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Only Child

Avi Garfinkel

Everybody wants something from Eliran Zinawi: His mobster father, Israel’s No. 1 crime boss, expects him to participate in a major struggle against a rival gang; a vengeful and oversexed woman wants him to kill her ex, who is deputy head of the Mossad; his girlfriend, a Tel Aviv student, keeps insisting that he tell her the truth about himself, and the army has called him up for reserve duty and a military operation in Gaza. And what does Eliran Zinawi want? Just the usual things: money, great sex, and for everyone to love him.

Only Child is a thrilling, fast-paced novel that also takes a courageous look at nagging topical issues in Israeli society, such as links between criminals and politicians, ethnic tensions, intolerance, and the exclusion of the “other.” The voice of the hero, Eliran Zinawi, has the clear and sharp tone of today’s Israeli youth: ambitious, shrewd, refusing to grow up. But he is also a complex and tragic figure, torn between loyalty to his family and his criminal way of life, his moral conscience and the need to rebel against his father and extricate himself from the cycle of violence.
A peculiar series of events and family revelations open Eliran’s eyes to the extent of treachery and danger in his world, and he contemplates his own place in the production line of Israeli identity. He chooses to turn his back on the criminal norms he is so familiar with, but pays a heavy price. From his prison cell, he makes a clean breast of things, he tries to explain his actions and his motives, and surprisingly he succeeds in arousing our sympathy. 




Avi Garfinkel tackles the big issues: From the angle of a social critic, he has written a book with an ambitious political purpose, setting out to paint a contemporary portrait of Israeli society … It is surprisingly relevant, suspenseful, entertaining and astute.


Only Child feels something like The Sopranos or The Godfather, with a hero who is a kind of local Vito Corleone … Someone should make a movie of it. 

Yedioth Ahronoth


A vibrant novel that touches the bare nerve ends of Israel today, with a fast-moving plot that is reminiscent of an action movie.


The narrator of Only Child, like Avi Garfinkel, is a gifted narrator. He knows how to hold on to a story, how to develop it, to create suspense and to pause it when necessary.

Time Out


This book is a very sensitive and topical social seismograph, that accurately reflects the edgy pulse of our society … Hats off to Avi Garfinkel for finally producing a novel in this genre in Hebrew … This is a brave book.



Only Child is engrossing and flows from beginning to end, mainly thanks to the up-to-date language and the surprising plot twists.

People of the Book

This would make a great basis for a Tarantino movie. The plot is pacy and suspenseful, sometimes amusing … Only Child is very enjoyable, and it convincingly reflects issues that interest Israeli society …The novel provides one of the most important elements that readers require of literature – it is simply fun to read.   

Kore Basfarim

Hallelujah! Only Child is not only an outstanding crime thriller, it is also one of the better Israeli novels I have read this year, a top contender for the title of the best of all… The book is written at the pace of a frenetic thriller, but this does not prevent Garfinkel from shaping complex, profound characters and conflict situations – between one  individual and another, and also between the individual and himself … I think that this is a book with something very important to say, something worth listening to.  
Uri Keidar, Thrillercritic

Title Only Child
Author’s Last Name Garfinkel
Author's First Name Avi
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2015
No. Pages 373 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ben Yachid
Representation Represented by ITHL
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