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Almost Dead
Assaf Gavron
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Almost Dead

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  422 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews

Politically incorrect, provocative, and steeped in wit and irony, a fast-paced tragicomedy about the perfectly ordinary madness in today's Middle East

A thirtysomething Tel Aviv businessman, Eitan "Croc" Einoch's life is turned upside down when he narrowly escapes a suicide bombing on the minibus he rides to work. When he lives through a second attack, and then a third, he

Published (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Eitan Enoch, who goes by the nickname Croc, is a fairly ordinary thirty-three year old man living in Tel Aviv with a super-anxious girlfriend, Duchi, and parents who moved back to America. But now, something unordinary is happening to Croc: he survives a suicide bomb attack. And then gunfire on the highway to Jerusalem. And then another suicide bomber's attack in a cafe while he is having coffee with the girlfriend of a man who died in the first attack. In the space of just a few days, Eitan bec ...more
Christopher Litsinger
One thing that stands out about this "translation" is that one of the two translators is the original author of the Hebrew book. So it's easy to trust the translation here, and that let me settle right in and enjoy the tone of this book. It's young and modern, and definitely provides an insight into the lives of the young in Israel.
My favorite quote from the book - the main character describing the differences between himself and his girlfriend - provides a good sense of the tone and feel of a b
Barry Hammond
Jan 20, 2015 Barry Hammond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Contrasting humour with suspense, Assaf Gavron's Almost Dead tells the story of two contrasting characters: a mid-thirties Israeli yuppie nicknamed 'Croc,' who works for a time management company, with Fahmi, a reluctant Palestinian bomb-maker and terrorist who, when we meet him, is in a coma recalling his life. Croc becomes a minor celebrity because he survives three terror attacks. Fahmi is trying to understand his life and how he got where he is. It becomes evident early on that the two are h ...more
Maya Panika
Jan 27, 2010 Maya Panika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One suicide bomber blows up a bus. Another blows himself up in a café. A sniper attacks a busy road – Eitan Enoch, known to all as the ‘Croc’ survives all three incidents and finds himself an unwilling celebrity, a symbol of Israeli resistance. Meanwhile, a Palestinian would-be terrorist lies in a coma in a Jerusalem hospital, trying to figure out what has happened to him and how his fate fits that of the Croc.

Croc Attack is pitched as a dark comedy – to be honest, it’s not really that funny, bu
ARC from publisher

Every once in awhile, a book will find it's way into my hands that takes me completely by surprise. A book that grabs ahold of me and refuses to let go. Had it not been for a little something called work (you know, the place we go to do the things we have to do in order to get those little green papers that allow us to pay our bills?), I would have been done with this novel days ago.... because it was just so darn hard to put down!

It takes place in Tel Aviv - for the most part
While I have to give Gavron credit for taking on the frightful task of writing a novel about the suicide bombings of the second intifada (and one which incorporates both Israeli and Palestinian voices), I was kind of underwhelmed for most of this. He's obviously trying to depict an awful period without resorting to cheap political stances, but he ends up with narration that seems so listless, so hopelessly casual most of the time, that this reads more like an early draft of a better book that ju ...more
Mark a point for unlikely success. While not Woody Allen, there is a space for potential chuckles. Who would imagine that a novel predicated on suicide bombings could harness a humorous edge while tastefully plumbing the edges of the human condition? The plot doesn't exactly transcend or transform, but there remains a grist, somehow a smoke and beer appear applicable.
Nov 01, 2014 Hermien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Croc and Fahmi tell the story in alternate chapters which keeps up the suspense until the end. I felt the book was well balanced between the Israeli and Palestinian view points and gave a good insight into living in a world full of conflict.
Ayelet Waldman
Now this one I really liked.
Apr 30, 2010 lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
what started out a little slow for me developed into a highly entertaining read and i'm so glad that i took a chance and picked this book up. Almost Dead has two running stories told in alternating chapters, each with its own main character.

the first storyline is of Eitan, nicknamed "Croc", a Tel Aviv businessman who manages to narrowly miss three consecutive suicide bombing attempts, becoming a bit of a media celebrity, dubbed the "Croc Attack". the Croc is immediately likable, the type of pers
Jim Leffert
Jun 14, 2010 Jim Leffert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost Dead is a novel about life in Israel during the Second Intifada that is both serious and sharply satiric. (The same could be said about Let It Be Morning by the Israeli Arab writer Sayed Kashua.) Gavron, a young Jewish Israeli novelist, published this novel in 2006 and is responsible for the translation, together with James Lever. In a recent appearance in Cambridge, Gavron acknowledged a debt to J.D. Salinger in his style and tone.

