Friday, January 20, 2006

Quirky Shorts

After reading that marathon of a Western and while slogging through the draft of a friend's novel, the book that is currently scratching my itch for a short and fun read is Etgar Keret's The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God and Other Stories which jumped into my hands the other day in Daunts.

Most of the stories are short-shorts, just a couple of pages long - snack length. Just right.

He reminds me so much of Murukami. His characters inhabit a universe where all the rules of nature can be broken - the inhabitants of hell are allowed out now and again for souvenir shopping in Uzbekistan, a man screams a wish into a hole in the wall and gains an angel for a friend, another makes a giant pipe into which he vanishes. (You can hear Etgar reading Pipes, here and there are plenty of other links to his work and downloadable stories on this site.)

Keret was born in 1967 and says his name translates as 'Urban challenge'. According to an interview in the Guardian, he began writing while in the Israeli Army where he wound up in an operation codenamed Quasimodo, working 48-hour shifts in front of a computer in an old underground atomic shelter.

He found in writing a way to release bits of himself that he denied and bottled up:
The reason I write is that I'm not in dialogue with my emotions; writing puts me in touch with myself.


BawangMerah said...

Hmm, sounds interesting. I just wish I can carry your blog around when I go book shopping :P

Incidentally, the word verification word is 'boook'. Heheheh.

bibliobibuli said...

thanks for the compliment :-D

maybe the word verification was in a silly mood today?

Spot said...

Wow, I really identify with that last quote. Must try to get a copy.

Goodness me, Sharon Bakar, you're a godsend for my rapidly deteriorating literacy.

bibliobibuli said...

glad spot! maybe this is what i was put on earth to do?