Jonathan, a confused young student of cinema, is trying to understand what made him brutally murder his fiancיe. Written in the first person, in a frank and self-revelatory style, he describes his evolving relationship with his fiancיe, Shelly, against the backdrop of his nationalistic upbringing, and his army service as an officer in the occupied Palestinian territories, where he witnessed violent events. But this is also the story of Yair, the author, another confused young student of cinema, who inserts lengthy notes into the margins of the novel, attempting to fathom what the hell made him write this disconcerting, impertinent, crazy book that shows contempt for all literary conventions. He tells us of intimate experiences, of being his mother’s only child, of the traumas he experienced at religious high school and yeshiva and then in the army; and of his daily life as a guide at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. Throughout the book, Agmon mixes his marginal notes with the body of the plot, blurring boundaries and taking the reader into his inner life, his fears, his conflicted and fragile existence, his deep need for love, fame, recognition.
And always, the double plot erupts from surprising directions, with the “truth” being formulated and fractured again and again as Agmon scrutinizes the condition of us all. As he himself puts it: “The most important thing in life is to feel.” The result is an ambitious, provocative book on human evil, literary writing, and the relationship between the writer and his work.
Agmon is not simply a talented writer, he is a genius…A wondrous, stirring, disturbed and uninhibited creation…296 pages of dynamite.
Great talent…A disconcerting book…magnificent, powerful, almost unreal…A literary experience of unparalleled intensity.
A breakthrough…A dynamic and unique reading experience.