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סוס אחד נכנס לבר

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  10,892 ratings  ·  1,583 reviews
הופעת סטֶנדאַפּ במרתף בנתניה הולכת ומשתבשת, מתפוררת לעיני הקהל. בין אם הערב נשמט מידיו של הסטֶנדאַפִּיסט, ובין אם תוכנן מראש להיות כזה – הקהל שבא לבלות ולצחוק נדהם לקבל הופעה מסוג אחר לגמרי. האנשים היו קמים ועוזבים, או מורידים את אמן־הסטנדאפ הוותיק מן הבמה בשריקות בוז, אלמלא נמשכו כבחבלי קסם להציץ לגיהינום של אחר.

הסטנדאפיסט דוֹבָלה גִ'י, הפכפך מרתיע ומקסים, חושף בערב הזה
...more
Paperback, 198 pages
Published August 16th 2014 by הספריה החדשה (first published August 2014)
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James Webber I join the majority of responders. I was not about to chew off my face, but I was confused. I was not enjoying the book at all although I could tell t…moreI join the majority of responders. I was not about to chew off my face, but I was confused. I was not enjoying the book at all although I could tell the writing was awesome. By the end . . . I was a fan. I think the feeling of wanting to give up may have been intentional on the author's part. You know, putting down a book and not finishing is similar to walking out during a stand-up comedy routine. If you stick around, you get the pay off.(less)
Dave Tom,
The author is Israeli, the story is set in present day Israel. The good news is, it's available in an English translation hardback. By the way, y…more
Tom,
The author is Israeli, the story is set in present day Israel. The good news is, it's available in an English translation hardback. By the way, you'll find the book challenging and insightful on a universal basis although narrated from an Israeli point of view.
Best,
David(less)
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Average rating 3.53  · 
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Elyse  Walters
Update: Congrats to David Grossman!!! This book just won the Man Booker International Award!!!

I was shaking at times reading David Grossman's new book -- my thoughts and
emotions spinning. "A Horse Walks Into A Bar" ...."isn't just a book about Israel: it's a book about people and societies horribly malfunctioning".

As I press the keyboard looking for what to write....I honestly just tremble inside. I can't seem to be able to separate reading David Grossman's book's any longer without
feeling d
...more
Adina
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: booker, israel
Winner of the Man Booker International Prize

Update: I listened to an interesting conversation with David Grossman about his inspiration for the book, the translation, stories and Israel. To be listened after you read the novel because it contains spoilers. The link: https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/in...

I left it for Today to write my review for A Horse Walks into a Bar because I was sure it will be the winner although it was my least favorite of the 4 shortlisted novels that I read. Moreover,
...more
Emily May
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-lit, 2017
Here it is now – a shared flicker that no one but the two of us, I hope, can detect. You came, his look says. Look what time has done to us, here I am before you, show me no mercy.

I'm not 100% sure how I feel about this book, to be honest. Like most Booker Prize winners, it is undoubtedly very clever, but can I say I actually enjoyed reading it? Not really.

There have been a number of reviews and comments saying "I don't really like stand-up comedy, but..." or "I do like stand-up comedy so...
...more
Paromjit
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the title of this book, it is not going to make you laugh. It is a compulsive and harrowing read. It is about Jewish history, the dysfunctional nation of Israel and its people, where the political is heartbreakingly personal. The narrative covers two hours of a middle aged stand up comic's routine, albeit an unusual one where Dovaleh Greenstein spews forth the horrors that have comprised his life. It is set in a club in Netanya, with a broad section of Israeli society watching him as he ...more
Nandakishore Varma
I am not a big fan of stand-up comedy. Even though there are many funny moments in such performances, I find most of the jokes crass and overtly sexual - and the comedian is in such a tizzy most of the time to get the audience to laugh, he seems to work at being funny; which, IMO, makes it even more unfunny. The only thing missing is the laugh track.

But consider for a moment the comedian, the guy behind the clown's mask. He is taxed with an unenviable task - he must laugh, no matter what. As the
...more
Trish
Everyone knows that successful stand up routines are laughs at the expense of grief, or embarrassment, or pain of some kind. The laughing picks a sore and in many cases, starts the healing. The novel-length comedy routine given by Dovaleh Greenstein one night in a worn-down beach town is unique. The night of the performance is his birthday. He will be fifty-seven. He will give a one-of-a-kind, career-ending show that looks at his life, his heritage, and one particular loss that shaped him as a y ...more
David Schaafsma
"A man walks into a bar. Ouch!" (Credit Jason Fowles 1998)

“A duck walks into a bar, orders a drink, and tells the bartender, put it on my bill”—Anonymous, though probably somebody in my family on a holiday weekend would take credit for inventing it.

