‘Fly Already’ by Etgar Keret

Fly Already by Etgar Keret, 2017

The magic trick:

Contrasting a child’s innocence with adult tragedies

Keret has a knack of creating story scenarios that are at once implausible and boring. That ain’t such a good knack.

There isn’t enough attention to detail here. We get super-dramatic plot points – a dead wife, a suicidal jumper. But I just don’t care. He never took the time to let me get to know these people at all. The events just seem silly. Cartoonish, almost.

So what’s good here? The filtering of tragedy through a child’s eyes is always an effective ploy. The title comes from the young boy’s perception of the suicidal jumper. It lends a bit of gimmicky innocence over the agony. I would prefer that we got more little human details about how the characters act, what they like, etc.

But… the innocence of the child contrasted with the serious events of the story is a nice combination. And that’s quite a trick on Keret’s part.

The selection:

But the guy points at his ear again, as if he were deaf, and shouts, “I’m sick of it! Enough! How much can I take?”

P.T. shouts back at him, as if they were having the most ordinary conversation in the world, “Come on, fly already!”

And I’m starting to feel that stress, the stress that comes with knowing that it’s all on you.

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