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The Nimrod Flipout

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  4,511 ratings  ·  445 reviews
From Israel's most popular and acclaimed young writer—"Stories that are short, strange, funny, deceptively casual in tone and affect, stories that sound like a joke but aren't" (Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi)

Already featured on This American Life and Selected Shorts and in Zoetrope: All Story and L.A. Weekly, these short stories include a man who finds equal pleasure
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 4th 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  4,511 ratings  ·  445 reviews

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Sam Quixote
I enjoyed Etgar Keret’s short story collection, Suddenly, A Knock on the Door, so it was disappointing to find out The Nimrod Flip-Out isn’t nearly as good.

I really like Keret’s casual use of magical realism in many of his stories. My favourite one here was Fatso where a man discovers his girlfriend literally turns into a fat slob of a man at night before turning back into the woman he loves by morning! Very amusing, imaginative stuff.

Unfortunately that’s basically the only story that was any
Jun 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Oriana by: Josh Honn
Shelves: read-2008
after reading: Right, here's the thing about short stories: I just don't like them. And here's why: short stories (like long stories) are either good –- and you wonder why the writer didn't just keep writing because now you are really interested in these characters/this scenario/the voice/whatever –- or they're not good, and you wonder why you wasted your time.

I definitely put Etgar in the former category. Many of these stories are really good! Super good! But this is the thing: if Etgar can
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is most definitely a man's book. The simplicity of emotion, the gentle confusion, the way things that make no sense somehow make absolute sense. Keret is a gentle man. His emotions, friendship, love, family, life, all effortless. His writing is effortless. It’s witty and calm, poignant but simple, pleasurable without being overwhelming. The kind of beautiful I imagine men feel when they feel the word “beautiful”.

Fear: I felt the fear running through my body, from the hard part of my brain
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you've been friends with me on Goodreads for long enough, you know that I obsess over the sheer hilarity and flippant style of Israeli writer Etgar Keret. Despite suffering from what may be the most bizarre cover art in the history of literature (please challenge me on this), The Nimrod Flipout is an excellent short story collection full of reality-bending romps.

The title story will be familiar to experienced Keret readers: a bunch of young-ish guys stuck in the doldrums of life, and you
Feb 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Maybe this just got too built up for me or something, but... I get it, the tone sounds flippant but it really isn't. That gets kind of samey. Shrug.
Edward Rathke
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an utterly fantastic collection. I've long been meaning to read some Keret and am so glad that I've finally gotten here. He's capable of doing one of the most challenging things in writing with surprising ease and agility: humor. And not just a smile, but pure laughter, rising on accident, despite suppression and embarrassment at being in public with a bus full of people who don't speak your language.

He gets there through situations. It's not a single sentence that makes you laugh, not a
Yair Ben-Zvi
Nov 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Within Israeli letters Etgar Keret apparently occupies a sphere of his own. Kind of Raymond Carver like in not only his use of the short story but also in the somberness of tone and subject matter Keret also has definitely learned some things from the schools of magical realism and absurd fiction, and all to his benefit.

Keret's stories, while not all equally brilliant are all substantive and intriguing as all hell. Starting from a basic premise and giving it a simple but integral dark twist
Apr 21, 2008 rated it did not like it
I both did and did not like this book. I enjoyed it in the same way I enjoy viewing abstract/avant-garde art - the premises and twists and turns in these short stories are so off-the-wall they open your mind in different directions, and that's usually a good thing. However, more often than not, these extremely short stories (typically no more than 3 pages long) depend upon some perversion as their hook, which gets boring and predictable. In many cases, a story starts out solidly with an almost ...more
Dec 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-commented
honestly, this writing style is not for everyone, but i loved his rapid-fire pacing, the way he slams information into the stories line after line. i even liked the freaky, surreal qualities and undeniable male/dude-ish perspectives. reminded me of people who are good at telling stories at parties.

and yes, for anyone who knows about how i spilled nyquil on this book, i did confess to the library, and they said it was ok. they patted me on the back and i cried on their shoulders. like a baby.
Ben Loory
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
this is the book i've been waiting for!

at least one of them.

god, this whole collection is perfect. very short stories, some no more than a page, surreal and real and funny and sad. the writing is impeccable (in translation from the hebrew), and every story explodes after the last sentence pulls the pin.

here is a book i recommend.
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great short stories. Some better than others but My heart has been touched deeply by "Glittery Eyes".
Joachim Stoop
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was ok

Not funny enough, not weird enough,
Not creative enough, not innovative enough..
Never bad, often too juvenile.
Always close, never bullseye.
Feb 16, 2007 rated it liked it
I reviewed this for a class I was in so I thought I'd post my revieweven if it is a little to long:

Young Israeli men, their penises, lovers, pets, and business deals are the subjects of this collection of short and very short short stories. Keret speeds through the lives of his lonely characters barely stopping for plot and refusing conclusions but making plenty of space for some phenomenally funny details of Israeli urban life. His characters “puke chopped liver” and encounter a pest control
May 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-hipsters, po-mo
The main plot from Tatia Rosenthal's $9.99 (2008) is technically adapted from several of the short stories here. I said technical because the attraction of Etgar Keret's short stories (besides being ridiculously good looking for a writer) is his ability to construct a fantasy that seems so palpable and possible, and as a result the film differs from it by taking another route into pure abstraction. 'hmm, all the characters and props are the same, but somehow I feel like I'm reading something ...more
Very strange but captivating stories brimming with assuredness, slyness, pessimism, and fantasy. No yawners here. Parents shrink in proportion to their son's growth, a man orders a talking fish at a restaurant, a man loves a woman who turns into a soccer-loving guy by night. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection, probably even more so than a more recent collection by Keret (The Girl on the Fridge), which I also really liked. I quite appreciated the short short-ness of these stories, which I was ...more
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this at the same time as Aimee Bender's short story collections The Girl in the Flammable Skirt and Wilful Creatures.

