Itamar Levy. Hugo’s Earthquake

In this wild and funny novel, a playwright named Itamar Levy has written a play with the same title as the novel. He is active at rehearsals and fills in for the lead actor when the latter gets sick. Hugo, the protagonist of the play, is a 70 something Holocaust survivor, and the action takes place in the Tel Aviv apartment of his neighbor, Rivka. One day, Hugo sneaks into her living room while she is taking a shower, and in a closet he finds an amazing machine that can simulate earthquakes. Hugo activates the machine… and the whole building collapses. However, he survives and finds himself alone with a hand—not his—sticking out of the ruins. He imagines that it is Rivka’s and by the time rescue workers get to the scene, Hugo has established a relationship with it and regaled it with his feats of heroism, including revenge on his caretaker’s Thai boyfriend, and rescuing a young girl from a terrible fire. Itamar the playwright’s feats are no less amazing: he discovers that a dead friend’s body has been replaced by an unknown woman, who is buried instead of him. But only Itamar knows about this. On the other hand, the whole country has read in the press that he tried to murder the lead actor in his play. (In fact, the actor tried to commit suicide and Itamar saved his life.) In the meantime, as Itamar’s involvement in the production grows, Hugo slowly starts to control him. But who does all this happen to? And how is Itamar Levy the playwright connected to Itamar Levy the author of this novel?

    A bold book that presents life as a drama of the absurd—and ourselves as actors going around in masks.


You know you have a good book in your hands when you can’t imagine how it would have been possible to write it differently … Hugo’s Earthquake honors the entire body of this author’s work, as it bears the imprint of his unique writing style. His loyalty to his creative cores unites here with a level of literary polish that is worthy of study … Levy juggles events skillfully … This is fine literature that provides quality entertainment but also offers a lesson in rigorous reading and for those who desire it, a lesson in how to write daringly.

Talma Admon, Maariv   

This book does not let go of you, even for a moment …Challenging, thought-provoking, riveting.

Iris Ganor, Literary blog

It's fascinating. A sweeping book.

Dan Margalit, IETV

Title Hugo’s Earthquake
Author’s Last Name Levy
Author's First Name Itamar
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre novel
Publisher (Hebrew) Kinneret, Zmora-Bitan
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2016
No. Pages 173 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Re'idat Ha-Adama Shel Hugo
Representation Represented by ITHL