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Tel Aviv Noir
Cover of Tel Aviv Noir
Tel Aviv Noir
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Israeli crime fiction that Noir offerings. The genre is hot, Tel Aviv is exotic, and this volume is outstanding" (Library Journal, starred review).
Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched with the summer '04 award-winning bestseller Brooklyn Noir. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city. For Tel Aviv Noir, Etgar Keret and Assaf Gavron have masterfully assembled some of Israel's top contemporary writers into a compulsively readable collection.

Along with Gon Ben Ari's story "Clear Recent History"—winner of the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award for Best P.I. Short Story—this anthology includes brand-new stories by: Etgar Keret, Gadi Taub, Lavie Tidhar, Deakla Keydar, Matan Hermoni, Julia Fermentto, Shimon Adaf, Alex Epstein, Antonio Ungar, Gai Ad, Assaf Gavron, Silje Bekeng, and Yoav Katz; translated by Yardenne Greenspan.

Jewish Journal's Noteworthy Books for the New Year

"There's a marvelous underlying tension to [the stories], a paranoid tinge, as if some vast monstrous conspiracy is lurking behind every misdeed and bad stroke of luck."—San Francisco Book Review
"The collection reflects much of the daily reality of the city, but not the sort one is likely to read in tour guides . . . There's a complexity and virtuosity to plot and prose that leaves the reader with a sense of satisfaction and appreciation, despite the typically devastating denouement of the tales . . . Superb."—PopMatters

"Consistently strong . . . Definitely one of the highlights in the long-running Akashic series."—
Booklist, starred review

Israeli crime fiction that Noir offerings. The genre is hot, Tel Aviv is exotic, and this volume is outstanding" (Library Journal, starred review).
Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched with the summer '04 award-winning bestseller Brooklyn Noir. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city. For Tel Aviv Noir, Etgar Keret and Assaf Gavron have masterfully assembled some of Israel's top contemporary writers into a compulsively readable collection.

Along with Gon Ben Ari's story "Clear Recent History"—winner of the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award for Best P.I. Short Story—this anthology includes brand-new stories by: Etgar Keret, Gadi Taub, Lavie Tidhar, Deakla Keydar, Matan Hermoni, Julia Fermentto, Shimon Adaf, Alex Epstein, Antonio Ungar, Gai Ad, Assaf Gavron, Silje Bekeng, and Yoav Katz; translated by Yardenne Greenspan.

Jewish Journal's Noteworthy Books for the New Year

"There's a marvelous underlying tension to [the stories], a paranoid tinge, as if some vast monstrous conspiracy is lurking behind every misdeed and bad stroke of luck."—San Francisco Book Review
"The collection reflects much of the daily reality of the city, but not the sort one is likely to read in tour guides . . . There's a complexity and virtuosity to plot and prose that leaves the reader with a sense of satisfaction and appreciation, despite the typically devastating denouement of the tales . . . Superb."—PopMatters

"Consistently strong . . . Definitely one of the highlights in the long-running Akashic series."—
Booklist, starred review

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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 25, 2014
    Israeli founding father David Ben-Gurion famously stated, “We will know we have become a normal country when Jewish thieves and Jewish prostitutes conduct their business in Hebrew.” That “normality” is certainly evident in the 14 stories in this routine Akashic anthology, which feature murderers, hookers, pimps, drug dealers, and mobsters, both Jewish and Arab, though it’s not always clear how they fit the noir label. Some selections could have been transplanted from Tel Aviv to other cities with only minor changes—and none deals with politics or the Palestinian situation. The standouts are Gai Ad’s “The Expendables” and Antonio Ungar’s “Said the Good.” James M. Cain would recognize the setup of Ad’s story, in which the life of an attractive widow takes a violent turn after her husband’s cancer-related death leaves her at loose ends. Ungar’s tale of warring organized crime factions would certainly make Ben-Gurion feel , for better or worse, that Israel is now normal.

