Uri Kravitz, an unstable army recruit, tells us of the time he spent at an army
base near Jenin, where he went through basic training with other soldiers of
"low level medical fitness" due to mental problems.
Edgy Uri takes in all the insanity around him without being able to block
anything out: two recruits turn a third into their sex slave, one recruit commits
suicide, another goes insane and a fifth keeps shooting at supposedly suspicious
characters he sees around. In the midst of all this, Uri tries to distinguish
himself from the others, while also dealing with the demons that haunt him.
Stranded in the muddy, foggy base, while he and his fellow soldiers slowly
lose their minds, Uri mulls over his past. He thinks about his mother, who died
by accident or committed suicide; about his cold, distant relationship with his
father; about Keren, a girl he met at the Arad Music Festival who is no less
`mental` then him, and about the Israeli indie-rock band he worships, whose
imminent break-up is threatening his sanity no less than his surroundings.
The Mentals isn`t a book about the IDF or about recruit training, it is a book
about a young man who has to force his injured soul and sleepless body to
perform a task that is more than he can handle.
A rare literary talent.
One of the more powerful voices among the young generation.
Author Yoram Kaniuk
Amichai Shalev has the rare talent of being able to create
a palpable, associative narrative flow… Uncommon
eloquence with some extremely impressive, wild and poetic
stream-of-consciousness… striking insights and that rare
sensuality that is the soul of fiction writing.