They are both good with the surreal and accessible language but I prefer Etgar Keret's minimalist style (in translation of course). The stories are more varied and much more surprising.

I felt like I got Aimee Bender after a few stories and then the language/themes got very predictable. Not sure I need any more of her books.

But I am still understanding Keret. I want more.
Sep 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I've never read anything quite like this. Short, quirky stories -- almost as if a leering uncle pulled you aside and started telling them, and by the time you realized where they were going, it was too late to get away, and you stayed, and listened, and freaked out a little bit more with each passing story.
Jan 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Josh, everyone else
Recommended to Jeremiah by: Serendipitous bookstore find! One copy buried in the K section
Not saying the book is perfect; just that these are exactly the type of stories I love to read and try to tell. Reminds me a lot of Paul Jennings, but for grown-ups. Read at Barnes and Noble over the course of several visits, knowing I'd eventually just buy it anyway.
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shortest shorts of all
Stories, I mean – not Nair legs
Fun funny sad weird

Review Haiku for Those with Short Attention Spans
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Short stories with proper (for me) level of absurdity and enough meaning (for me), so that I wouldn't define them just as funny cynicism.
Heather Buchanan
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it

Reading this book is a little like dozing off when you really shouldn’t be. You wake up, startled and confused, probably a little sweaty, and not sure how much time has gone by. You glance at a clock and determine only a few minutes have gone by even though it felt like longer. The agitating dream, though brief, lingers. It seemed to make sense when you were asleep, but the more you try to go over it and untangle it in your mind, the further away it gets. What you saw follows you the rest of the
Oct 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
I had no expectations when I picked up this collection of short stories. It was, along with other books, a surprise gift from a friend–would I like the books? Would I like the stories? I wondered. And oh boy–I certainly do like the stories in this collection!

Etgar Keret is now on my radar–his writing reminds me of Aimee Bender’s short stories, whimsical and so reminiscent of fairy tales, only with a very dark twist. (For instance, a story entitled “Pride and Joy” is about a boy who keeps growing
brian tanabe
Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I hate to be lazy and quote a critic’s review of a book I just read, but it’s this or nothing. Anyway, Joseph Weisberg in the newest NYT Book Review critiques Keret’s “latest” collection (early work recently released in the US), “The Girl on the Fridge.” Near the end of his review Weisberg states, “If you haven’t read Keret, start with his 2006 collection, “The Nimrod Flipout.” It shows him more fully in command, better able to connect his style to the emotion that lies beneath.” Having only ...more
Feb 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great selection of short stories, which felt less like reading and more like sitting in a bar listening to the funniest guy you know tell you stories. Not even very funny stories in particular, but... The kind that, given the right storyteller, suddenly become humorous. Also, because it's like listening to your friend tell you stories, it feels so familiar that you kind of sit back and accept everything as it comes. Even when it comes to talking fish, shrinking humans and people giving birth to ...more
Sep 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Like a box of chocolate truffles, each bite sized, complex, and mouthwatering

I am at a loss for how to describe Etgar Keret’s work to those who’ve yet to have the pleasure. To comment merely on his stories brevity – the longest I believe comes in at perhaps eight pages and thirty fill this slim volume – would make him seem too much the trickster, a writer with a gag instead of the extraordinary story teller one will meet in “The Nimrod Flipout.” Perhaps instead I might offer examples of a few of
Apr 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
My second collection of short stories by Keret this year (see my review of The Girl on the Fridge). As in the other book, The Nimrod Flip Out is a set of thirty ultra-short “stories” categorized as quirky, absurdist, and minimalist. These stories often present slices of life (or in some cases, slices of slices of life) filled with strangeness meant to emphasize the absurdities of life and life’s situations and the emotions that fill these situations. Overall, I found this to be a stronger ...more
Sep 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I find it hard to believe that I picked up this book just because of the crazy cover art (a mournful looking little fat guy with a smoking rifle surrounded by dead birds). The short stories in this book are amazingly well crafted and extremely powerful. The oddness could leave me a bit befuddled, but in a good way if that makes any sense. Sometimes something is so well written you just get pissed you haven't written anything like that. Sometimes it's so much better than even that and you just ...more
Jun 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this on a 7-hour flight, 1 hour of which was spent on the runway, waiting to take off. The guy next to me smelled and threw a little bit of a temper tantrum about needing a vegetarian meal. This book made the experience not so awful. Not so awful at all. As close to enjoyable as possible, really.

I need to read more stories with talking fish. And women turning into balding fat men overnight.

Jan 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Some of the stories in this collection passed me by with barely a flicker, some of them have lodged firmly in my mind. There's a few in here: Bwoken, Glittery Eyes, A Good-Looking Couple; which are brilliant.

A strange, interesting, but nevertheless slightly uneven collection, which is often not as clever as it thinks it is, but sometimes profound, wise and moving.
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Keret is a master at covering sadness with a blanket of funny. Expect to go through a range of emotions in every tale . . . after you bust a gut from laughing, of course. Bizarre with a touch of tenderness, resolve mingled with nostalgia. How does Keret pull off these things? A brilliant piece. Recommended.
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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
“It's amazing how people can sound like retards when they're talking to their girlfriend, especially if they really love her a lot. Because when you're just fucking someone you make a point of keeping your cool, but when you're really in love - it can sound pretty repulsive.” 168 likes
“According to Gur's theory of boredom, everything that happens in the world today is because of boredom: love, war, inventions, fake fireplaces - ninety-five percent of all that is pure boredom.” 39 likes
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