A Horse Walks into a Bar

A Horse Walks into a Bar The setting is a comedy club in a small Israeli town An audience that has come expecting an evening of amusement instead sees a comedian coming apart on stage an act of disintegration a man crumblin

  • Title: A Horse Walks into a Bar
  • Author: David Grossman Jessica Cohen
  • ISBN: 9781910702932
  • Page: 413
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The setting is a comedy club in a small Israeli town An audience that has come expecting an evening of amusement instead sees a comedian coming apart on stage, an act of disintegration, a man crumbling, as a matter of choice, before their eyes They could get up and leave, or boo and whistle and drive him from the stage, if they were not so drawn to glimpse his personal hThe setting is a comedy club in a small Israeli town An audience that has come expecting an evening of amusement instead sees a comedian coming apart on stage, an act of disintegration, a man crumbling, as a matter of choice, before their eyes They could get up and leave, or boo and whistle and drive him from the stage, if they were not so drawn to glimpse his personal hell Dovale Gee, a veteran stand up comic charming, erratic, repellent exposes a wound he has been living with for years a fateful and gruesome choice he had to make between the two people who were dearest to him.A Horse Walks into a Bar is a shocking and breathtaking read Betrayals between lovers, the treachery of friends, guilt demanding redress On stage the comic is torn between his commitment to his audience and the debt he owes to himself Flaying alive both himself and the people watching him, Dovale Gee provokes both revulsion and empathy from an audience that doesn t know whether to laugh or cry and all this in the presence of a former childhood friend who is trying to understand why he s been summoned to this performance.David Grossman has reached yet another literary peak that is emotionally equal to his previous books and stunning, even outrageous, in its inventions and complexity.

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    1. Update: Congrats to David Grossman!!! This book just won the Man Booker International Award!!! I was shaking at times reading David Grossman's new book -- my thoughts and emotions spinning. "A Horse Walks Into A Bar" ."isn't just a book about Israel: it's a book about people and societies horribly malfunctioning". As I press the keyboard looking for what to write.I honestly just tremble inside. I can't seem to be able to separate reading David Grossman's book's any longer without feeling deep so [...]

    2. Winner of the Man Booker International PrizeUpdate: I listened to an interesting conversation with David Grossman about his inspiration for the book, the translation, stories and Israel. To be listened after you read the novel because it contains spoilers. The link: penguin/articles/inI left it for Today to write my review for A Horse Walks into a Bar because I was sure it will be the winner although it was my least favorite of the 4 shortlisted novels that I read. Moreover, it was the choice of [...]

    3. Here it is now – a shared flicker that no one but the two of us, I hope, can detect. You came, his look says. Look what time has done to us, here I am before you, show me no mercy.I'm not 100% sure how I feel about this book, to be honest. Like most Booker Prize winners, it is undoubtedly very clever, but can I say I actually enjoyed reading it? Not really.There have been a number of reviews and comments saying "I don't really like stand-up comedy, but" or "I do like stand-up comedy so" but I [...]

    4. Despite the title of this book, it is not going to make you laugh. It is a compulsive and harrowing read. It is about Jewish history, the dysfunctional nation of Israel and its people, where the political is heartbreakingly personal. The narrative covers two hours of a middle aged stand up comic's routine, albeit an unusual one where Dovaleh Greenstein spews forth the horrors that have comprised his life. It is set in a club in Netanya, with a broad section of Israeli society watching him as he [...]

    5. I am not a big fan of stand-up comedy. Even though there are many funny moments in such performances, I find most of the jokes crass and overtly sexual - and the comedian is in such a tizzy most of the time to get the audience to laugh, he seems to work at being funny; which, IMO, makes it even more unfunny. The only thing missing is the laugh track.But consider for a moment the comedian, the guy behind the clown's mask. He is taxed with an unenviable task - he must laugh, no matter what. As the [...]

    6. Everyone knows that successful stand up routines are laughs at the expense of grief, or embarrassment, or pain of some kind. The laughing picks a sore and in many cases, starts the healing. The novel-length comedy routine given by Dovaleh Greenstein one night in a worn-down beach town is unique. The night of the performance is his birthday. He will be fifty-seven. He will give a one-of-a-kind, career-ending show that looks at his life, his heritage, and one particular loss that shaped him as a y [...]

    7. Update: a very worthy winner of the 2017 MBIPWhat sort of obligation do I have towards someone who I went to private tutoring sessions with forty-something years ago? I'm giving him five more minutes, on the dot, and if there isn't any kind of plot twist, I'm leaving. Book 12 from 13 of the Man Booker International longlist and I certainly saved one of the best till last.Israeli author David Grossman is perhaps best known in English for his To the End of the Land, translated by Jessica Cohen (a [...]

