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The Seven Good Years

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  6,483 ratings  ·  868 reviews
A brilliant, life-affirming, and hilarious memoir from a master storyteller.

The seven years between the birth of Etgar Keret’s son and the death of his father were good years, though still full of reasons to worry. Lev is born in the midst of a terrorist attack. Etgar’s father gets cancer. The threat of constant war looms over their home and permeates daily life.

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Hardcover, 173 pages
Published June 16th 2015 by Riverhead Books (first published 2013)
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Lime it is beyond worth a read - if you want to step foot into a new perspective, and if you like laughing despite how messed up life is. It's utterly beau…moreit is beyond worth a read - if you want to step foot into a new perspective, and if you like laughing despite how messed up life is. It's utterly beautiful.(less)

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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  6,483 ratings  ·  868 reviews

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Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read most of Seven Good Years on a short flight today. When I sat down, my nosy seat mate eyeballed what I was reading, and started telling me how much she loved Etgar Keret, had recently seen him speak at a book festival, liked his book of stories but liked this short book of memoir essays more, she finds him so funny, he makes her laugh out loud, and did she mention she saw him at a book festival and how lovely he was... And I stonily -- but politely, I swear -- stayed quiet because I just w ...more
Iris P
The Seven Good Years

 photo 144_108_etgar_keret_04_1__zps7sw5nva2.jpg
Etgar Keret-is an Israeli author, essayist and filmmaker

Although a few of my GR friends posted great reviews on this book I am not completely sure what moved me to download Etgar Keret's fantastic memoir but I am so glad I did.

A Google search of his name informed me that, as a long time collaborator of the very popular American public radio show This American Life, I had actually listened to some of his stories. I also learned that Keret, who lives in Tel Aviv with his wi
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it

I've truly missed the experience that an engaging Nonfiction book evokes, so The Seven Good Years arrived in my hands at the right time. This wise, witty memoir—Etgar’s first non-fiction book, and told in his inimitable style—is full of wonder and life and love, poignant insights, and irrepressible humor.

I've read Keret's short story collections (Suddenly, a Knock on the Door & The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God & Other Stories) in the past and enjoyed the experience immensely. With the new
Elyse  Walters
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"So why'd you come all this way to this dump to give birth?" ....( the taxi driver asks Keret)
"We wanted a natural childbirth. The department here---"
"Natural?" He interrupts, sniggering. "What's natural about a midget with a cable hanging
from his belly button popping out have your wife's vagina?"

"Six hours later, a midget with a cable hanging from his belly comes popping out of
My wife's vagina and immediately starts to cry. I try to calm him down, to
convince him that there's nothing to worry
What an amazing little book! All I know is that I loved this. I want others to read it.

Short little episodic bits of a man's life that speak volumes, all during a seven year period between the birth of the author's son and the death of his father. Short little stories that say so much through humor. Simple little "episodes" of love, of human stupidity, of birth and death and taxi drivers who never get to pee anywhere and nobody gives a damn.

Four or five stars? It moved me. It said important thi
Diane Barnes
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure how I've missed this guy until now, because this memoir is something special. He is a Jewish writer who lives in Tel Aviv and deals with the possibility of violence and death on a daily basis. This is the best kind of memoir; honest, funny, sometimes profoundly so, and branded with a special, quirky way of looking at reality. He writes of the 7 years between the birth of his son and the death of his father. He really is a genius. And after the kindergarten story, I'm pretty sure his ...more
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, svenska
I loved this collection of personal episodes about seven years in writer's life, between the birth of his son and his father's death. They are just what I needed now. They were getting me through a difficult time. Small essays on love, fatherhood, aging parents, human stupidity, human kindness. Funny, sad, warm and wise. They are beautifully written, too.

From the book I learned a lot what it's like to live in Israel today. I've been recently there but the trip, the touristic one, was more about
Betsy Robinson
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A book of richly written, alive, moving, insightful, and funny essays by Israeli writer Etgar Keret. I've never read Keret before, so this little book was a wonderful discovery. I've never been to Israel and Keret's anecdotes are in stunning contrast to my two-dimensional impressions from news reports. This is a sometimes profoundly moving collection of pieces about real life, real people, and the precious mundane. Thank you, my Goodreads friends who posted about The Seven Good Years. You have e ...more
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2016
Funny, sweet and insightful collection of brief essays encompassing the years between the birth of the author's son, Lev, and the death of his father. "The Seven Good Years" is an unusual memoir, with ruminations on telemarketers, the dilemma of book dedications, sibling relationships, his parents' courtship, life in Israel lived under the constant threat of war and a son who cadges sweets from his preschool cook by pretending he's a cat (my favorite):

"Meow," Lev answered in a soft, purry voice.
Apr 22, 2015 rated it liked it
A memoir is a different animal than a work of fiction. It demands a great deal of self-exposure and vulnerability from the writer without crossing the line into pathos and navel-gazing. It must, I believe, expose the author’s humanity while retaining his core essence.

Etgar Keret is a powerful writer. I was most impressed with his short-story collection, a feat of imagination titled Suddenly, A Knock on the Door. I’ve heard him speak in person and was charmed by his honesty, wryness, and authenti
I know I’m moving into four and five-star territory when I’m mostly thinking while reading, “Wow! This is great!” and pretty much have no (or very minor) complaints. I’m late to the party with THE SEVEN GOOD YEARS, but this was truly a better late than never moment! I very much enjoyed this episodic-style memoir, and Keret’s technique of frequently couching the serious in humor was particularly effective. I have to admit, though, despite the use of the comedic throughout most of his memoir, Kere ...more
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio
Etgar Keret, teller of minimalist and magical short stories, he often verges on the absurd but possesses a formidable insight in to human nature. Turning his pen on himself and his life in this collection of autobiographical writings that starts with the birth of his son and ends seven years later with the death of his holocaust surviving father, he uses the same style and approach, observing the horror and joy of existence and finding the magic and absurdity of it all. He is a masterful storyte ...more
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
A treasury of humor and hope by an Israeli humorist. Affectionate portraits of his semi-insane wife, future war criminal toddler son, his ultra-Orthodox sister and progressive (and possibly more magical/creative) brother...not to mention his mother, his father.

