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— Starred Review, Publisher's Weekly
For fans of Etgar Keret, a debut collection that fuses the humor of everyday life in Israel with technology's challenges and the latest discoveries about the human brain.
At once compassionate, philosophical, and humorous, Jerusalem Beach is a foray into the human condition in all its contradictions. Through a series of snapshots of contemporary life in Israel, Gefen reveals a world that’s a step from the familiar.
A man’s grandfather joins an army platoon of geriatrics looking for purpose in old age. A scheming tech start-up exposes the dire consequences of ambition in trying to share human memories. An elderly couple searches for a beach that doesn’t exist. And, a boy mourns his brother’s death in an attempt to catch time like flies in his fist.
Entirely heartfelt and infused with pathos, Jerusalem Beach is an exploration of both technology and the brain. Whether ruminating on the stakes of familial love or pitching the reader headlong into the absurdity of success and failure, Gefen leaves the reader intrigued throughout.
"Sad and funny and full of wisdom and truth."
— Amos Oz, author of A Tale of Love and Darkness
"The stories in Iddo Gefen's Jerusalem Beach are a series of original and, many times truly inspiring, attempts to seek and find humanity and tenderness at the least predictable places."
— Etgar Keret, author of Fly Already
“Iddo Gefen is the voice of his generation. But he’s also a voice that’s somewhat wiser than his generation; one that observes from the sidelines, or rather, from the perspective of an eighty-year-old grandfather...[Jerusalem Beach] is a fresh, imaginative and bold debut.”
— Eshkol Nevo, author of Three Floors Up
"Jerusalem Beach accomplishes the impossible—at once playful and wrenching, surprising and organic, these stories are instant classics, if classics could somehow come from the future. Gefen’s is a once-in-a-generation voice."
— Shelly Oria, author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0
“Jerusalem Beach signals the confidence and the probing talent of a mature writer, confident in his craft, who knows how to control a complicated storyline with an unexpected, enjoyable twist, while creating distinct characters that speak in many unique voices.”
— Arianne Melamed, Haaretz
"Gefen...flirts with the border between fact and fiction, that will likely be the future in a few years’ time...showcasing these subjects in a new and creative light, full of compassion and humanity."
— Time Out Tel Aviv
“Iddo Gefen is a brilliant writer, with his own language, fast and fluent...The irony that exists throughout the book and the humor seen from the surprising plot transitions do not obscure the seriousness of the questions about the ‘human condition.’”
— Professor Ariel Hirschfeld, head juror of the National Library Scholarship
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