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Love Burns [Paperback]

Edna Mazya

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Book Description

March 1 2006

"Endless surprise twists and hilarious scenes. The finale leaves one happily astonished."-Elena Loewenthal, La Stampa

"Starts out as a psychological drama and becomes a strange, funny, unexpected hybrid: a farce thriller. A great book."-Ma'ariv

Ilan, a middle-aged professor of astrophysics, discovers that his young wife is having an affair. Terrified of losing her, he decides to confront her lover instead. Their meeting ends in the latter's murder-the unlikely murder weapon being Ilan's pipe-and in desperation, Ilan disposes of the body in the fresh grave of his kindergarten teacher. But when the body is discovered . . .

Edna Mazya is one of Israel's most lauded and popular playwrights. In 1997 she received the Margalit Prize for her play Family Story. Her plays include The Uncle from Capetown, The Rebels, and Herod. This is her first novel.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Europa Editions (March 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933372087
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933372082
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.8 x 21.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,071,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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 Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mazya Maze Aug. 8 2010
By Reader Breeder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's difficult for me to find anything wrong with this book. The characters are drawn with a witty, ironic pen. The action is continuous. The style suits the plot so what's to grumble about? You will laugh out loud as it bounces along taking our hero into one predicament after another. It's full of surprises and never bores. I just loved it and I'm certainly not going to tell you anything else. Read it for yourself!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Irritating style, great ending Aug. 14 2006
By Hollyn Chase - Published on Amazon.com
I almost put this novel aside when I discovered its irregular punctuation and total lack of paragraphs. I was grateful the author at least had the grace to use a more-or-less standard chapter format. But I had bought the book at an airport and was stuck without other reading material on a five hour flight, so I perservered. I was rewarded with a story filled with irony and insight--and maybe the best ending I've read in a while.
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Burns Sept. 20 2009
By Trish - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author explores the power of obsession and guilt and the damage it can do at all levels. It is a psychological thriller that sometimes is a little too cerebral. This book is also known under other titles: 1. An X-Ray Burst and 2. The Full Catastrophe.
I suspect that "Love Burns" was a publishers attempt to make the novel more commercial. I personally would have stuck with AN X-RAY BURST.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best June 12 2012
By gerryb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the best books I've read this year (or ever)- a rare find. Immensely readable, funny and and dark. With its great characters and fantastic ending, this it is just about flawless in its tart, icy humor. A kind of cross Beckett and Hitchcock.

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