The Girl on the Fridge
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The Girl on the Fridge

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3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,743 ratings  ·  221 reviews
A birthday-party magician whose hat tricks end in horror and gore; a girl parented by a major household appliance; the possessor of the lowest IQ in Mossad -- such are the denizens of Etgar Keret's dark and fertile mind. The Girl on the Fridge contains the best of Keret's first collections, the ones that made him a household name in Israel and the major discovery of this l...more
Paperback, 171 pages
Published April 15th 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published September 30th 2006)
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Ian Paganus
Short Short Stories

Etgar Keret was born in Tel Aviv in 1967.

This is the third book of his short stories that I’ve read and I’ve loved them all.

To give you one idea of why I like them, there are 46 stories in this collection, and the whole thing is only 171 pages long.

Most stories come in at 1½ to four pages, which means you can read two while you’re waiting for your bread to toast, or your partner to warm your side of the bed for you, or your children to finish in the bathroom (well, maybe I'...more
Megan
After hearing an interview with this author as well as excepts from some of his shorts on NPR I rushed to buy this book. Etgar Keret has written a collection of slightly dark and sometimes surreal short stories about the human condition. Individually these stories can be surprising and thought provoking, but as a whole I found the experience of reading this book to be exhausting. This 137 page novel features no less than 46 individual stories. Fourty-six. In case math is not your friend, each sh...more
Terence
Dec 16, 2008 Terence rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Chekhov & similar writers
I don't know how I discovered Etgar Keret but I've always been happy that I did. As I'm also in the midst of reading a couple of Chekhov collections, I think I can understand why I like Keret: He reminds me a great deal of Chekhov, and not just because most of their stories are very short. Both authors write in a style that, on the surface, is comedic, cynical and superficial but upon reflection reveals an insight and depth of empathy few writers can excel.

This is the weakest of the three Keret...more
Rick
Salman Rushdie calls Keret “the voice of the next generation,” a boldly meaningless statement. Most of us will eventually recall the contentious convention of the next generation, to be so relentlessly covered in USA Tomorrow, in which Salman Rushdie will narrowly defeat Simon Cowell and Donald Trump for the office of Decider of the Voice of the Next Generation. We will recall it as soon as it occurs. But while we are waiting for the Next Generation to form, define itself or be defined, and Mr....more
Rachel
I'm so glad I randomly stumbled across this book at my local bookstore. Etgar Keret's style of storytelling feels fresh and new, playful and smart; and he's very perceptive when it comes to both the dark and lighter sides of human nature. Some of the stories were stronger than others, but I liked them all. And, for at least half of them, I finished the story, closed my eyes, and mentally shouted the equivalent of "BRAVO!" Which is to say, I really really liked the story. :) Also, the writing (in...more
Lisa Vegan
Apr 04, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa by: Rachel
Many readers seem to think this author is a genius and his stories are wonderful. Perhaps, but my opinion differs. They were not to my taste.

This book has 171 pages and there are 46 stories; they’re obviously very short. Thankfully, for me, they were short and the book was short.

