Shimon Zimmer's stories disclose the ludicrous side of pathetic, if not downright tragic, situations. In "A Half-Birthday Party" a Tel Aviv couple celebrates their son's first half-birthday. The father, with his urinary obsession, is an Israeli version of Philip Roth or Woody Allen characters.
The title story too deals with the fiction of the happy family. The central character, a 47-year-old music teacher, decides to marry. The neurotic link between him and his mother is exposed when he confronts his mother's indifference and decides not to marry. All the stories depict a tightening web of obsessions and the author's deft balancing of empathy and irony. When you laugh, you laugh softly, with sympathy for the human frailties and faltering hopes that Zimmer reveals.
The book...is pure pleasure, a rare intellectual experience."
Precise language and metaphorical transitions that are wild yet carefully controlled.
Zimmer is a fine and promising writer...an important literary discovery...characterized by an exquisite sense of humor.
Critic Ran Yagil