Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God & Other Stories Review

The Bus Driver Who Wanted to be God & Other Stories is a collection of stories by the popular Israeli author Etgar Keret. The author I was most reminded of while reading the collection is Roald Dahl. It contained much of the same kind of off-beat humor and unexpected twists that I love Dahl for, although in Keret’s collection the stories were basically brief comedic gags and the twists were just a part of the humor where as Dahl’s stories tend to be longer mysteries and all the dark humor is incidental to the big build up of the final twist. Regardless Keret reminded me of Dahl much more than the lukewarm Heavenly Date and other Flirtations by Alexander McCall Smith, which contained a review linking the two on the cover. Keret’s stories are each so unique that I can’t possibly summarize the collection. The best I can do is share two of my favorite quotes from it; the first is the openingline of a story and the second the closing line of another story:

“Korbi was a punk like all punks. The kind where it’s hard to tell if they’re mainly ugly or mainly stupid.”

“There are two kinds of people, those who like to sleep next to the wall, and those who like to sleep next to the people who push them off the bed.”

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this collection and I was thrilled to find an author who so thoroughly satisfies my particular short-story tastes that is still living and I look forward to reading more from Keret. Five stars.

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