March 9, 2021 | Rome, Italy

Be My Knife

By | 2018-03-21T18:28:20+01:00 April 1st, 2003|Recent Reviews|

By David Grossman, translated by from the Hebrew by Vered Almog and Maya Gurantz

Picador, 1998 (2003). 307 pages.

In this fervid lovers’ exchange, Grossman counts on “depositing my poignant weaknesses into the hands of complete strangers.” Whether the “my” belongs to Yair or Miriam — ping-pong correspondents in these letters — is irrelevant. Journalist and novelist Grossman, hailed in Israel and Europe, begs intense reader participation in the rapid-fire angst dished out by his consenting adults. That Yair’s dick (his word) is “shrunken and folded” during “transcendent thought” gradually loses its appeal. The novel is hijacked by characters who adore how their yearning sounds in words. Overwrought, it flirts precariously with the pompous.

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