Saturday, September 25, 2010

When I Was I Kid, I Thought I Was Jesus

I'm going to be honest, the only reason I picked up The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God by Etgar Keret was for the story "Kneller's Happy Campers," which was adapted into the film Wristcutters. I haven't watched movie yet, mostly because I wanted to read the story. It's silly, I know, but sometimes reading the story first allows me to watch the movie comfortably. What I didn't know was that Etgar Keret's collection of short stories is a translation. I've mentioned how translations tend to mess with my mind sometimes. 

Either way, the book is brilliant. From start to finish - which just happens to be "Kneller's Happy Campers" - the book is filled with stories that are a little bit amusing, a little bit lovely and downright weird. Warped and Wonderful, as the quip says at the bottom of the cover. It's not lie. From grandfathers coming back as sneakers, finding Heaven within a pipe or a man who is afflicted with a crippling disability of being too nice, the stories never have pause to ask whether or not they're believable. You simply accept them. 

Much like Bizarro fiction - from authors such as Carlton Mellick III - Etgar Keret engages us with themes that  we can relate to or recognize while dazzling our senses with a slice of imagination that we normally don't read in contemporary literature. His voice carries through the pages, description wrapping us. 

The first book of the season, and I'm glad it was a memorable one. I'll write more on "Kneller's Happy Campers" and Wristcutters in a later post. Until next time, happy huntin'.

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