I used to read essay collections for facts, details, or wit. And if I stumbled across the occasional bit of truth or wisdom, so much the better. Now this could be my bias towoard Etgar Keret (#2 on my I’ll Read Anything They Write List), but this collection is brimming with both. Okay, maybe more of the former than the latter… but I think even Keret would say that.
Remove the surrealist and speculative elements from Keret’s writing and you’re still left with his sense of the absurd, with keen observations of (by way of projections onto) other characters, and not surprisingly, his friend Uzi who, just like in the stories, offers advice such as…
What you need isn’t a bunch of lies from a PhD in clinical psych. You need a real solution: a nest egg in a foreign bank account. Everybody’s doing it.
Not every essay reached me; there were a couple that left me scratching my head. But I’m used to that experience reading Keret’s short stories, so I’m okay with it.