I finished listening to A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman, which I think—if done well, and it is, by Joe Barrett in the flat, gruff noir style he also brings to reading Richard Stark and Lawrence Block, among others—is the best way to experie
...more
Hugh
This book won this year's Man Booker International Prize, which in itself created very high expectations, and for me it never came close to fulfilling them.

The central portrait of a stand-up comedian Doveleh Greenstein, giving a final performance in which he abandons jokes for a cathartic bout of self-analysis in which he gives a detailed account of a traumatic and pivotal day in his childhood, is undoubtedly a powerful one, though the idea of a tortured comedian is nothing new.

Where I struggl
...more
Paul Fulcher
Update: a very worthy winner of the 2017 MBIP

What sort of obligation do I have towards someone who I went to private tutoring sessions with forty-something years ago? I'm giving him five more minutes, on the dot, and if there isn't any kind of plot twist, I'm leaving.

Book 12 from 13 of the Man Booker International longlist and I certainly saved one of the best till last.

Israeli author David Grossman is perhaps best known in English for his To the End of the Land, translated by Jessica Cohen (a
...more
Roger Brunyate


The Last Stand-Up

So this comedian walks into a club. It's Netanya, Israel, not the audience he would have chosen, but hey, a gig's a gig. So he insults them a little, flatters them a little, tells a few one-liners, and soon they are eating out of his hand. Doveleh G's been doing this for 40 years; he knows his job. So does veteran Israeli author David Grossman who, aided by his splendid translator Jessica Cohen, captures the scene perfectly. Not just the jokes and routines, but the roller-coaste
...more
Jennifer Blankfein
For book reviews and recommendations go to
https://booknationbyjen.wordpress.com

A Horse Walks Into a Bar, the 2017 Man Booker International Prize Winner, is a stunning account of a middle aged, washed up comedian’s stand up show, but there is so much more. Taking place in the Israeli city of Netanya, Dovaleh Greenstein has invited a high school friend from military camp, Avishai Lavar, to watch the performance and then let him know what he sees…the person he really sees. In the audience, in addi
...more
Amanda
Apr 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

I approached this one with some trepidation. I don't like stand up comedy. My husband says I have no sense of humor, that's not really it, I don't find things funny that are at other people's expense which is generally the basis for comedy routines/jokes. I chose to read this because it is short-listed for the Man-Booker International prize and also because I really enjoyed Grossman's To the End of the Land.

The entire books takes place over the course of a couple of hours at a rundown b
...more
Neil
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, 2017-mbi, 5-stars
Dovaleh is the kind of comedian I would never go to see: he is vulgar and offensive and his jokes are often bad. But, by the end of this book I was almost in tears alongside him. It's that kind of book. It takes you on a journey where you learn to care about a person you would not normally have anything to do with. And it is a mark of the power of the writing here that I found myself coming to care about a fictional, unpleasant person!

Last year's Man Booker winner was criticised by some because
...more
Dannii Elle
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, David Grossman, and the publisher, Vintage Digital, for this opportunity.

This was my second read from the Man Booker International prize shortlist and, whilst I did not exactly 'get' this book, I can wholeheartedly see why it has garnered this acclaim.

This book was... bizarre! The novel's concept is of a stand-up comedian delivering more than just the expected one-liners and, instead, giving his audience a
...more
Chrissie
Winner of The 2017 Man Booker International Prize

This is a very difficult book to read. It is emotionally draining. It also has great emotional depth.

A fifty-seven-year-old standup comedian gives a two-hour performance. On stage, he falls apart before our very eyes. Readers should be warned; this is not a book of laughs. We readers can of course simply close the book. The spectators could leave the show; it was just to walk out that door. Spectators entered the club looking for laughs, but
...more
Ravi Gangwani
May 26, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Edit on 15/6/2017 - Why there is so much torture in the world. This book has won Booker International 2017 ... Seriously ? Now I have some serious doubts on Booker.

----------- My Review -----------------------
A story of 10 inch, stretched till the length of 10 kilometers. The bush has beaten at such level that even the pulp has been reduced to invisible.

"Man plans, god fucks him."
Similarly I would say 'expectation plans and reality fucks it."
A lot of blending thoughts, this time, didn't work for
...more
Kamil
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A carousel of emotions and layers. Deep, as personal as political, seductive while often uneasy. Very emotional life story wrapped in 2 hours performance of Israeli standup comedian... Video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d627e... ...more
Jill
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Grossman is surely a magician because during the entire time I was reading this novel, I felt under a spell—one from which I haven’t emerged from yet.

Dovelah Greenstein is a stand-up comedian facing an existential crisis and he chooses a one-night engagement for a kind of self-immolation. Reaching out into his distant past, he chooses a childhood neighbor named Avishai Lazar – a district court justice and a grieving widower --to provide feedback about what he sees.