As I read I had a sheet of paper handy with loved, liked a lot, and liked as categories, for writing down short stories that fit each one. The results?: none that I could wholeheartedly put on any of those lists, althoug...more
Ethan Amarant
May 31, 2008 Ethan Amarant rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone who doesn't need a happy ending
Though not as good as The Nimrod Flipout there are many stories in this collection that still blow me away. This collection feels darker then his other collection I've read. The story, "The Bet", is a great example. It's short, powerful, and the last sentence will stay with you long after you've finished it, but where you could feel the hope resonating throughout most of the stories in The Nimrod Flipout, Keret seems much more cynical in this collection. Still a great read.
Jonfaith
I bought this at Powell's in Chicago; my wife drove and I read a few stories aloud -- which isn't problematic as most of them were less than two pages and hilariously dry. I finished before we made it to Lafyette. I would read more of his work but have since been immune to impusles towards such.
Stephanie Villalpando
I'm a big fan of short stories. I didn't know what to expect with this one; the cover caught my eye (shame on me) and the description on the back pulled me in pretty quickly, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Finished it in less than a week, and wow. I love stumbling across books like this one on accident. The stories come in bite-sized portions; I think the shortest one was 3/4 of a page and the longest was probably six pages. The story topics include: brain cancer, crazy glue, people pissing o...more
Bobby
On the cover of this book, there is a quote by Salman Rushdie saying that the author, Etgar Keret, is "The voice of the next generation." I don't know which generation Rushdie had in mind, but my feeling is it must be the Twitter Generation...because these stories are short...really short...with the shortest being one smallish paragraph. Not being a Twitter person, I can't vouch for it's effectiveness, or lack thereof, to convey meaningful/moving ideas, but these stories, for the most part, don'...more
Aidan Watson-Morris
keret's least popular (& least organized), but don't believe the naysayers: the stories within are delightfully readable & even affecting. probably not the place to start with keret (based on other's experience, not mine) but not a disappointing addition to his oeuvre.
Shirley
Israeli writer Keret does a lot with a few words. This collection of short-story espresso shots (emphasis on short - each story was no more than a few pages long) is dark and fairly messed up - but distinctive and compelling.
Robert
These stories are flawless fucked up gems. I can't describe them any other way. Not EVERY story is solid, but with almost fifty stories, what can you expect?
Julie
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It was a good, fast, neat clean read. It reminded me a lot of Kafka; that is, a 21st-century Kafka that listens to MGMT and wears lots of bright colors. I like how only one of the stories in this collection are more than 4 pages long. My favorites are "The Real Winner of the Preliminary Games," the title story, "Cheerful Colors," "So Good," "The Summer of '76". Some of the stories are a little cutesy ("The Night the Buses Died," "Monkey Say, Monkey Do") and read...more
Claire Roth
Thank God it's over.
That is the first thought that pops into my head when I am finally finished with this sad excuse for a book. I must admit, I had no idea whatsoever as to what I was getting myself into when a classmate of mine handed it to me with the genuine promise that I was going to love it. I am never trusting him again.
Most of the reviews I read before digging into the book were praises, absolute, unquestionable praises, which undoubtedly raised the bar of my expectations. Alas, almos...more
Tung
There’s a certain genre of short stories where the two main adjectives I’d use to describe them are “quirky” and “surreal”. This genre is not for everybody; personally, I’m a fan and try to read a collection or two of such stories each year (last year it was No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July and Insects are Just Like You and Me Except Some of Them Have Wings by Kuzhali Manickhavel). These stories often present slices of life (or in some cases, slices of slices of life) filled wit...more
Aad
Setelah membaca cerita-cerita Etgar Keret, membuat apa yang dia katakan mengenai sebuah cerita di cerpennya yang berjudul Suddenly, a Knock in the Door, menjadi sebuah definisi yang tepat untuk ciri khas cerita-cerita yang dia tulis.

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 m...more
Jean
Feb 25, 2009 Jean rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: short story lovers, non-squeamish, dry chucklers
Shelves: short-and-sweet
I first came across Etgar Keret in Four Letter Word: Invented Correspondence from the Edge of Modern Romance, a collection of love letters from today's leading fiction writers. After making a note to look him up later and then entirely forgetting about it, I was reminded when I saw the striking cover of this book at Barnes & Noble. After reading the first short story, I immediately put it on my library queue to read the rest.

This collection of short stories feature some of the shortest I've...more
j. ergo
Jul 25, 2012 j. ergo rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: you
Keret's moody, semi-fabulist tales are not miles away from George Saunders, excepting that he can pop off a one or two-page story here and there and he seems much more preoccupied with the subject of love, maybe as a possibility, but more evidenced in obsession with the past, seemingly the only place one can be certain it actually existed. Still, politics often drive the stories and this is where I see a kinship with the two. I won't stretch the Keret-Saunders much further lest it snaps like a r...more
Adrianne Mathiowetz
Jul 11, 2008 Adrianne Mathiowetz rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Adrianne by: This American Life, book club
As with most collections of short stories, this is a mixed bag in terms of breathtakability.

Favorites were Asthma Attack, Crazy Glue, Hat Trick (!!!), Vacuum Seal, and The Night the Buses Died. A little magical, a little horrifying: think Calvino plus Twilight Zone. Maybe occasionally a dash of David Lynch (a dash being, I think, the perfect amount of David Lynch. But then, I like to sleep at night).

But about half of these stories just didn't grab me. And that's the main job of a 2-page-long st...more
Akemi
I bought this book because it had a tag on it from someone who works at the bookstore that read simply, "This is a really good book." Convincing enough for me. Plus it has a cool cover design!

The tag did not lie to me. These stories were incredibly unique, unlike anything I've read before. Probably because I spend most of my time reading Victorian novels. Regardless, each story is only two or three pages long, but they pack a punch. They all have a feel that something isn't quite right- like the...more
Chris DeGuire
I saw Etgar Keret read at one of the last Story Week 2009 events at Columbia College Chicago. Even though his flight had been seriously delayed and he battled rush hour traffic to get there, he was still very professional, although admittedly very tired.

