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World Cup Wishes

Four close friends are watching the 1998 World Cup final on TV when one of them has an idea: Let`s write down our wishes for the next few years, hide them somewhere, and during the next final, four years from now, we`ll take them out and see how many we`ve managed to fulfill. This is how World Cup Wishes opens, and from there to the novel`s end we follow the lives of the four, what happened to their wishes and their friendship.

At the beginning of the novel, Yuval asks: Can people actually change? Should one believe a person who says he has changed, and what does this do to a friendship? These questions reverberate throughout the book.

The four men`s bond is deep and solid. But unlike in most modern Hebrew fiction, their relationship does not come from the shared experi­ence of military service, but rather from emotional closeness. The four talk to one another, think and consult, although they are also driven by their passions, are competitive and belligerent. Indeed, throughout the novel, suppressed violence simmers beneath the surface, threatening to erupt at any time.

And in the background stands Israel at the end of the millennium, a tense, stressed-out society that has turned repression into a way of life. The book`s four protagonists, too, repress the first Intifada, during which they were soldiers in the army. The second Intifada breaks out during the course of the novel, and in the end they too are forced to ask themselves: in a society such as this, a reality like ours, can wishes really be fulfilled?

English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Spanish
Title World Cup Wishes
Writer's Last Name Nevo
Writer's First Name Eshkol
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Kinneret, Zmora-Bitan
No. Pages 334pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Mish'ala Achat Yamina
  • “ A wonderful, many-layered novel. ”

    Hannoversche Allgemeine
  • “ Against the background of the World Cup and the Intifada, Nevo orchestrates a brilliant critique of Israel’s carefree young generation… He is truly a very gifted author.”

    Les Inrockuptibles
  • “ A splendid novel on friendship and wounded Israeli society… Nevo is without doubt the leader of Israel’s young generation of writers. In World Cup Wishes, he confirms his immense talent. Overwhelming. ”

    Livres Hebdo
  • “ A passionate and uninhibited story of male friendship. ”

    La Repubblica
  • “ Nevo, an ascending star of Israeli fiction… explores the strains of everyday life against a backdrop of endless emergency. ”