Almost Dead: A Novel

Almost Dead: A Novel

by Assaf Gavron


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"[An] original and powerful writer…. His clear and honest writing blasts right through the clichés and the politically correct surface to touch the chaotic and ambiguous core of the Israeli identity.” —Etgar Keret

“In a dazzling display of empathy, Gavron creates two equally compelling narrators, the bomber and his victim. This is a virtuoso work; a pitch-perfect rendering of real Israeli life in all its chaos, energy, humor and terror. I couldn’t put it down.” — Geraldine Brooks

Politically incorrect, provocative, and steeped in wit and irony, Almost Dead is a fast-paced tragicomic novel about the perfectly ordinary madness in today’s Middle East.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061984044
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/13/2010
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.76(d)

About the Author

Assaf Gavron is a writer and translator. He grew up in Jerusalem, studied in London and Vancouver, and now lives in Tel Aviv. In Israel, he has published four novels, a short story collection, and a collection of falafel reviews.

What People are Saying About This

Geraldine Brooks

“Assaf Gavron has done the impossible: written a darkly funny novel about suicide bombing. . . . This is a virtuoso work; a pitch-perfect rendering of real Israeli life in all its chaos, energy, humor and terror. I couldn’t put it down.”

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Almost Dead 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Wordslave77 More than 1 year ago
It started out like other modern novels - trying to be too ironic for its own good - but the story dove into some deeper emotional territory, and by the end, Eitan's survival becomes a subtle, greater metaphor for the undying consistency of the Jewish people, emotionally and physically scarred but still alive.
-Eva- on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is easily the best book I've read so far this year. Gavron has written a book that is not only insightful about Israeli society and its nemesis, suicide bombers, but one that is also quite funny, weird as that sounds. Every other chapter is told from Israeli Eitan's view point as he somehow manages to avoid one suicide attack after another. The other part is told by Fahmi, a Palestinian suicide bomber who, after his attack, hovers between life and death at an Israeli hospital where his muddled brain makes him reminiscence about his childhood and youth in the West Bank. Different as these two viewpoints seem, they converge throughout the story and, regardless of your personal views, Gavron manages to make both become comprehensible and as close to logical as may be possible.
arubabookwoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Eitan Einoch ("Croc") is the miraculous survivor of three terrorist attacks in one week, one in Tel Aviv, one in Jerusalem, and one on the road between the two cities. He becomes a national hero, even as his personal life is falling apart. His story is told in alternating chapters with the story of Fahlid, a Palestinian terrorist who lies in a coma after an unsuccessful suicide bombing.This book explores serious issues with a sense of humor. (The blurb on the back of the book calls it "politically incorrect."). I've never been to Israel, but this book gives an even-handed sense of what it is like to live in constant fear of attack/loss of life, and what it is like to grow up and live in a Palestinian refugee camp. We come to know two sympathetic characters on opposite sides in a war that seems to have no solution
thelittlereader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
what started out a little slow for me developed into a highly entertaining read and i'm so glad that i took a chance and picked this book up. Almost Dead has two running stories told in alternating chapters, each with its own main character.the first storyline is of Eitan, nicknamed "Croc", a Tel Aviv businessman who manages to narrowly miss three consecutive suicide bombing attempts, becoming a bit of a media celebrity, dubbed the "Croc Attack". the Croc is immediately likable, the type of person i'd like to know, but is just dealt all the wrong cards. through a few very serendipitous encounters, he finds himself hunting the true identity of one of the men killed in the first attack, all the while dealing with post traumatic stress disorder and an all too realistic failing relationship. the second storyline follows Fahmi, a member of a terrorist shell that has coordinated the specific attacks that Croc was coincindentally involved. throughout his chapters, he is in a coma, recalling the events leading up to his hospitalization. though Fahmi is a terrorist, he is written with compassion and has an honesty that you can't help but admire. his brother is the extremist leader of their unit and Fahmi is merely feeling the familial obligation of living up to his brother's expectations and his grandfather's legacy. however, when Fahmi's brother is captured, the task of killing the Croc Attack, who has humiliated their efforts, is in Fahmi's hands alone.the writing was sharp and humorous, and the story pulled along at a steady pace throughout. though i found the story of Eitan much more engaging than that of Fahmi to begin with, they actually developed well together and i found that by the end, i wasn't feeling that favoritism any longer. and the ending was just wow! i think i read the last 50 pages in a blink.the characters were well realized and were both relatable, in their own ways - Croc, with his optimism and huge heart, and Fahmi, with his misguided energy and love for his family. i was actually surprised to find that i had any emotion at all for Fahmi, but i really did, despite his position and his acts. altogether, this book just took me by surprise, in a good way.Almost Dead was an excellent perspective piece with a fantastic ending, and i would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in a slightly different take on terrorists and their victims.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago