From Publishers Weekly
In this surprisingly fresh, deeply sardonic debut novel from a famed Israeli playwright, obsessive love drives a middle-aged man to murder. Ilhan, a brilliant astrophysics professor whose life revolves around his young wife, Naomi, tries desperately to hang on to reality after uncovering her passionate affair with a charismatic nature photographer. Burdened by anxiety and self-doubt—which he treats with calls to mom and plenty of Valium cocktails— the professor tries to ignore the romance in the hope it will fizzle. His eventual confrontation with Naomi's alluring lover turns homicidal, resulting in the photographer's late-night burial in the relatively new grave of Ilhan's dead kindergarten teacher. Piling guilt and paranoia on top of overwhelming angst, the neurotic professor struggles to keep his macabre secret from Naomi, and from Anton, his buddy who just happens to be a detective. It shouldn't add up, but Mayza, in first-person narration that shifts jarringly from matter-of-fact to vertiginous, makes Ilhan at once identifiable and deeply alien. She skillfully conveys a personality in collapse, while satirizing every one of the clichés to which it succumbs. (Mar.)
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In this debut novel, award-winning Israeli playwright Mazya offers a mordant meditation on the assets and liabilities of a May-December romance. Middle-age astrophysics professor Ilan Ben Nathan suspects his nubile young wife, Naomi, is having an affair. After observing Naomi and her lover in the midst of a tryst, he decides to confront the man (a disheveled Russian immigrant who's a dead ringer for Nick Nolte) at his Haifa abode. A moment of rage leads to murder with a weapon that's an ingenious twist on the proverbial smoking gun. Ilan must determine how best to dispose of the body, and he turns to his unsentimental mother, who offers a macabre solution that alters both of their lives. A professor of dramatic writing at Tel Aviv University, Mazya renders complex characters and clever dialogue, though Ilan's stream-of-consciousness reflections may be tiresome for some. This European best-seller is sure to win over American readers with its provocative blend of sly humor and suspense. Allison BlockCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved