OVER 40 WEEKS ON THE BESTSELLERS LIST
Filled with passion and enchantment, this novel weaves together a number of love stories culminating in one outrageous moment. It takes place in an imaginary town in northern Israel called the City of the Righteous, and takes a sly look at the ludicrous, infuriating and touching aspects of real life in Israel, while at the same time it tells a universal tale of loneliness and the need to be understood.
Moshe Ben-Tzuk sees himself as reborn. Raised on a kibbutz, he later served as an officer on a secret army base, but was never at peace. Now, after a deep inner crisis, he is ultra-Orthodox, married with children, living in the City of the Righteous and serving as personal aide to the mayor. On the surface, he has found his place in the world. But why does the memory of his youthful love, Ayelet, continually disrupt his peace of mind? A job for the mayor leads to a meeting with Ayelet, seven years after they parted. Will Ben-Tzuk give up his wife and family and choose his love?
Someone who does choose love without hesitating is Na’im, a young Arab building contractor and bird lover. Ben-Tzuk hires him to build a ritual bath house in an area with many new immigrants from Russia. But everything goes wrong. Na’im is suspected of spying and is arrested; he manages—by a trick—to get released, and meets the girl of his dreams. Meanwhile, the neighborhood residents turn the bath house (intended for ritual cleansing) into a red-hot trysting place for lovers.
With remarkable narrative charm and his rare talent for bringing us close to his characters, Eshkol Nevo unfolds a story that reads like a contemporary fairy tale.
PARTIAL ENGLISH TRANSLATION AVAILABLE (for publishers only).
Renewing a literary tradition while shaking its foundations - this is the balancing act Israeli novelist Eshkol Nevo is performing in his fourth novel. And he is mastering it. …Something like soft music emanates from the smooth writing, whispering a quiet song about the pain of distance. The one that makes separations irreversible, despite the strength of feelings. The one that renders closeness meaningful, even if it is against the will of the heavens.
The characters of this colorful
novel, which explores spying, ornithology, music, religion, heartaches and
sexual experiences, take us to India and Costa Rica, and then into those sweet
days that life treats us to sometimes, “when two human beings meet at the right
time and become the right place, one for the other”.
In this dark (and funny) mikveh story, we will face
the sacred and the burlesque, bigotry and mysticism, nostalgia over lost love
and suffering over an uncontrollable desire.
The diversity of characters makes for an eccentric
and colorful comedy… The new novel by Eshkol Nevo is heartwarming in its
irresistible charm and its myriad of characters.
Eshkol Nevo, in his original and
colorful style, takes a sharp-eyed look at the modern Israeli society. Religious and non-religious
people, Jews and Arabs, not to mention Americans, who step here as if on the ground
already conquered, form a flamboyant microcosm, heart of a lively, thrilling,
and brilliantly translated novel.
a modern fairytale celebrating the Ritual Bath as a chance for erotic
fulfillment, casting an affectionate, somewhat critical glance on a country
full of contradictions…
Nevo is one of the most successful younger Israeli Authors, all his books won
awards … starting the Novel as if Ephraim Kishon came back to life and once
again shares with us his Israeli Satires as like the Blaumilch Canal, or Look Back Mrs. Lot, but
later on gains depth…
those who won’t understand the story will fall in love with Nevo’s beautiful
sentences … about all this, Nevo writes in great love and great talent.
in his new Novel Nevo addresses the problematic and serious subject with an entertaining
way of writing.
by piece he puts together his colorful, tragicomic, entertaining and
beautifully written mosaic stones … The Mikwe performs miracles for waifs,
searchers and true lovers.
he always manages to put his finger into the wound and still tickle.
a modern fairytale using religious sites as an opportunity to celebrate erotic
satisfaction offers an affectionate look over a country full of contradictions.
figures show a remarkable diversity, like the country itself. Funny and
unreasonable, smart and sad, bossy and longing, just like its inhabitants.
Nevo observes each person very precisely, and lovingly. A great Read.
Eshkol Nevo is one of the most brilliant Israeli writers
of the new generation, coming after Amos Oz, Yehoshua and David Grossman.
Eshkol Nevo's is one of the most personal and convincing
voices of the Israeli contemporary literature. His novels tell about a young,
forward-looking country in which the weight of the past is needed as an
incentive for recognizing various religious and cultural souls. Nevo gets away
from his regional Golden Generation literature, such as Grossman, Yehoshua and Oz's
[…] Eshkol Nevo's new novel pierces and reconfirms him
among the most talented Israeli writers of forty, of this third generation.
Bollettino della Comunita Ebraica di
Eshkol Nevo's The Lost Solos ia a brain-teaser in the
Israeli way, the kind that makes you at work for days and then as for
enchantment, it seems that it was always so, every card in its right place.
Domenica, Il sole 24 ore
Nevo is considered, especially together with Etgar
Keret, among the main exponents of the new generation of Israeli literature
that, with no taboos, faces the conflict that divides the country and is also
able to give voice to Palestinians' political and personal events.
As always in Nevo's stories it is not important what will
happen but what already happened. There are few contemporary writers who can
tell tenderness maybe because it is a slippery, rhetorical, unmanageable
feeling. Nevo does it with the ease of a champion. He loves his heroes: he
listens to them, he looks after them, he understands them.
La Lettura (Corriere della Sera)
Eshkol Nevo belongs to the new generation of
Israeli writers who have taken the baton from Amos Oz, David Grossman and
Abraham Yehoshua, a brilliant generation that has set the bar very high but has
the most worthy successors.
Lost Solos lashes out against political corruption, but
it does it from a satirical stance, and it is a hilarious satire, in which all
are misunderstandings, as it was at that time, in the early 90s, when Russians
and Orthodox Jews finally looked each other in the eyes.
In Lost Solos Eshkol
Nevo deals humorously with loneliness and passion (...) A woman and a man who
loved each other and separated until they gave each other a second chance seven
years later; Russians’ difficult integration in Israel; The affinities between
Arabs and Jews; The political corruption that raises useless buildings; The
sensuality that overcomes religious dogmatism ... Eshkol Nevo (Jerusalem, 1971)
stirs in his coral novel, Lost Solos (Duomo), all these ingredients. It’s his
second novel published in Spain after The Symmetry of Desires.
"... The greatest miracle was not to bring forth
water from the rock nor make fall manna from heaven nor divide in two the Red
Sea waters; the greatest miracle happens
when two people meet at the appropriate time and become a place, a real place,
each one for the other". The quotation is taken from Lost Solos (Duomo),
his latest novel, where he details what he considers the only truth: any
decision, no matter how small it may seem, can mark our destiny.
Eshkol Nevo is one of the
most popular Israeli writers. His novels that are dedicated to the idea of
Jewish Settlements in Argentine „Neuland” or “Word Cup Wishes” reached
expenditures of over 100 000 copies which would be an incredible success even
in Poland, not to mention Israel with its 8 million habitants. In his newest
book “Lonely Love” he tells a story from the 90’s about Jews coming form former
A real bonbon! Eshkol Nevo’s writing is as unrestrained and free-flowing as ever.
Israeliness presented at its best…A magnificent patchwork quilt.
Once again, Nevo chisels into the human soul until he bares it completely.
I liked the book a lot. I laughed and also wiped a tear, and I even dreamed about it.