Missing Kissinger, By Etgar Kerettrs Miriam Shlesinger and Sondra Silverston

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The Independent Culture

Etgar Keret is a Jewish Israeli writer of stories that are full of strangeness; expertly crafted, lapidary and yet ambiguous vignettes, usually just three or four pages long, that have an internal coherence but an alien logic. This collection is older than his others – first published in Hebrew in 1994, though newly translated into English – and has more violence and more danger in it. It is a collection that keeps you on your toes, and unsure of what is coming next.

A magician reaches into his hat during a children's party and shocks even himself when he pulls out a dead baby. A man pushes his guardian angel off a roof, expecting him to fly and surprised when, instead, he crashes to the ground. One story is narrated by a vivisectionist's monkey. And in "Cocked and Locked", which is the most straightforward story, and possibly the key to all of the others, there is a sickening confrontation between an Israeli soldier and a member of Hamas.