Suddenly, a Knock on the Door: Stories
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Suddenly, a Knock on the Door: Stories

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  2,026 ratings  ·  297 reviews
Bringing up a child, lying to the boss, placing an order in a fast-food restaurant: in Etgar Keret’s new collection, daily life is complicated, dangerous, and full of yearning. In his most playful and most mature work yet, the living and the dead, silent children and talking animals, dreams and waking life coexist in an uneasy world. Overflowing with absurdity, humor, sadn...more
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Published April 24th 2012 by Macmillan Audio (first published 2010)
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Etgar Keret became known to me in 2008 when I happened across an excellent interview with him in a 2006 edition of The Believer. I liked what he had to say in that piece, so I picked up a book of his stories (The Nimrod Flipout: Stories). His style of writing was a marked difference from so many of the MFA graduate story writers that I had come to enjoy and respect - that differentiation was a good thing. Some of his stories are three pages, two pages long. His ability to write a handful of para...more
#7 Favourite Read of 2012

My only previous experience with Keret was the brilliant and beautiful movie Wristcutters: A Love Story based on his novella Kneller's Happy Campers so when this brand new collection of short stories was offered to me by a local bookseller I had no hesitation in buying it.

And I am so glad I did, as it was a revelation, completely unlike anything else I've read. His stories are often strange and slightly fantastical, funny, dark, impressive and affecting. This is a seriou...more
Wow, what a ride! Loved it.
Wildly inventive. It's like literary Silly Putty that's been smushed up against color comics, peeled off and then stretched and pulled. It kind of looks the same as the real thing but is weirdly distorted. In a way that is more interesting and alive than the original.
And then it makes you smile.
Sam Quixote
“Tell Me A Story” opens this book of short stories, as a writer called Etgar Keret is forced at gunpoint to make up a story on the spot by a home invader. As more characters are introduced – a survey taker, a pizza delivery man, all of whom turn up at his door in succession like in a sitcom – each of them enter his flat, pull out a weapon and demand a story. This sense of playfulness and originality runs through a lot of the short stories in Keret’s latest collection, “Suddenly, A Knock On The D...more
Etgar Keret can do more in three or four pages than many short story writers can in stories that border on novellas. There are nearly three dozen stories that span just 188 pages, yet many are simply brilliant.

The eponymous and first story starts with a directive: “Tell me a story.” Under gunpoint, the narrator – Etgar – is ordered to make up a story. He is interrupted early on: “That’s not a story…That’s an eyewitness report. It’s exactly what’s happening here and now. Exactly what we’re trying...more
Aidan Watson-Morris
keret is a master of style who leaves substance implicit, punching you in the face & leaving you to do the thinking on your own time. kyle smith said of keret, 'he can do more with six or seven funny & strange paragraphs than most writers can with six hundred pages,' & that's p much exactly it - each of keret's words is carefully selected, even if the end result seems deceptively spontaneous & effortless. the nimrod flipout is generally considered keret's best - & it has quit...more
I LOVE this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My very favorite short story is:

"What Do We Have in Our Pockets"

I also wanted to cry in "What Animal are You"?

I had a very challenging time understanding "SHUT". I read it 4 times --- (I 'think' I get it)

"Creative Writing", "Unzipping", "Suddenly A Knock On the Door", "Upgrade".....etc. etc. etc.......

These SHORT stories are funny and sad -playful & mature -loving and insightful -strange -fresh- sweet- unpretentious -and a little like sticky-taf...more
Moises Sheinberg
El nuevo libro de cuentos del escritor israelí es, quizá, el más completo, mejor logrado y el más balanceado. Los 39 relatos que lo componen varían en longitud desde un párrafo hasta varias páginas, y en temática desde un cuento que se autojuzga como el mejor del mundo hasta un hombre que, como Alicia en el país de las maravillas, entra en un agujero para encontrarse en un mundo en el que viven todas sus mentiras.
Los cuentos de Keret, además de profundamente creativos, divertidos y simpáticos ti...more
¿Que quién es Etgar Keret? Pues para mí es la gran esperanza de la literatura contemporánea. Y sí, soy capaz de soltar semejante elogio y quedarme tan tranquila. Podría decir que Edgar Keret es un escritor israelí que se caracteriza por su originalidad y por la frescura de su estilo, pero no le estaría haciendo justicia. Cuando ya pensaba que estaba todo inventado y estaba convencida que todos los autores contemporáneos que pretenden ser originales acaben siendo cansinos, me encuentro con este h...more
Karen Leopoldina
if you like your short stories to be clever and witty with inventive narrative twists, then Keret is your man. originality and humour will always grab the attention of your reader but will it sustain them? whilst i admire all of these qualities in Keret's writing they also left me strangely dissatisfied, and this feeling only increased the further i made my way through this collection. i like warmth, depth, insight in my fiction not narrative word games which, rather than draw the reader into a...more
Friederike Knabe
Robbie, one of the protagonists in Etgar Keret's new short story collection, SUDDENLY, A KNOCK AT THE DOOR, has a dream that changes the way he understands the world around him. The story, LIELAND, one of my favourites among the thirty five in this slim volume, is on the surface a simple growing up story of a boy who started lying at a young age and continues to do so, successfully, in ever more elaborate ways, until... "it all started with a dream". By reaching into the surreal world of dreams,...more
So often I read a short story and feel like, you know, what was the point of that story? Like there's something to get that I'm just not getting, because maybe I'm a fool, or maybe I'm just not very deep, or, if I'm feeling confident at the time of the reading, maybe the author didn't actually know what he or she was doing.

