Friday, March 30, 2012

Imagin-eer it!

So I don't know if you know this yet, but ETGAR KERET is coming to the Booksmith. There are only three acceptable responses to this information:

1) DUH, It's on my calendar!
2) OMG where do I sign up?
3) Who's Etgar Keret?

I shall respond thusly:

2) Just show up at the store by 7PM April 28 and enjoy the sagacity and laughter for FREE.
3) This is acceptable only because it will soon be REVERSED.

Etgar Keret. Brilliantly funny, completely singular imaginative and perceptive Israeli writer of hilarious short stories. He's got a few books out already that come and go from the UBC, and his newest just arrived upstairs and I've already taken it home and cracked it open. Suddenly a Knock on the Door is chock full of quick and dirty short stories that will make you wonder, laugh and punch you in the sternum with their potent wisdom. But without being pretentious. They're so magic. Keret is magical.

My favorite story so far is the second in the collection, "Lieland," in which all the lies everyone tells actually happen in a parallel world. Such a mindbender, and so "I've had that thought! Why hasn't someone written this already?" Even if they had, Keret does it the BEST. So GOOOOOD. Come to the reading. It's free.You'll laugh. What more interesting thing could you do?

But, reading "Lieland" had me thinking. Mostly about people's imaginations, and telling stories about our most basic thoughts. What are the effects of lies? The little stories we tell all the time? What happens when we die? And how exciting it is to read a book written by a gifted author who explores these thoughts. Like in Gabrielle Zevin's YA Elsewhere which starts of so cool and atmospheric following a girl on a boat on her way to the underworld. Or Kevin Brockheimer's Brief History of the Dead which starts off with meeting characters who have come to an untimely end, including one girl whose only memory of her death is simply that she "began to snow." so chilling.

We just got Zevin's book in used, come pick it up. And we also just got in a book called Amberville, by Tim Davys in which a teddy bear is a noir detective. All the noir tropes are there, but the protagonist is a teddy bear, and his wife is a stuffed rabbit. It's like the author was looking at his toys from childhood and imagining what they did when he left for his day job, and boom, author's imagination takes flight. Great story. Fun had by all. Stop by the UBC and escape into these wacky novels! And come see Etgar Keret!

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