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Book Review

‘The Seven Good Years’

7/22/2015

Internationally known Israeli writer Keret, an award-winning author of short stories, graphic novels and screen plays, offers his first book of non-fiction, “The Seven Good Years.” His touching, insightful memoir is told in small, interlinked stories, short, yet powerful observations that reveal Keret’s intelligent, compassionate views. The slim pieces cover the period from 2005-2012. Keret begins to write at the birth of his son and finishes at the death of his father, seven years later.

By Etgar Keret Riverhead Books June 16, 2015 $26.95 192 pp Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

By Etgar Keret
Riverhead Books
June 16, 2015
$26.95
192 pp
Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

These seven “good” years are fraught with troubles and tragedy, and it is through Keret’s personal anecdotes that we’re encouraged to think more broadly on life’s — and the world’s — bigger issues. When his son is born, there is a terrorist attack on Tel Aviv, which puts “a damper on everything.” While at his 3-year-old son’s favorite park, the mothers there berate him for not having decided yet if his son will eventually join the army. Later, he learns his beloved father has inoperable cancer.

Keret gives a bit of a glimpse into Israeli life and his own personal and political issues, but there is no overt political commentary or heavy-handed points to be made. We read of his arguments with taxi-drivers, interactions with his Orthodox sister, discussions with telemarketers, and of his family’s Angry Birds addiction. We are treated to heartfelt pieces describing his parents, both Holocaust survivors. Through his humorous, sardonic recollections about his life during these seven years, Keret gives us plenty of material for thought and original, brilliant stories to read. CV

 

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Fay Jones was born with a love of literature, which was finely shored up throughout her early years by her parents and a beloved children’s librarian who wore the thickest glasses ever manufactured. Ms. Jones once won a coupon for a free ice cream cone after her suggestion for a name for the local Reading Is Fundamental mascot was selected.

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