    8. The Last Stand-UpSo this comedian walks into a club. It's Netanya, Israel, not the audience he would have chosen, but hey, a gig's a gig. So he insults them a little, flatters them a little, tells a few one-liners, and soon they are eating out of his hand. Doveleh G's been doing this for 40 years; he knows his job. So does veteran Israeli author David Grossman who, aided by his splendid translator Jessica Cohen, captures the scene perfectly. Not just the jokes and routines, but the roller-coaste [...]

    9. For book reviews and recommendations go to booknationbyjen.wordpressA Horse Walks Into a Bar, the 2017 Man Booker International Prize Winner, is a stunning account of a middle aged, washed up comedian’s stand up show, but there is so much more. Taking place in the Israeli city of Netanya, Dovaleh Greenstein has invited a high school friend from military camp, Avishai Lavar, to watch the performance and then let him know what he sees…the person he really sees. In the audience, in addition to [...]

    10. This book won this year's Man Booker International Prize, which in itself created very high expectations, and for me it never came close to fulfilling them. The central portrait of a stand-up comedian Doveleh Greenstein, giving a final performance in which he abandons jokes for a cathartic bout of self-analysis in which he gives a detailed account of a traumatic and pivotal day in his childhood, is undoubtedly a powerful one, though the idea of a tortured comedian is nothing new. Where I struggl [...]

    11. 3.5 starsI approached this one with some trepidation. I don't like stand up comedy. My husband says I have no sense of humor, that's not really it, I don't find things funny that are at other people's expense which is generally the basis for comedy routines/jokes. I chose to read this because it is short-listed for the Man-Booker International prize and also because I really enjoyed Grossman's To the End of the Land.The entire books takes place over the course of a couple of hours at a rundown b [...]

    12. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, David Grossman, and the publisher, Vintage Digital, for this opportunity.This was my second read from the Man Booker International prize shortlist and, whilst I did not exactly 'get' this book, I can wholeheartedly see why it has garnered this acclaim.This book was bizarre! The novel's concept is of a stand-up comedian delivering more than just the expected one-liners and, instead, giving his audience a har [...]

    13. Dovaleh is the kind of comedian I would never go to see: he is vulgar and offensive and his jokes are often bad. But, by the end of this book I was almost in tears alongside him. It's that kind of book. It takes you on a journey where you learn to care about a person you would not normally have anything to do with. And it is a mark of the power of the writing here that I found myself coming to care about a fictional, unpleasant person!Last year's Man Booker winner was criticised by some because [...]

    14. A carousel of emotions and layers. Deep, as personal as political, seductive while often uneasy. Very emotional life story wrapped in 2 hours performance of Israeli standup comedian Video review: youtube/watch?v=d627e

    15. David Grossman is surely a magician because during the entire time I was reading this novel, I felt under a spell—one from which I haven’t emerged from yet.Dovelah Greenstein is a stand-up comedian facing an existential crisis and he chooses a one-night engagement for a kind of self-immolation. Reaching out into his distant past, he chooses a childhood neighbor named Avishai Lazar – a district court justice and a grieving widower --to provide feedback about what he sees.The power of this n [...]

    16. Edit on 15/6/2017 - Why there is so much torture in the world. This book has won Booker International 2017 Seriously ? Now I have some serious doubts on Booker.----------- My Review -----------------------A story of 10 inch, stretched till the length of 10 kilometers. The bush has beaten at such level that even the pulp has been reduced to invisible."Man plans, god fucks him."Similarly I would say 'expectation plans and reality fucks it."A lot of blending thoughts, this time, didn't work for me [...]

    17. Winner of The 2017 Man Booker International PrizeThis is a very difficult book to read. It is emotionally draining. It also has great emotional depth. A fifty-seven-year-old standup comedian gives a two-hour performance. On stage, he falls apart before our very eyes. Readers should be warned; this is not a book of laughs. We readers can of course simply close the book. The spectators could leave the show; it was just to walk out that door. Spectators entered the club looking for laughs, but you, [...]

    18. 3.5 stars.This was the last book that I had planned on getting to on the Man Booker International Prize 2017 shortlist, and it was definitely a memorable read and an interesting one to round off my reading with. Grossman depicts one night in a comedy club, and the fall of a comedian who commits to bare all his insecurities and pain in an incredibly intense, awkward, and tragic show. The audience are bewildered, especially the childhood friend that the comedian has previously begged to attend the [...]

    19. I've never really been drawn to stand-up comedy, so it's unlikely this book would have appeared on my radar if not for its Man Booker International longlisting. It's essentially one long scene in which an obnoxious comedian takes the stage in the Israeli city of Netanya. Dovaleh G, as he styles himself, is a short, malnourished figure, a diminutive man whose humour is crude and erratic, veering from slapstick to tragedy. As his routine progresses, it takes an increasingly confessional direction. [...]