I don't remember the story he read, but it was funny and sweet and I knew I had to buy a book, this one and the Nim-rod Flip-out.

Most of the stories in The Girl on the Fridge are very short, yet he packs them so full of life it makes me jealous....more
Angela
Jan 20, 2011 Angela rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people with only tiny chunks of time to read
Shelves: israeli
After seeing the brilliant $9.99 movie, I immediately sought more Etgar Keret. Keret's short (most <5 pages) stories weave and blend together to create a surreal picture of Israeli life in all its mundanity set amidst violence, military service, love, and death. Some of the stories are beautiful and breathtaking, suited well to Keret's brevity, like the paragraph-long opener, "Asthma Attack." Sometimes Keret's magical realism works to move the story along. Sometimes he succeeds at opening a w...more
Anne
Lovely, terse, cutting short stories from the writer who is, I am told, the most popular writer amongst prisoners in Israeli jails. One of his works, also, apparently, has been made into a rather lame film w/Tom Waits. Most of the stories are under 4 pages; some under 2. My favorite is "A Hat Trick," pp. 15-18, one of two stories about magicians. In a line, it revolves around the things that ensue when the magician pulls out of his hat not, predictably, a rabbit, but a dead baby. "Crazy Glue" is...more
Kim
Even though this book is comprised of very short stories (1-2 pages on average), it took me forever to finish it -- I just had absolutely no excitement about reading it. Most of the stories are instantly forgettable, a few are very good (but not spectacular), and the rest are really disturbing and graphically violent -- unfortunately, those are the only ones that really made an impression on me, and that I can't seem to shake. Sometimes the violence has a purpose, but other times it seems like t...more
Tara
Not sure what to think of this collection. Some of the stories were really fantastic: comical or surreal but richly emotional beneath the surface of the narrative. Then other stories were just plain ridiculous. Since this is my first reading of Keret--I picked up the book on a whim at my local bookstore--and since it seems from other reviewers that this is not his strongest work, I might try him again sometime in the future. For now, I'm going to sell my copy of this particular volume...
David
I think I prefer "The Nimrod Flipout," but these are still great stories. I think there are a few I just don't quite get, but I think that is my fault and not the stories. They are just so compact, a shining moment almost like a prose haiku that says everything without saying anything. This collection definitely showcases the fascinating depth of Keret's imagination.
Jeremiah
Etgar Keret is one of my favorite contemporary short story writers. I first heard a story on this american life and I've been hooked ever since. Israeli, weird, grotesque,beautiful. Flash fiction that flashes enlightenment. To read these stories is to have something happen to you.
Matty
Mr. Keret is definitely on my radar now. This book of very short stories ( is this flash fiction?) is a breeze to blaze through. I stopped reading after each short to briefly digest what I had read, formulating my idea of what the author was trying to say. What the message might be for each story. While some were obvious, others still leave me scratching my head, scratching and smiling. Etgar Keret might remind me of Chuck Palahniuk, if Palahniuk had short term memory loss. Again, that's a compl...more
Lee
Other than the one about a magician pulling terrors from his hat instead of a rabbit, this collection really disappointed compared to "The Nimrod Flipout." Some of these stories are so thin they're almost nonexistent. Nowhere near as funny or evolved as his later stuff.
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Girl on the Fridge 1 16 Nov 03, 2008 05:10AM  
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Etgar Keret is an Israeli writer known for his short stories, graphic novels, and scriptwriting for film and television. His books had been published in more than thirty languages.

Keret has received the Prime Minister's award for literature, as well as the Ministry of Culture's Cinema Prize. The short film Malka Lev Adom (Skin Deep, 1996), which Keret wrote and directed with Ran Tal, won an Israel...more
More about Etgar Keret...
The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God and Other Stories The Nimrod Flipout: Stories Suddenly, a Knock on the Door Kneller's Happy Campers Missing Kissinger

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“And she loved a man who was made out of nothing. A few hours without him and right away she’d be missing him with her whole body, sitting in her office surrounded by polyethylene and concrete and thinking of him. And every time she’d boil water for coffee in her ground-floor office, she’d let the steam cover her face, imagining it was him stroking her cheeks, her eyelids and she’d wait for the day to be over, so she could go to her apartment building, climb the flight of stairs, turn the key in the door, and find him waiting for her, naked and still between the sheets of her empty bed.” 15 likes
“Maybe in the general scheme of things he couldn't find any meaning in life, but on a smaller scale it was okay. Not always, but a lot of the time.” 11 likes
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