This unusual, muted novel is a poignant elegy to the writer`s friend Gili, who was killed in the Lebanon War. The book`s first part is a puzzle, a kaleidoscope in which the writer and his friend appear in stories about army service, stories linked by a thick rope of details from the shared past with Gili. The established presence of the two sets the scene for the second part of the book, in which the narrator directly recounts the history of this friendship. This section constitutes a lengthy conversation about life and love, meaning and sex, an unbroken bond between the two that covers Israel and Paris and testifies to the writer`s unbearable pain and loss. Gili is addressed directly in the second person. This includes the reader in Ofer Shelach`s sense that with the loss of his friend, a part of himself was wiped away, not to be replaced.
A courageous and original treatment of intimacy between men. Ofer Shelach has written without reservation about masculine love and conveys with authenticity the intense closeness between men that develops during war and army life. This book expresses strength, power, beauty and pain. Second Person is also a powerful anti-war polemic.