A précis of the plot can only hint at the pleasures awai
„Ein schönes Attentat“ ist ein Roman des in Israel bekannten Autors Assaf Gavron über den Nahostkonflikt. Das schien mir eine spannende Lektüre zu versprechen, dazu würde der Roman „fulminant“ und „witzig“ sein (gemäss Klappentext). Um es vorwegzunehmen: Witzig war die Geschichte nur stellenweise. Zum Glück nur stellenweise. Denn irgendwie hätte eine Brachialhumor-Erzählung nicht zum Thema gepasst. Zum Glück für die Geschichte vermei-det es der Autor, schnelle und einfache Antworten zu geben.

Rafi Bloch
Aug 29, 2011 Rafi Bloch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eitan Enoch, or 'Croc' as his friends call him works a pretty cushy job at Time's Arrow, a technological start-up that tries to make time more efficient for its clients. Croc has a tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend, Duchi. However, his mundane life changes as he gets into a cab to work, as he does everyday only to miss a suicide bombing by seconds. Before he gets out, however, a man named Giora Guetta tells Croc to give a message to his girlfriend, Shuli. However, Croc never figures ou ...more
The concept behind this book-- two intertwined stories of an Israeli schlub who survives three consecutive terror attacks in one week and the reluctant Palestinian jihadi in a coma whose older brother organized the attacks-- induced me to pick it up on a whim despite having no prior knowledge about the book or its author. Half of the way in, I was questioning my judgment and finding myself reminded of that key truth of modern literature: a neat-sounding concept doth by no means a decent book mak ...more
Aug 29, 2011 Rafi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eitan Enoch, or 'Croc' as his friends call him works a pretty cushy job at Time's Arrow, a technological startup that tries to make time more efficient for its clients. Croc has a tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend, Duchi. However, his mundane life changes as he gets into a cab to work, as he does everyday only to miss a suicide bombing by seconds. Before he gets out, however, a man named Giora Guetta tells Croc to give a message to his girlfriend, Shuli. However, Croc never figures out ...more
appeared at Entertainment Realm

Eitan: New forces were taking control of my life and I couldn’t, or perhaps didn’t want to, avoid them. Here came the offers and the pressures, the strangers and the advisers . . . every day I was approached by people I’d never talked to who knew what I needed, or who needed to know what I thought. Could I lend my voice, my support, my opinion? It didn’t matter to them that, in most cases, I had no opinion.

Almost Dead is a witty, sarcastic gem of a novel about day
May 19, 2015 Barak rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author gives both perspectives of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is not very orthodox (and quite brave) for an Israeli author. Also, it is hard nowadays to find non-biased views as everyone feels they need to take an extreme stand on the matter.

1. Personally I did not connect with the two protagonists.
2. I felt the book not to be flowing - took me around twice my average book reading time to finish it.
3. There were a couple of problems with the author's translation to Englis
Daniel Behn
Mar 15, 2011 Daniel Behn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical-novel
The life and angst of a man who survives several terrorist attacks. Interesting insights into how the average Israeli and extremist Palestinian coexist. The main character incidentally works on saving huge corporations milliseconds from inefficient, useless procedures.

