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New Yorker Fiction Review #164: "To the Moon and Back" by Etgar Keret

Review of a story from the Oct. 3, 2016 issue of The New Yorker...

Love me a good Etgar Keret story, ever since I read my first one back in January 2015, called "One Gram Short." Keret comes from Israel and writes in Hebrew so his work is translated (natch, cause I can't read Hebrew) and his work has a deeply cynical, dark feel to it but also a deep humanity. I equate him to a literary Louis C.K.: a cynical, jaded guy who deep down is a frustrated, geeky 14 year old kid with tap on his glasses who just wants to be normal.

"To the Moon and Back" is a funny story about a father who tries to act upon a strange request from his young son in order to prove how much he loves him and to feel like a good father. What comes across is (what must be) the endless frustration of dealing with a toddler on a daily basis and also the lengths people will go to in order to appear important in their children's eyes, even if those lengths are ridiculous. Not sure I'd have reacted in the absurd way this story's main character does to his child's request, but that's why it's a good paints scenario of what would happen if you took a child's ludicrous demands seriously. I don't know for sure but I'd bet money Keret is a parent.

Might do the unthinkable and actually buy a copy of his book.


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