Not this book of very, very short stories, though. These were funny, sad, interesting, and they wrapped up in a satisfying way. I'm sure different ones stick with different pe...more
As I read all of these glimmering reviews, I wonder how many have read his other work. Although this wasn't terrible, it definitely wasn't something to write home about, at least for Keret.

All the stories were so forced, like something you wrote in college when you had a paper due in 2 hours for English class, but couldn't think of a story so you wrote 2 pages of something kind of imaginative but made up a random, disconnected ending to make your paper long enough.

I am a huge Keret fan myself,...more
Чийзъс Крайст! - с тези думи разкрих въодушевлението си, че Керет ще има нов сборник на български. Израелският писател ме беше спечелил още с „Пристъп на астма“ - първият разказ в сборника „Автобусният шофьор, който искаше да бъде Бог“. Ако можех, щях да чета разказите му Със затворени очи - така щях да се пренасям до обикновените и необикновените му герои и да изживявам с тях всичко, което им е подготвила ръката на техния създател. Нали сме екип. Аз, той и те. Той създава и отнема животи, прави...more
Wow! I'm blown away by this book. This small book of 209 pages contains 42 stories that are surreal, funny, dark and thoughtful and wildly imaginative and of course, super super short. I would recommend this to everyone because even if you don't end up liking it as much as I did, it would certainly be a different read.
This book is incredible. So imaginative and original and thought provoking. I have the feeling that I will revisit these short stories time and time again. :)
Suranjana Hoque
Dec 11, 2013 Suranjana Hoque rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Suranjana by: shucheta shegufta
I can rate this book five starts simply for one of the stories, 'Creative writing'. But some of the other stories were very good too.

A promising writer no doubts.
Kevin Young
Judging by all the 4&5 star reviews, I was clearly missing something here, as for me this began as a huge disappointment.
Unlike the glowing reviews on the back cover, I didn't see much maturity on display here, more the opposite in fact. Neither was the authors renowned humour apparent, although many stories began like the start of a good joke - "A man and his son walk into an acupuncturists' treatment room", they invariably ended like bad ones, with no punch line. "There's nothing stranger...more
on shotgun judgement (in lieu of a review) :: so, when i first added this book to my currently reading shelf, i compulsively gave it 3 stars. (why did i rate it? i had barely read 2 stories! our relationship was in its fictional infancy!) there was a gun in the first story and the next story i looked at seemed bleak and violent and depressing. well. i don't like those things. so i put my 3 stars with a little sniff. so there, stylish writer all the blurbs say is so great! ha.

then i laughed at my...more
amanda eve
Etgar Keret's stories are a punch to the gut, in the very best way. They make me want to run up to perfect strangers, pull them next to me, and say "Listen to this!" as I read them aloud, so they know what it feels to be completely leveled by a story.

