• The Seven Good Years

  • A Memoir
  • By: Etgar Keret
  • Narrated by: Alex Karpovsky
  • Length: 3 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (151 ratings)

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The Seven Good Years  By  cover art

The Seven Good Years

By: Etgar Keret
Narrated by: Alex Karpovsky
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Publisher's Summary

A brilliant, life-affirming, and hilarious memoir from a “genius” (The New York Times) and master storyteller.

The seven years between the birth of Etgar Keret’s son and the death of his father were good years, though still full of reasons to worry. Lev is born in the midst of a terrorist attack. Etgar’s father gets cancer. The threat of constant war looms over their home and permeates daily life.

What emerges from this dark reality is a series of sublimely absurd ruminations on everything from Etgar’s three-year-old son’s impending military service to the terrorist mind-set behind Angry Birds. There’s Lev’s insistence that he is a cat, releasing him from any human responsibilities or rules. Etgar’s siblings, all very different people who have chosen radically divergent paths in life, come together after his father’s shivah to experience the grief and love that tie a family together forever.

This wise, witty memoir - Etgar’s first nonfiction book published in America, and told in his inimitable style - is full of wonder and life and love, poignant insights, and irrepressible humor.

©2015 Etgar Keret (P)2015 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Terrific...As funny, as dark, and somehow as sweet as his fiction.” (David Remnick)

"At once funny and profound, The Seven Good Years is a gem. Etgar Keret approaches memoir the way he does fiction - from surprising angles, with a sly wit, and bracing frankness. Read him, and the world will never look the same again.” (Claire Messud)

“I don’t know how Etgar Keret does it, but he can turn anything into a brilliant story. The Seven Good Years is full of them, and they happen to be true, and full of love, kindness, wisdom, humor and stuff I long for as a reader but cannot quite name. Keret’s writing is soul-healing.” (Aleksandar Hemon)   

What listeners say about The Seven Good Years

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Distinctive Stories, Kind of 'Meh' Narration

The Seven Good Years is a loose collection of anecdotes and observations from Israeli writer Etgar Keret's life, starting with the birth of his son and progressing through the next seven years. Parts of it were very irreverent and funny! I haven't read a lot of work by modern Israeli writers, and Keret's voice seemed pretty distinctive to me — very wry and sardonic. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict loomed large, as well as the recent past of Keret's parents fleeing Poland during the Holocaust, and these things lent a certain nihilistic comic relief to situations like what to do when you're being cornered by a cable telemarketer.

This collection is super short, yet I didn't think it made for a great listen. The format of loose observations made it hard to latch onto a narrative thread while listening. And then there's Alex Karpovsky, who narrates — I like him as an actor, but as a narrator he was honestly kind of meh. I did enjoy it, but I'm not sure it will stand out at the end of the year when I look back on what I've listened to.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing Stories

I laughed and cried and worries and was relieved. So funny and so sad at the same time.

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i somtimes couldn't understand the words

its can really help if you also combine reading.
the book was very good. and its nice to hear a book, but i didnt understand all the word and if i could read somtines when he speak, it was help

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made me laugh/ made me cry

easy to listen to/ I loved the importance of family how it connects us/ and how we survive despite war and fear and cruelty and we find a way to survive, rescued by the love for our children.

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short stories

I loved the variety of the stories. Some are humorous, some serious but underlying all of them is a profound humanity and philosophy of life.. The reader is superb.

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Gd but never great

Enjoyable but never where I wanted to rush out and share. Maybe not good commute material?