despite my mediocre rating of The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God I will eagerly search for more of his books soon. ( )
2 vote kidzdoc | Jul 29, 2012 |
This is a book of short stories by "undoubtedly the most popular writer among Israeli youth", although I feel like that's misleading because these don't feel like stories written expressly for young people (although maybe "youth" just means people under the age of 35? yet what is youth but a state of mind? etc.). Most of Keret's short stories are very short, like maybe they average two-and-a-half pages, but they are also very good; he's not shocking or violent or trying too hard to be funny, and, even though he doesn't really traffic in twist endings, his stories still feel surprising and fresh. It's hard to summarize the plot of two-page stories without giving things away, so here are first sentences from some of them:

This is the story about a bus driver who would never open the door of the bus for people who were late.

There's this village in Uzbekistan that was built right smack at the mouth of Hell.

The son of the Head of the Mossad didn't even know he was the son of the Head of the Mossad.

Dad wouldn't buy me a Bart Simpson doll.


I will definitely be reading more of Keret's books. ( )
1 vote wunderkind | Jan 27, 2010 |
A convenience store at the mouth of hell? A uterus on display at a museum? An afterlife for suicides that is just a little suckier than this one?Etgar Keret is awesome. These stories grab you by the throat and don't let up. Although they seldom exceed five tiny pages, they are memorable and powerful. His style is unlike anything I've read before.I originally heard about Keret when I saw a trailer for "Wristcutters: A Love Story." This fine film starred a man based on Eugene Hutz (Jonfren's endearing tour guide in the film adaptation of "Everything is Illuminated" and lead singer of Gogol Bordello) and had a soundtrack heavily dominated by Gogol Bordello. The movie was pretty good, so I decided to read the novella is was based on. Kneller's Happy Campers is the story about the afterlife for the suicides. Kneller, played beautifully in the movie by Tom Waits, runs a camp of sorts where insignificant miracles are a common occurrence. Totally original and unbelievably fun.I'm going to read the rest of Keret's work as soon as I can get my hands on it. I feel sorry for the guy though. On the back of the book jacket, Keret is described as being "Isreal's Hippest Young Writer." That seems embarassing to me and I hope he never learns to read English so he never knows how his publisher has classified him overseas. ( )
1 vote anoceandrowning | Jan 21, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312339259, Paperback)

Etgar Keret's The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God & Other Stories stings and thrills with fierce fables of modern life. Set in landscapes ranging from "this armpit town outside Austin, Texas" to "this village in Uzbekistan that was built right smack at the mouth of Hell," these stories lay their plots' central tensions out plainly: "Dad wouldn't buy me a Bart Simpson doll," one begins. Then they take off like little roller coasters, careening through the pathos of Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son, the clowning of David Sedaris's Barrel Fever, the in-your-face violence of Quentin Tarantino, and the bewildered alienation of Franz Kafka. But readers need not know any of Keret's sources to enjoy his stories fully. The Israeli writer's aphorisms leap off the page and lodge themselves in the mind: "There are two kinds of people, those who like to sleep next to the wall, and those who like to sleep next to the people who push them off the bed." Keret's vernacular prose is fun to read, and his vision of the world is weirdly comforting. Happiness never really flourishes, but small hopes and graces abound. --Michael Joseph Gross

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:50 -0400)

Offers a collection of warped and candid stories, including "Goodman," "Breaking the Pig," and "The Story about a Bus Driver who Wanted to be God.".

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