"'Why are we forever running from one place to another? Because we exist in a state of terror: the terror of time, the terror of time ending, the terror of death. Because we're afraid of time, we look for solace in the patterns we
Nov 15, 2011 Dawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eitan "Croc" Einoch works at an efficiency business called Time's Arrow. The first time he narrowly escapes dying in a bombing, he doesn't think he is affected. But the more times he is in a place where a bombing occurs, and the more people he meets, however briefly and for whatever reason, and who are killed, the more "Croc" finds he is deeply affected. The story is not just about how the bombings change him and his life, but it's also about Fahmi - a bomb maker who is influenced by an older br ...more
Jul 01, 2011 Diana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book based on the recommendation of Firoozeh Dumas (author of "Funny in Farsi") thinking it was - much like her book - on the funny side. Er, it's more on the dark comedy side. Sort of. Regardless, the book was fairly easy to get into, especially as you have the main guy Croc who is at every bombing but each time, misses death. With each bombing, the effects take a toll on her personal life (which he seems to be blind to). Big surprise, huh? And on the flip side, you also see the sto ...more
Patrick O'Neil
There are two sides to everything and Assaf Gavron's novel Almost Dead deals with just that. Israeli occupation. Palestinian rebellion. Life goes on amongst the insanity and Gavron's two main characters embody it all. Although I was at first put off by the structure: repeating sequence of the Israeli character having a chapter, followed by the Palestinian's, this way telling both sides of the story. It felt clunky and too predictable, yet after a while I accepted it. Also, there's a bit of a lit ...more
Jul 05, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost dead by Assaf Gavron! It's about a 30-something dude from Tel Aviv who ends up surviving not 1 but 3 bus bombings in the course of a few weeks. It's kind of a dark comedy about dealing with life and death, bitchy girlfriends and trying to figure out how you fit into the world. The storytelling swaps between the bomb-ee and the bomber. The bomber is in a coma, he tells the back story and complains about his nurse Svetlanna... AHHkkk! I love their relationship. Weird, I know but i work with ...more
May 22, 2011 Liana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: International Relations majors
I really want to write a whole lot about how this book changed me, but I can't put it into words just now (or just then either, I finished this book months ago). It was deeply affecting, real, and funny at times. One thing I remember wanting to write about this book is that I would love love love and can easily envision this being a hit on TV. A miniseries on HBO or something. I think it would be a great outlet for this man's incredible novel to be consumed by a much bigger audience. You know, b ...more
Dec 26, 2011 Herschel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very Israeli/idiosyncratic story about a man who is in the "wrong" place at the wrong time, and is almost killed in a series of different terror attacks in Israel. All at the same time it is funny, fatalistic, hopeful, dreary and interesting. The back story is the highly tense but also very normal life of both Israelis and Palestinians. It was sometimes a bit difficult to follow, like life. There probably would be added interest for people who are interested in Israel but have not spen ...more
This is a story about Croc, a Isreali, and Fahmi, a Palestinian. Their lives crosses paths, and the how and whys and whats are revelead through the pages.

I felt this was a mix of Contemporary, modern history, and mystery. I thought it was interesting to get a glimpse into the Isreal-Palestina conflict through 2 ordinary people with ordinary lives. The storytelling felt grounded, with a edge of dishwaser realism, which also reflects in the carachters, their personalities, actions, fates. All whi
Aug 21, 2011 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
For me, this book primarily explored whether or not a network of interpersonal connections is the result of random events or (devine?) fate. The plot is recounted from the perspectives of an Israeli civilian and a Palestinian terrorist. I was intrigued by the theme of choice, particularly as it applies to Fahmi, the terrorist. Caught between a father who argues for peace and higher education and a brother who espouses jihad, Fahmi chooses terrorism. His attacks never advance his cause and never ...more
Sandra Strange
This one was recommended because it is supposed to give a genuine picture of how Palestinian suicide bombers and Jewish Israelis really think and make decisions. It is the story of a young Jewish businessman who survives successive bombings and researches a man sitting beside him who does survive. Simultaneously, the novel tells the story of a Palestinian suicide bomber and his progression from activist to sniper to bomber. However, the story stretches credibility, the language and morality is a ...more
It clearly states on the back of the book, "It's a comedy." A review on the front cover says it's "darkly funny". There was NOTHING funny or even slightly amusing about this book.
I read up to chapter 8 before I gave up.
It wasn't badly written and I wouldn't say that I wouldn't recommend it but it's not what it said it was going to be and I had a hard time trying to keep all the names / places / streets / local language straight.
May 23, 2011 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! A peek into the working life of an average Israeli man who survives 3 separate Palestinian terrorist attacks and becomes a local celebrity. Simultaneously, in a dual narrative, we see the Palestinian perspective from a would-be suicide bomber. Told with sympathy, some dark humour, and with engaging and often beautiful prose, I found this story to be very compelling and enlightening on many levels. An unexpectedly terrific book.
The book jacket describes this book as darkly funny. I did not get that at all. It was an interesting book about an Israelie man who survives three terrorist attacks and a Palestinian terrorist. You get a good sense of the characters of both people and what life can be like over there: living with the constant threats of violence. It is told from the two perspectives and both provide interesting insights into the two people. A disturbing book.
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Assaf Gavron grew up in Jerusalem, studied in London and Vancouver, and now lives in Tel Aviv. He is the author of four prize-winning novels (Ice, Moving, Almost Dead, and Hydromania), and a short story collection. Gavron is highly regarded for his translations into Hebrew of the work of novelists including Philip Roth, J.D. Salinger and Jonathan Safran Foer.
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“On my way out I didn't look at the dark guy, the suicide bomber, again. I think I didn't look at him because I didn't believe he was a terrorist, but maybe I didn't look at him because I didn't want to embarrass him.” 1 likes
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