Synopses & Reviews
Blind, fatherless, homosexual, Russian émigré speechwriter Nathan Kazakov has enough problems even before his left ear is obliterated by a bullet presumably meant for his employer, the hawkish prime minister of Israel. Consumed by the desire to discover exactly what happened, Nathan begins an investigation that leads him into a web of conspiracies involving messianic orthodox settlers, Arab terrorists, and the Israeli secret service. Was the bullet intended for Nathan? for the prime minister? or perhaps for the prime minister's charismatic son Gabriel, an archaeologist who does not share his father's politics? One clue leads to Leviticus, another beneath the Temple Mount. Told by the blind hero as he staggers through Jerusalem, Strange Fire is a fiercely compelling, darkly comic literary tour de force fueled by Melvin Jules Bukiet's singular imagination.
"[Bukiet's] place...may lie somewhere between Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses and the late Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove." The Washington Post
"The world of Nathan Kazakov is composed of platitudes, poetry, shadows, sounds
and smells (mostly, or most enticingly, of men)....It could be Tom Clancy, minus the ham-fisted prose. Bukiet's prose is, in fact,
so beautiful that it often overshadows the complicated plot of international
intrigue....One does not see Israel through Nathan's eyes, but one feels it, smells it,
and hears its cadences. And for all of the suspense, the politics and the darkness
lurking in the eaves, the wisdom of this novel comes from the fact that our
(lame, blind, jaded, earless) guide is endowed with such wit, intelligence and
humanity." Amy Benfer, Salon.com
Blind, fatherless, homosexual, emigre speechwriter Nathan Kazakov has enough problems before his left ear is obliterated by a bullet meant for his employer, the prime minister of Israel. Nathan begins an investigation that leads him into a web of messianic orthodox settlers, Arab terrorists, and the Israeli secret service. Told by the blind hero as he staggers through Jerusalem, Strange Fire is a compelling, darkly comic tour de force.
About the Author
Melvin Jules Bukiet is the author of five other works of fiction, most recently Signs and Wonders. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in New York City.