ISRAEL: The Nimrod Flip-Out by Etgar Keret

Etgar Keret is an award-winning Israeli author, who writes short, sharp, sometimes rude black comedy. He’s also a screenwriter, and both his written work and his films and TV focus on the absurdity of everyday life in Israel.

The Nimrod Flip-Out is a collection of short stories (some very short) that really hit at friendships, love, and isolation. The titular short story is a gem – a group of friends realize they’re taking turns going mad, until one “leaves” by going off to get married, messing up the cycle of madness. There’s more metaphorical stories, like “Pride and Joy”, of a son worried that his success is causing his doting parents to physically shrink, or the heavy, like “Surprise Egg”, a doctor struggling with an ethical dilemma over the autopsy findings of a suicide bomb victim.

Keret’s work feels a lot like an Israeli Vonnegut, and his work is unpretentious, funny, and shocking all at once.

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