The power of this novel i
...more
Blair
I've never really been drawn to stand-up comedy, so it's unlikely this book would have appeared on my radar if not for its Man Booker International longlisting. It's essentially one long scene in which an obnoxious comedian takes the stage in the Israeli city of Netanya. Dovaleh G, as he styles himself, is a short, malnourished figure, a diminutive man whose humour is crude and erratic, veering from slapstick to tragedy. As his routine progresses, it takes an increasingly confessional direction. ...more
Vanessa
3.5 stars.

This was the last book that I had planned on getting to on the Man Booker International Prize 2017 shortlist, and it was definitely a memorable read and an interesting one to round off my reading with. Grossman depicts one night in a comedy club, and the fall of a comedian who commits to bare all his insecurities and pain in an incredibly intense, awkward, and tragic show. The audience are bewildered, especially the childhood friend that the comedian has previously begged to attend the
...more
Alex
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In a see of 5 stars, there are some scarce 2 stars. This book didnt work for me. it is for sure a matter of perception, taking into accout that some said it was highly emotional, tears while reading etc...
It started in an interesting fashion, presenting tragedy in a comic way, which in my eyes adds even more to the tragedy of the story. It was almost a thriller, i was reading page after page waiting to see what will happen next. but at one point it started to be dull. and it goes on like that fo
...more
David
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, fiction
This entire story takes place during the course of a two-hour show at a bar by a stand-up comedian. The audience wants to hear a steady stream of jokes, and there are plenty here--some good and some bad. When the comedian begins relating some unfunny stories about his life, some people in the audience begin to heckle him. The comedian tries to keep the audience from leaving. Desperately, the comedian tries to keep his cool, as he tells about earlier periods in his life. In particular, he talks a ...more
Mattia Ravasi
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdFCn...
Featured in my Top 20 Books I Read in 2017

Exploits beautifully the way stand-up comedy, when stripped of a comedian's showmanship and turned into pure text, fully uncovers its destructive potential. Which does not mean the novel isn't hilarious. (Which doesn't mean it isn't one punch-in-the-face of a book).
...more
Lisa
Jul 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This very original novel didn't quite work for me. A thorny, wounded, stand up comedian gradually reveals a childhood trauma to his audience. His moments of vulnerability are peppered with insults, wisecracks and bad jokes. I was fascinated, like watching a train wreck, but never felt a connection with him.
Jan Rice
ActingImages

In Stephen King's book It, the characters who come together to stand up to evil had done it before as children, but had forgotten. In A Horse Walks into a Bar, too, the comedian and his beneficiary, the judge, had met before, when they were children, but only the judge had forgotten.

When the action between them starts up again, the judge is cautiously warding off the return of memory. He even dumps on the comedian, who for some unknown reason is soliciting his presence at an upcoming show. The
...more
Marc
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A public self-chastisement
Reading this book was very uncomfortable and distressing, and that was clearly the intention of Grossman. The 57-year-old stand-up comedian Dovaleh Gerstein performs in a room in Netanja and regularly tells a joke that really needs to be laughed at, but his performance is mainly characterized by corrosive sarcasm about the world, Israelian society , the holocaust (of course), and especially about himself. Gradually he becomes more personal, dives into the depths of his
...more
Anya
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For me, "A Horse Walks Into a Bar" is a prime example of how it is often better not to judge a book by its cover. I did not find the title of the novel very inspiring and would likely never have given this novel a try had it not been longlisted by Man Booker.

I was, however, much impressed by this slim tome. In brief, the book is about Dovaleh, an aging stand up comedian, who – for mysterious reasons of his own- decides to give a very unusual stand up performance centring on events from his trau
...more
Rebecca
“Why the long face? Did someone die? It’s only stand-up comedy!” Except that for the comedian himself, Dovaleh Greenstein, this swan song of a show in the Israeli town of Netanya devolves into the story of the most traumatic day of his life. Grossman has made what seems to me an unusual choice of narrator: Avishai Lazar, a widower and Supreme Court justice, and Dov’s acquaintance from adolescence – they were in the same military training camp. Dov has invited him here to bear witness, and by the ...more
Joan
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, favorites
Original. Heartbreaking.
Jason
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An award winning book and this time I can totally see why it won. The book is based in a small dive of a theatre as we watch a comedian falling apart on stage, the "sadness of a clown" is captured spot on. Dov is our comedian and what starts out as a standard show soon goes belly up as the hecklers kick off, Dov doesn't seem healthy either. As the show goes on Dov loses his grip more and more as his jokes become darker and the flashbacks to a scene in his early life become more prominent. This i ...more
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From ithl.org:

Leading Israeli novelist David Grossman (b. 1954, Jerusalem) studied philosophy and drama at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and later worked as an editor and broadcaster at Israel Radio. Grossman has written seven novels, a play, a number of short stories and novellas, and a number of books for children and youth. He has also published several books of non-fiction, including int
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