I skimmed through the book again the other night, trying to pick out my favourites, but ended up obsessively re-reading most of the stories again, furiously underlining and scribbling incredibly intelligent comments like "OMG" and "WHY IS THIS SO G...more
Grant Reynolds
Suddenly, A Knock On The Door by Etgar Keret was crazy, crazy good, complete game changer! I've read a few of these stories before in different publications or anthologies and have always been blown away by his work. His stories are typically short, funny & whimsical. The first story I ever read of Etgar's that's included in this book is What, Of This Goldfish, Would You Wish and it was so good & different that I stopped reading, put the book down just to let it linger with me a while lo...more
Mike Schwartz
An absolutely wonderful book of short stories by an Israeli writer who is already a major talent. These stories come off like a mix of Kafka, Miranda July, and Donald Barthelme with laugh out loud humor, pop surrealism and dozens of dream sequences. Keret is perhaps closest to the magical Yiddish writers of the early century, Asch or Aleichem or Singer. He also borrows a lot from the movies. Some of the stories verge on dark fantasy with trauma bubbling underneath. Others take a much lighter abs...more
Javier Jiménez
Jan 30, 2013 Javier Jiménez rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: short story lovers
Recommended to Javier by: Miguel Jiménez
Esta es una fantástica colección de historias cortas. Realmente cortas, no recuerdo bien pero yo creo que por lo menos la mitad de ellas son de menos de 6 páginas. Sin embargo, no hay por qué relacionar la longitud con la calidad. De hecho, si existiera una relación yo creo que esta sería de manera inversa, ya que a menor longitud de un cuento se requiere mayor creatividad y talento para lograr una buena historia en tan pocas páginas. Y este autor israelí lo logra de manera fabulosa, es un maest...more
This is one of the best audiobook productions I have read in awhile. Each story is read by a different person, and most of these people are great authors in their own right who are paying homage to a master of the short form. I was really impressed with this collection. Maybe I should have heard of Etgar Keret before, but I haven't and that makes me sad because I could have been enjoying his work sooner. Some of the stories reminded me of Kafka in that the endings were totally unexpected.

I also...more
Miguel Jiménez
Me ha gustado mucho este libro. Por lo que veo Etgar Keret tiene una imaginación increíble, y lo desmuestra con cuentos de lo más creativos y originales. Y también humor, del bueno, inteligente, gracioso. Aunque a veces algo negro, parecido a Woody Allen.

Como dice bien él mismo, no le interesa escribir con palabras "bonitas" o difíciles de comprender para que se vea que es un "verdadero escritor". No, él sabe que sin una historia no hay cuento, por más que escribas de forma maravillosa.

Si estás...more
This is the fourth book of Keret's stories I've read, and while I was excited when I saw this book scheduled for release, I gave a little sigh, too. While I really like Keret's stories individually and was often tickled and surprised by the way they developed and resolved themselves, I felt, too, that maybe what I didn't need was another book of similar stories, and so many of them-- Keret rights short, so every book will have more than 25, and often closer to 40 stories, which can be a lot, and...more
Very disappointing book - and I am a HUGE Keret fan.

These stories feel forced, the endings don't work, and just don't flow like his previous work. The sharp wit and humor that characterizes most of his stories is lacking as well.

There was not even one story in this book that I felt captivated me like most of the previous stories of his that I read. The stories simply lack the life, and fun, and creativity, of his other work. I kept reading story after story, hoping and waiting for the magical st...more
Аделина 'Змей' Генова

Не мога да бъда многословна по адрес на Керет, а и не е нужно – той просто трябва да бъде прочетен. И ако „Асамтой“ беше най-силната му книга на българския пазар до този момент, то „Изведнъж на вратата се чука“ я бие с поне обиколка.
Craig Wallwork

I've read all of Keret's books and found each to hold within their pages worlds and characters beyond measure. And Suddenly, a Knock on the Door is the same. But sadly, the ratio of great stories that pull us into strange incidents unbound by reality, to those that are seated firmly in reality and deal with matters of the heart, left me feeling unfilled. Unlike The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God or Nimrod Flipout, Keret seems to be driving out demons of failed relationships or lost love. I'm u...more
Adam Thomlison
Predictably spectacular. If you know Etgar Keret, then I can say that this is one of his books (that's about as high a piece of praise as a book can receive). If you don't, then I'd say that his stories (I believe all of his books so far have consisted of short stories - often very short) are both whimsical and heartbreaking, generally at the same time, and that he sneaks incredibly grounded and insightful observations about real life into the most imaginative and fantastical of stories. You're...more
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“He misses the feeling of creating something out of something. That’s right — something out of something. Because something out of nothing is when you make something up out of thin air, in which case it has no value. Anybody can do that. But something out of something means it was really there the whole time, inside you, and you discover it as part of something new, that’s never happened before.” 14 likes
“The fact is that everything I have in my pockets is carefully chosen so I’ll always be prepared. Everything is there so I can be at an advantage at the moment of truth. Actually, that’s not accurate. Everything’s there so I won’t be at a disadvantage at the moment of truth.” 7 likes
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