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Gaza Blues

by Etgar Keret and Samur El-Youssef

Described as 'fiction without borders', this is a collection of stories by Israeli, Etgar Keret and Palestinian, Samir El-Youssef. The stories, set in the Middle East, reflect the troubles of the region, yet are optimistically humorous. I found the black humour a little bizarre at times, but the stories are never dull and always thought provoking. I loved For only 9.99 (incl. Tax + Postage).

Extract

Nachum happened on the ad completely by chance, somewhere between the daily horoscope and the sex toys. 'Ever wonder about the meaning of life?' the ad enquired. 'Ever ask yourself why we exist in the first place?' And it went on to provide the solution...'The booklet, printed on the finest paper, complete with enlightening, breathtaking color photographs, will be mailed to your home, beautifully gift-wrapped, for only 9.99!'...

Nachum's hands shook as he stuck the stamp on the envelope. He knew that the next few days would be the longest ever. The meaning of life was something that had worried him for as long as he could remember, and even though his life was reasonably pleasant and happy, he'd always felt there was something missing. But now, in just a few days, his world would be complete.

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