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The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God & Other Stories 
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Post The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God & Other Stories
The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God & Other Stories
(Warped and Wonderful Short Stories)
by Etgar Keret

I read a few of these stories after I first watched the movie Wristcutters: A Love Story a few years ago, a beautiful indie film about what happens to a young man after he commits suicide and ends up in a strange, dull afterlife reserved only for suicides. Keret's style is bare, but convincing and beautiful, often perplexing, and always amusing.

Up until a few days ago, I hadn't read the short story the movie is largely based on, and since I loved the movie even more the second time around, it piqued my interest in Keret's writing again and so I read the story the movie is based on, "Kneller's Happy Campers," and although the movie both adds and subtracts from the story, they got the essence of it just right, and even the disparagingly different endings don't leave me feeling unsatisfied with either version.

Most of the stories are translated by Miriam Shlesinger, but some are translated by others, all from Hebrew to English, as Keret is Israeli. The culture differences definitely stand out, but his stories are written in a way that everyone can understand them. Despite his minimalistic style, his voice comes out clear and he captures an essence of what can only be described as a form of magical realism very well, and, as I mentioned before, in dark but very amusing ways.

I would definitely recommend "Kneller's Happy Campers," which is called a novella but is really just a longer short story, "The Story About a Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God," "Uterus," in which a young man's mother dies and her uterus is put on display in a museum which he goes to visit, and "A Souvenir of Hell," in which, in a small town in Uzbekistan there is an opening to Hell where the dead come up to visit the living, and the narrator of the story wants to visit Hell. I haven't read many more than that, but I would recommend them all, because they are all so novel in their plots, characters, and style that it would be a pity to miss out on them.

If we were ever to suggest another collection of short stories, I would definitely bring this into the consideration, because I think it is definitely a book that would generate discussion and force us to look at stories and ourselves in a different way.

Just wanted to share. Hope someone picks it up and comes to discuss it with me! :)

On Amazon: amazon.com/Bus-Driver-Wanted-Other-Stor ... amp;sr=8-1



Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:01 am
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