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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
3971626,945 (3.89)54
  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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» See also 54 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
I read the first 3-4 stories when I first picked this book up, and then finished the rest this past week. I was really impressed by this collection. His stories are funny, complex, sometimes profound, and very relevant (how many review bingo words did I get there?). I expected quirky but I really don't think they are.

The last piece reminded me of a Kelly Link story (there are lots of other similarities there) and would like to read both of them again back to back. ( )
  mkunruh | Nov 13, 2016 |
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.
( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
If you aren’t already familiar with Keret’s writing, it make take a few of these very short stories to sync up with his particular comic wavelength. Written originally in Hebrew and set, often, in Israel, there are commonplace life events such as universal military service that set the subject matter apart from much North American writing. The stories here are slight, almost oblique, more scene or sketch than story, really. Many carry an overt moral, which may or may not be subverted by the narrator. But the best of them are both ironic and non-ironic at the same time. And that is a delicate balance to strike.

There is one longer story here called, “Kneller’s Happy Campers”. It reveals, I think, what happens when you take this style and expand it. It almost begs to become surrealist or absurdist, depending on your point of view. In “Kneller’s Happy Campers”, all of the participants are actually suicides and this is what amounts to their afterlife. It’s a great premise, but you are probably already wondering, “Where do you go with that?” If you are Etgar Keret, you mostly just stay put, wander around a bit, and then head back to where you started. Which makes the afterlife pretty much like life.

Gently recommended. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Mar 19, 2016 |
These brief absurd stories left me pretty cold - there are flashes of humour and pathos, but it all felt too arch and self-consciously wacky to me. ( )
  mjlivi | Feb 2, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:37 -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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