The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God & Other Stories (Toby Press, 2004), $12.95.
Jetlag (Toby Press, 2006), $12.95.
The Nimrod Flipout (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006), $12.00.
Pizzeria Kamikaze (Alternative Comics, 2006), $14.95.
It’s one of those days when you find yourself in a new part of town with an hour to kill, and you decide you to sit in a cafe with a book, but you don’t have a book with you, so you walk around browsing in a few bookstores, looking for something you could actually sit and read in public, and to your surprise, you actually find something stunning that you have never heard of, and, frankly never even fantasized about. You notice the book because its cover is well-designed and when you flip through it, there is a lot of shiny silver. Since it’s a graphic novel, you can tell whether it’s good from its cover, because if you don’t like the layout, design and artwork, what’s the point of reading it, really? And this is an Israeli graphic novel, and that’s the part of the whole thing that you had never even fantasized about, besides, of course, all the shiny silver parts. You purchase the book and walk to a cafe, more quickly than you ought to when you are killing time, and sitting on a stool at a shiny silver bar, you order a solitary piece of raw fish, a glass of something cold and proceed to delve into Pizzeria Kamikaze, hoping you will not be terribly disappointed.
A few pages in, you find your expectations vindicated by an unbeatable premise:
Two days after I killed myself, I found a job at some pizza joint called ‘Kamikaze.’
The following sentences seal the deal:
…whenever they used to talk about life after death and go through the is-there-isn’t-there routine. I’d always imagine these beeping sounds, and people floating around in space and stuff. But now that I’m here, it reminds me of Tel Aviv. My German roommate says this place could just as well be Frankfurt. I guess Frankfurt’s a dump too.
Continue reading “Chapati Review: Four Books by Etgar Keret”