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The Investigation of Captain Erez

Yishai Sarid

Yishai Sarid has written an unusual thriller―without bodies, good guys or bad guys. The narrator is an unsuccessful Tel Aviv lawyer. He has only one client, a loser like himself, who tries to commit suicide; he shares a seedy apartment with a lazy, penniless alcoholic who dreams of being an actress; and to top it all he has a strong, opinionated "Jewish mother."

By comparison, the case that our lawyer is given on reserve duty in the army is a challenge: A young woman named Almog has accused an elite officer of rape. The girl comes from an underprivileged family in the south, while the officer, Captain Erez, is considered of “the best”―a young man with values, motivated to excel and to contribute to society. The narrator and Kobi, his homosexual assistant - whose personal life is also complicated - discover that the situation between victim and accused is unexpected. And the further the investigation proceeds, the harder the picture is to pin down. Was it rape or a misunderstanding? And if it was rape, how to explain Erez’s reaction when the narrator tells him that Almog is pregnant? Erez, who so far has denied the charge, reacts joyfully. He is even willing to marry Almog! Thus the accused confesses and the narrator closes the case, but without any sense of satisfaction


REVIEWS

FRENCH PRESS
Introduces us to the core paradoxes of Israeli society…a vision both incisive and kindly of a country with many identities.
And Sarid marches courageously on ambiguous terrain.

LaSemaine.fr

 

In this book, you go from Tel Aviv to the Upper Galilee, one step from the war in Lebanon…And this trip is more than exciting: you read it in one go…because the subject of the book is Israel…a grinding society with the thousand facets that make it up and that, increasingly, tremble and even crack A book that fits into the genre book within a book, in short; the best.

Lacauselittéraire.fr

 

He captivates us with his way of opening up a world under constant tension, that seeks a stability we feel is beyond their grasp.

Cannibaleslecteurs.com


Through his characters (a lawyer, a young woman soldier and a high-flying officer accused of rape), Sarid draws a passionate portrait of Israeli life.

Biblioteca Magazine      

 

This novel is interesting from numerous perspectives. The author realistically portrays life in Tel Aviv. A lawyer by training, he depicts a country where tradition and modernity live side by side, a country constantly on the alert, where a tenuous peace is due to a vigilant army. He finds the right tone to denounce the permanent feeling of oppression felt by its citizens in a Jewish culture nurtured on superstition, the importance of an all-powerful, macho army, and the corruption of a society where the most powerful come out on top. The very lively narrative, devoid of dull moments, can be read straight through.

Notes


HEBREW PRESS

A lovely book, whose hero is one of the most endearing losers you’ve met… It is impossible not to love him… Sarid opens a spectacular gallery of Israelis --  Investigation is about us, a mirror held up to our face. Aren’t you going to take a look?
Ran Bin-Nun, Yedioth Ahronoth


This book belongs to the genre that in its cinematic version is called “film noir.” … When you’ve finished reading it, something lingers in your soul… Most of the enjoyment derives from Sarid’s ability to write, describe and move the heart… There is so much strength here that you really must not miss it…  Sarid must write more. It is a long time since I have read such a promising work by a new writer.
Amnon Dankner, Maariv     


Yishai Sarid builds the image of a modern moral hero struggling with Israeli reality, whose clichés he dismantles…This dual focus on the national and the personal gives the book an authentic aura [with]a fascinating protagonist who is also reader-friendly… There is something in the whole book of the Knut Hamsun-like model that Hamsun called “the Genius.”… The tempo is fast, and the focus of attention shifts from the investigation to [exploring] the characters, their motives and their world.
Roni Pinkovitch, Haaretz 

An outstanding book, one of the best thrillers ever written in this country. The characterizations in it are wonderful, there is compassion and love for people, and mainly a complexity that is not common in thrillers. Yishai Sarid is trying to create a new kind of literature, which does whatever it can to blur political and social contrasts  in order to form a new and magnificent hybrid… Investigation creates an immediate closeness to the main characters. At a certain stage, one’s heart is filled with pity for them, and it is this feeling that gives the book most of its strength.

Dganit Borovsky, Maariv

The plot slices through and binds the layers of society, in a struggle to bare the truth. Sarid creates a world made up of the core of the local experience … His very precise writing breathes life into the characters and reaches the very highest level of particularization. 

Noa Manheim, Yedioth Ahronoth  


The Investigation of Captain Erez
Title The Investigation of Captain Erez
Author’s Last Name Sarid
Author's First Name Yishai
Language(s) French
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Yedioth Ahronoth
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2000
No. Pages 292 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Teref Kal

Translations

French: Arles, Actes Sud, 2015; Actes Sud/ Babel, 2018
 
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