  • Kirkus

    October 1, 2014
    Even in the Holy Land, people find ingenious ways to screw up their own lives, as the latest entry in Akashic's Noir series proves. Tel Aviv is a modern city in an ancient land. It has clubs where 20-year-olds like Essy and Danielle, in Julie Fermentto's "Who's a Good Boy!," get drunk, bum cigarettes from strangers and look for love in all the wrong places. It has technology, like the electronic surveillance in Silje Bekeng's "Swirl" and the computer Gideon Tzuk uses to watch pornography in Gon Ben Ari's "Clear Recent History," unaware that it's watching him back. But its heartbeat is its people, looking to thrive or maybe just survive. In "Sleeping Mask," by Gadi Taub, Shiri takes a new look at the world's oldest profession to clear her father's gambling debts. Srulik, in co-editor Gavron's "Center," switches between construction work when it's sunny and private investigation when it rains. In Yoav Katz's "The Tour Guide," an entrepreneur offers tourists a look at famous crime scenes. And Margalit Bloch supplements her meager income after her husband's death by selling off the possessions of people who died without heirs in Gai Ad's "The Expendables." Most touching are the people just looking to connect, like the grocery clerk who makes dinner for a customer in Deakla Keydar's "Slow Cooking," the barista who serves mineral water to the Grim Reaper in Alex Epstein's "Death in Pajamas," the hashish peddler who falls in love with a Russian thug's sister in Antonio Ungar's "Said the Good," or the couple whose lives are turned inside out by their finicky dog in co-editor Keret's "Allergies." Editors Keret and Gavron stress not what makes Tel Aviv unique but what it has in common with other cities: its people's endless, often fruitless struggle to cash in on a losing hand.

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from September 1, 2014

    Since the start, Akashic's short story series has been a classy enterprise, specializing in crime noir set in specific locations. The 66th volume may be the very best in a generally solid series. Edited by noted Israeli writers Keret (Suddenly, A Knock at the Door) and Gavron (Almost Dead), this collection runs the gamut from Lavie Tidhar's fantasy of a detective who works in parallel worlds ("The Time-Slip Detective") to Matan Hermoni's "Women" about a writer who inherits a ghost and Deakla Keydar's touching story ("Slow Cooking") of an abandoned wife who finds purpose aiding African refugees who are worse off than she is. Shimon Adaf's gnomic contribution, "My Father's Kingdom," is only nominally a detective tale. In it, a student becomes obsessed with the esoteric poems of a poet who committed suicide. It reads like Franz Kafka filtered through Jorge Louis Borges. Antonio Ungar's "Said the Good" tells a remorselessly unsentimental account of star-crossed lovers, vengeance, and death, and in the most conventional offering, Assaf Gavron's "Center," a PI tracks down a missing person by following the trail of his severed parts. VERDICT This collection escapes the limits of formula fiction and sets the bar high for subsequent "Noir" offerings. The genre is hot, Tel Aviv is exotic, and this volume is outstanding. What's not to like? [Scribner is publishing Gavron's Bernstein Award-winning The Hilltop in October.--Ed.]--David Keymer, Modesto, CA

    Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from October 15, 2014
    For those unfamiliar with the city, Tel Aviv conjures up contrasting images of sunny beaches and political turmoil, but, like other urban landscapes, it has a noir underbelly where human passions run deep. This latest installment in Akashic's series of noir short-story anthologies shows readers that hidden Tel Aviv. Only one of the 14 stories, each set in a different neighborhood, could be considered a traditional mystery, but most feature individuals under some kind of duress. In The Time-Slip Detective, Lavie Tidhar tells the story of a sleuth who moves between parallel worlds as he works in two different dimensions, while Gadi Taub's Sleeping Mask illustrates what happens when the owner of an escort service falls in love with one of his girls. Slow Cooking, by Deakla Keydar, is less dark, offering a touching story about an abandoned wife who finds solace and purpose when she volunteers to cook meals for African refugees. This consistently strong collection showcases a group of Israeli writers who are not well known in the U.S. Definitely one of the highlights in the long-running Akashic series.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

  • Jewish Book Council

    "For anyone interested in some of Israel's best younger writers, as well as the seamy underside of its most populous city, Tel Aviv Noir will keep your adrenaline flowing at any hour."

  • Lilith Magazine "Distinct Tel Aviv neighborhoods...lay bare their gritty, less-than-lovely aspects....Even the seamiest side of Tel Aviv is briefly redeemed."
  • Chicaco Jewish Star "This is a terrific collection to pick up, read a story or two, then return to, for different slices of life in Israel."
  • CJ: Voices of Conservative/Masorti Judaism "Excellent....It is delightful to discover these writers....This book will shine a different light on your next visit to Israel."
  • Lilith Magazine "An ambitious collection of unique stories told in lucid, and often lurid, detail."
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