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Extended Audio Sample Suddenly, a Knock on the Door: Stories Audiobook, by Kendare Blake Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kendare Blake, Etgar Keret, Nathan Englander, Miriam Shlesinger Narrator: Kate Reading, Ira Glass, Willem Dafoe, various narrators Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2012 ISBN: 9781427222527
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Bringing up a child, lying to the boss, placing an order in a fast-food restaurant: in Etgar Keret's new collection, daily life is complicated, dangerous, and full of yearning. In his most playful and most mature work yet, the living and the dead, silent children and talking animals, dreams and waking life coexist in an uneasy world. Overflowing with absurdity, humor, sadness, and compassion, the tales in Suddenly, a Knock on the Door establish Etgar Keret—declared a "genius" by The New York Times—as one of the most original writers of his generation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Keret's greatest book yet--the most funny, dark, and poignant. It's tempting to say these stories are his most Kafkaesque, but in fact they are his most Keretesque. Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Etgar Keret's stories are funny, with tons of feeling, driving towards destinations you never see coming. They're written in the most unpretentious, chatty voice possible, but they're also weirdly poetic. They stick in your gut. You think about them for days. Ira Glass, host and producer of This American Life
  • Strangeness abounds. Keret fits so much psychological and social complexity and metaphysical mystery into these quick, wry, jolting, funny, off-handedly fabulist miniatures, they're like literary magic tricks: no matter how closely you read, you can't figure out how he does it. Donna Seaman, Booklist (March 15)
  • His pieces elicit comparison to sources as diverse as Franz Kafka, Kurt Vonnegut and Woody Allen . . . [Keret is] a writer who is often very funny and inventive, and occasionally profound. Kirkus Reviews (March 15)
  • Israeli author Keret writes sometimes appealingly wacky, sometimes darkly absurdist stories that translate well to America . . . Sophisticated readers should check this out. Library Journal, pre-pub alert
  • In this slim volume of flash fiction and short stories, Israeli author/filmmaker Keret (The Nimrod Flipout; the film Jellyfish) writes with alternating Singeresque magical realism and Kafkaesque absurdity. Publishers Weekly
  • This collection of short stories brims with invention . . . Etgar Keret is a great short story writer whose work is all the greater because it's funny . . . [He] most becomes himself in comedy shorts, telling tales of the absurd and the surreal . . . As one of the 20th century's great comic writers--and one of Keret's true precursors--might have said, so it goes . . . To complain about Keret being Keret is like complaining about Chekhov being Chekhov. Ian Sansom, The Guardian
  • [Keret] deserves full marks for chutzpah . . . His work zings with imaginative conceits, clever asides and self-conscious twists. Yet there is also an easygoing quality to his writing that makes the 37 stories collected here instantly likeable . . . his stories assume an anecdotal style that gives them an air of spontaneity, as if he were relating them over a cup of coffee in one of the Tel Aviv cafes frequented by his characters . . . Keret's willingness to develop quirky concepts (one story features a magic, talking goldfish) would seem to grant him a place alongside such idiosyncratic writers as Robert Walser, Franz Kafka, Kurt Vonnegut and Italo Calvino. But if his work is sometimes reminiscent of these writers, it also carves out its own territory. James Ley, The Sydney Morning Herald
  • A brilliant writer . . . completely unlike any writer I know. The voice of the next generation. Salman Rushdie
  • Keret can do more with six . . .paragraphs than most writers can with 600 pages. Kyle Smith, People

  • “To call Keret apolitical would be to miss a seminal moment in the history of Jewish literature. Indeed, it would be like pigeonholing Isaac Bashevis Singer—at whose knee Keret seems to have learned the art of magic realism, only to use it with more discipline than his master…Keret is a cynic who can’t manage to shake off his hopefulness—the most reliable kind of narrator there is. His true ancestor may not be Singer but Woody Allen, who, in his earlier years, summoned the gods of fantasy to help argue his most famous philosophical insights. And Keret is exhibiting Annie Hall—era talent here, churning out gem after gem.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “I feel that the best thing that can happen to a writer is for someone to interpret your text. It is a great experience, listening to your words. Etgar Keret

  • An all-star roster of narrators masterfully performs the audio edition of Keret's latest collection, which mixes humor, emotion, absurdity, morality, and humility…the result is a truly inspired series of performances and an utterly entertaining audiobook. Listening quickly becomes a compulsion. Publishers Weekly
  • Examples of the talented narrators include Josh Charles, who has a deep, round tone and a gentle manner that perfectly complements the author's words, and Adam Thirlwell's British accent, which supports a strong, robust reading about lying. It's an excellent audio and literary experience. AudioFile Magazine
  • “These stories exude a force and zing that some readers will find life-changing.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Keret writes with alternating Singeresque magical realism and Kafkaesque absurdity.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This collection of short stories brims with invention…Etgar Keret is a great short story writer whose work is all the greater because it’s funny…[He] most becomes himself in comedy shorts, telling tales of the absurd and the surreal…To complain about Keret being Keret is like complaining about Chekhov being Chekhov.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “A brilliant writer…Completely unlike any writer I know. The voice of the next generation.”

    Salman Rushdie

  • “His pieces elicit comparison to sources as diverse as Franz Kafka, Kurt Vonnegut and Woody Allen…[Keret is] a writer who is often very funny and inventive, and occasionally profound.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Keret’s greatest book yet—the most funny, dark, and poignant. It’s tempting to say these stories are his most Kafkaesque, but in fact they are his most Keretesque.”

    Jonathan Safran Foer

  • “Etgar Keret’s stories are funny, with tons of feeling, driving towards destinations you never see coming. They’re written in the most unpretentious, chatty voice possible, but they’re also weirdly poetic. They stick in your gut. You think about them for days.”

    Ira Glass, host and producer of This American Life

  • “Strangeness abounds. Keret fits so much psychological and social complexity and metaphysical mystery into these quick, wry, jolting, funny, off-handedly fabulist miniatures, they’re like literary magic tricks: no matter how closely you read, you can’t figure out how he does it.”

    Booklist

  • A 2013 Audie Award Finalist for Multi-Voiced Performance
  • A 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Fiction
  • Among shortlisted titles for Audie Award Finalist, 2013
  • Among shortlisted titles for Warwick Prize for Writing Shortlist, 2013
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About the Author

Kendare Blake holds an MA in creative writing from Middlesex University in northern London. She is the author of Anna Dressed in Blood, a Cybils Awards finalist; Girl of Nightmares; Antigoddess; Mortal Gods; and Ungodly. Her books have been featured on multiple best-of-year lists, and have received many regional and librarian awards. Kendare lives and writes in Kent, Washington.

About the Narrators

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received thirty Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.

Ira Glass is the host and creator of the public radio program This American Life. HE started working in public radio in 1978, when he was 19, as an intern at NPR’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Over the next seventeen years, he worked on nearly every NPR news show and did nearly every production job they had: tape-cutter, desk assistant, newscast writer, editor, producer, reporter, and substitute host. He spent a year in a high school for NPR, and a year in an elementary school, filing stories for All Things Considered. He moved to Chicago in 1989 and put This American Life on the air in 1995. In 2013 Ira Glass received the Medal for Spoken Language from the American Academy of Arts & Letters.

Willem Dafoe is an award-winning film, stage, and voice actor. He has starred in such films as Platoon, Shadow of the VampireThe English Patient, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Spider-Man, The Boondock Saints, and numerous others. He can also be heard as the voice of Rat in Fantastic Mr. Fox and as Gill in Finding Nemo.