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The Flying Camel and the Golden Hump

A merciless literary critic may seem like a demonic figure to a writer who anxiously awaits the ultimate critical review of his work. This is the background for this witty and intelligent satire about the writer-critic relationship. The writer is Kalman Keren, who lives in an apartment building in Tel Aviv. The critic is Prof. Shatz, every writer’s nightmare, recently moved in to the apartment above Keren’s, with his wife Naomi. When Keren notices Shatz coming up the stairs with a disinterested, solemn expression, he almost goes into shock. He truly hates the critic. His last novel was highly acclaimed by other critics, yet Shatz wrote not a single word, this disregard being worse for the writer than any possible criticism. Keren, familiar with French culture and busy translating François Rabelais’ classics, Gargantua and Pantagruel, has a megalomaniac dream of writing the ultimate book, the masterpiece of all time. Only 22 pages have been written of the supposedly thousand page volume, but now that Shatz is disturbing Keren’s nights with his incessant banging on the typewriter, the author knows that he will no longer be able to write, and that he is doomed to suffer eternal writer’s block. While all this is happening, his love life takes an exciting turn. Keren, divorced, falls in love with Naomi, the nasty critic’s lovely wife, who indeed loves the author’s work! Sweet revenge! Naomi leaves her husband who has mentally abused her to join Keren, and the two set off to celebrate their love in the countryside.

English, French, German
Title The Flying Camel and the Golden Hump
Writer's Last Name Megged
Writer's First Name Aharon
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
No. Pages 276pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-Gamal Ha-Meʹofef Ve-Dabeshet Ha-Zahav
  • “ Megged’s novel is beautifully written and offers a fascinating portrait of Israel today, of Israelis and of the individual’s struggle to find a place in a communal society. ”

    Publishers Weekly
  • “ Megged has written a brilliantly conceived study of the nature of heroism. He is one of the few writers who leave one thinking and arguing long after one has finished his book ”

    The Irish Press
  • “ Megged writes a surprising, subtle narrative novel. While it is depressing, it is also full of color, humor and authentic detail. ”