The Guide to the Coming Days
Your name is Ben Schwartzman.
You’re standing in a bookstore that’s closing in five minutes, and you’re reading the back cover of this book.
You’re wondering if the back cover is referring to you. Well, yes, it is. It’s talking about you. And to you.
You’re in a precarious position, my friend.
If you turn your attention to the store’s display window and look through it, toward the street, you’ll see someone standing there; someone who has been following you for the past half-hour, at least.
There’s no time for explanations.
This is just a back cover and the bookstore, as stated earlier, is about to close. Take this book, buy it, put it in your bag, and head straight home. Don’t look back, but be conscious of the fact that someone is following you.
Go home and read me.
It may well be a matter of life and death.
In his second book alone, Blum stands in the front row, no less, of Israeli fiction writers.
With a little Hitchcock and a lot of Walt Disney, “The Guide to the Coming Days” is a dizzying roller coaster, with familiar images from popular culture […] formed in the reader’s imagination, but are also drawn from his memory.
[…] The novel was indeed written with joy of life, and this joy effects the reader. His real pretense – and this is a completely pretentious book – is rooted precisely in the lack of pretense with which he deals with weighty issues such as the status of the author, the role of literature, and also what is the emotion called “love” and how popular culture offers us emotions and experiences.
His game with the medium (albeit very simple) is brilliantly executed, one that is revealed to the reader slowly, sometimes only after he has finished reading the book, when he discovers another piece of clue that makes this book extraordinary.
[…] Written in a fluent, fun and convincing way, and succeeds in breaking conventions and remaining true to itself until the last moment.
Blum’s writing is fun. A lot of fun. It flows and makes you want to keep reading. There is no “Suspense” in the conventional sense of the word, but there are some small waves of tension in each chapter that stimulate the reader to read on. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed a new book so much.