    20. Video review: youtube/watch?v=EdFCnFeatured in my Top 20 Books I Read in 2017Exploits beautifully the way stand-up comedy, when stripped of a comedian's showmanship and turned into pure text, fully uncovers its destructive potential. Which does not mean the novel isn't hilarious. (Which doesn't mean it isn't one punch-in-the-face of a book).

    21. For me, "A Horse Walks Into a Bar" is a prime example of how it is often better not to judge a book by its cover. I did not find the title of the novel very inspiring and would likely never have given this novel a try had it not been longlisted by Man Booker.I was, however, much impressed by this slim tome. In brief, the book is about Dovaleh, an aging stand up comedian, who – for mysterious reasons of his own- decides to give a very unusual stand up performance centring on events from his tra [...]

    22. In Stephen King's book It, the characters who come together to stand up to evil had done it before as children, but had forgotten. In A Horse Walks into a Bar, too, the comedian and his beneficiary, the judge, had met before, when they were children, but only the judge had forgotten. When the action between them starts up again, the judge is cautiously warding off the return of memory. He even dumps on the comedian, who for some unknown reason is soliciting his presence at an upcoming show. The [...]

    23. This is difficult to give a rating. I HATED the first third of the book and kept wondering whether to abandon it, but since it was very short I decided to keep going. Somewhere in the second half things started to click and I became really invested in the story. I appreciated the quirky things that had grated on me in the beginning and as the intensity of the story increased, I found myself really concerned by how things were going to end. When the revelation came, I found it powerful, yet subtl [...]

    24. Dov Greenstein is a stand-up comic. It's his 57th birthday and he finds himself in the Israeli city of Netanya. Dov is evaluating his life and history. He has asked a childhood friend, Avishai Lavar (now a retired judge) to come to his performance. He wants Avishai to evaluate him in some ephemeral way; Avishai agrees to do this.A Horse Walks Into a Bar is essentially Dov's stand-up act, with the action narrated by Avishai Lavar. The act starts out routinely, but the situation rapidly deteriorat [...]

    25. Tragedia o commedia? Monologo o dialogo? Questa nuova opera di Grossman gioca su questo binomio. Siamo in una sala di un teatro su un palcoscenico in cui un uomo si mette a nudo, si sveste dei panni di attore, di cabarettista per indossare quelli di se stesso raccontando la sua storia. Una storia in cui tematiche come la memoria, l'Olocausto, il dolore sono la base del suo vivere, del suo vissuto, un uomo che si spoglia e si racconta al pubblico:"Le cose più piccole e schifose. Tutto ho messo i [...]

    26. “Why the long face? Did someone die? It’s only stand-up comedy!” Except that for the comedian himself, Dovaleh Greenstein, this swan song of a show in the Israeli town of Netanya devolves into the story of the most traumatic day of his life. Grossman has made what seems to me an unusual choice of narrator: Avishai Lazar, a widower and Supreme Court justice, and Dov’s acquaintance from adolescence – they were in the same military training camp. Dov has invited him here to bear witness, [...]

    27. This book is difficult to put down! I would not typically pick this book up based on the title and description, but I thought I would see why it made the MBI long list. This is not a funny book, even though it is seasoned with jokes and the main character is a comedian. It is a serious book, dark & even vulgar at times and reading it is not a comfortable experience. Just like the comedian, Dovaloh, is trying to provoke his audience, David Grossman is trying to provoke us & to challenge u [...]

    28. 4,5Although this won the International Booker Prize, it still came as a surpise to me just how good this was. It happens to me more often that a book positively grasps me in the beginning and then fades out too soon. This one did exactly the opposite: I almost wanted to quit after 10 pages and step my step it started to convince me until I started to adore it.It had to be such a difficult book to write! And what a tour de force it turned out to be. Its stands alone in the forests of books a brav [...]

    29. "A espantosa realidade das coisas É a minha descoberta de todos os dias. Cada coisa é o que é,E é difícil explicar a alguém quanto isso me alegra, E quanto isso me basta.Basta existir para se ser completo."— Alberto Caeiro

    30. In a see of 5 stars, there are some scarce 2 stars. This book didnt work for me. it is for sure a matter of perception, taking into accout that some said it was highly emotional, tears while reading etcIt started in an interesting fashion, presenting tragedy in a comic way, which in my eyes adds even more to the tragedy of the story. It was almost a thriller, i was reading page after page waiting to see what will happen next. but at one point it started to be dull. and it goes on like that for a [...]

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