A lot of gems here, but standout fave is "Bird's Eye", wherein Etgar debates the underlying message of the videogame Angry Birds with his mother (and, ultimately, himself)...

Sample quote from this vignette:

"I don't understand," my mother
well this turned into ugly sobbing surprisingly fast
John of Canada
There was a scene in the movie"Life of Brian"where Brian's followers who believe (wrongly)that he is the messiah,and while chasing him come across a sandal he has dropped.The whole scene involves the crowd trying to discern the religious meaning of the sandal.The chapter in Keret's book about the Angry Birds game and it's hidden meaning and social significance was similar.It was just one of a series of gems.This is my favourite book of 2017.I need to do some more reading about Israel. ...more
Moshe Mikanovsky
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this collection of small real life essays. Keret is such a sensitive writer, and in some cases so funny! He is known in Israel to be a leftist to some extreme, but showing us his life here, we see how Israeli he is, with a ultra-orthodox sister who he loves so much, and the humane trials and tribulations that we all have to deal with, no matter how much we love or hate. Splendid.
Book Riot Community
Israeli writer Keret takes all the intelligence, humor, and absurdity he uses in his fiction and makes it sparkle in his ruminations about child rearing, death, and more. The Seven Good Years is a collection of darkly funny essays about the birth of his son, his father's cancer, and the threat of war that hangs over their home. Keret is a masterful writer, with a perfect touch of the strange, making this memoir an absolute delight to read. And if you haven't read his fiction before, do so now. I ...more
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, bibliobibuli
The author writes stories. Lots of them and quite short ones, so that even a lot of them add up to quite thin books. And they’re simply wonderful, written with such a light touch that I imagine them floating around me like soap bubbles. And there’s another comparison I feel like making. Now, I’m not really a fan of popcorn, because I don’t particularly enjoy the smell, but once in a while, when going to the cinema (this was before the 2020 coronavirus pandemic wiped out the movie theater busines ...more
Yeganeh Attari
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Ever sat in front of a friend and told her stories of incidents that were emotionally much deeper or more intense for you than what met the eye of the observers of the scene? The time when a rude guy was sitting at your seat in the cinema and cursed you when you told him to move and hence, the whole James Bond movie experience was affected -possibly forever? Or the other time when the sweet air hostess made friends with you and kept making you her favorite cocktails throughout the flight to Ista ...more
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first and most important thing you need to know about this brief and poorly constructed review is that I won a copy of this text from Goodreads. Yes. People really do win those things, and I am living proof of this.

Etgar Keret is an author I stumbled across many, many years ago when I was asked to find 'Examples of post-modern short stories'. Don't laugh. I certainly didn't at the time. With the help of the internet and patient staff at Dymocks Bookshop I found myself reading Haruki Murakami
Bob Schnell
Aug 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Etgar Keret is an Israeli writer and his book "The Seven Good Years" chronicles a period of his life from when his son was born to when his father died (not a spoiler, it says this on the cover). Mr. Keret is sort of a kinder, gentler David Sedaris, bringing humor to otherwise ordinary but anxious situations. At a time when missiles were being lobbed at Israel on an almost daily basis and the author was confronting various family crises, there are plenty of such moments. He also writes about his ...more
The Seven Good Years of the title refer to the years between when the author's son was born and when his father passed away. These are short essays that refer to his daily life and the struggles of living in a country that is mostly in a state of war.

Though I did find them interesting, I was expecting more depth, perhaps? It felt like they were written fast and easily, and not much more. I had read reviews about this book and author, and was certainly expecting something else.
Stephen Goldenberg
Nov 14, 2016 rated it liked it
I found a lot of Edgar Keret's musings on his life and the world a bit lightweight. Some of his pieces here read like the kind of lifestyle weekend newspaper columns that I usually skip past. The strongest entries concern his becoming a father and then losing his own father. ...more
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this series of essays. I cried and I laughed. 5 stars.
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, memoir
Humorous and touching short essays.
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How I first knew about Edgar Keret was attending the Singapore Writer’s Festival last year. My friend and I attended a panel discussion with Tash Aw in it, and decided to stay on for the next talk, despite not knowing who the writer was, except that we were both intrigued by the idea of Absurdity.
Then more people streamed in, and there was Keret, and a cool moderator whom I was immediately enthralled by (Amanda Lee Koe, whose book I also read after the festival). The room overflowed with people,
Anggun P.W
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 stars
Probably the best book I read so far!!

"That rocket was a stroke of luck" Kobi said. "Just think: if t wasn't for that Qassam rocket, we could have walked right past each other and never met."

It's memoir, it's real, but it's taste like fiction.
I love every word, every story, this book give me smile and laugh at same time.

I also curious about DOM KERETA-Keret's House in Warsaw, Poland. So i googled, and turn out love that tiny house
 Sophia B
4,5. Loved it. Both the prose and the stories. Simply perfect. Funny and sad. It says a lot about how life in Israel is. He is a great writer. Will def. read more Keret.
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of the best books I've read in years ...more
Andrea Motta
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm completely in love with Keret's writing! I've got to read all his books, now. He can be so simple and yet so precise.. He made me laugh out loud, and cry on the most simple phrases. I'm already a fan. ...more
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Jewish Book Club: The Seven Good Years 2 15 Nov 04, 2017 07:41AM  

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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

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