Matches

by Alan Kaufman

Action / Adventure / Spy / Espionage Debut Books of the Month eBooks of the Month

LoveReading View on Matches

A match is one soldier in Israel Defence Force code.  Israeli soldiers are forbidden to publish their memoirs and so this is presented as fiction.  It is a war book with  blood and guts and gore.  A powerful account of purposeful aggression; a good portrayal of the camaraderie of small groups facing a common danger and a very fine piece of writing indeed.  As an Israeli regular solder, we are given one side of the controversial conflict, but the purpose of this book is not political but rather a portrait of the damage of war on the young men who face it.

Comparison: Norman Mailer, Michael Herr, Mark Bowden.
Similar this month: None but try Henry Porter or Terence Strong.

Sarah Broadhurst

Matches Synopsis

Nathan Falk is an American Jew who leaves the relative comforts of New York City to serve in the Israel Defence Force. But unlike most Jewish Americans who serve in Israel, Falk fights in the Gaza Strip, where soldiers would rather commit suicide that fall into the clutches of their enemies. Patrolling the streets of Gaza in the dead of night, playing a high-stakes off-duty game of Risk with his fellow soldiers, making passionate love to the wife of his best friend, Nathan Falk lives each moment with an increasing awareness of the arbitrary boundary between life and death.


Poet Alan Kaufman writes as only a former soldier could about life in the dark heart of one of the most controversial and unremitting conflicts in the world. In this short, brilliant novel he offers an intensely revealing portrait of the damage war does to the soul of a man.

Matches Press Reviews

"Alan Kaufman is not for everyone. He's strange. This is strange writing. He would be clobbered in most writing workshops. He's not neat, he's not careful, and he goes overboard all over the place. But there's more passion here than you see in 20 other books combined, and he's got a lot to say about the enormous amount he's seen. This is a very crucial book to read at a very crucial time." Dave Eggers

"This is an extraordinary war novel. It is unusual, profound, simple, brutal, and idiosyncratic. I recommend it." David Mamet

"Matches provides us with the same pleasure, pain, and moral compromise that we feel in reading The Red Badge of Courage and Heart of Darkness. A totally transformative reading experience." Thane Rosenbaum

"Great war writing like this comes along once every fifty years.  Kaufman's Matches does for Israeli soldiers and the Middle East conflict what Norman Mailer did for G.I.s in The Naked and The Dead. Matches is not just terrific war fiction: it's a brilliant testament to the madness of war." Barney Rosset

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781845292614
Publication date: 23/02/2006
Publisher: Constable And Robinson
Format: Paperback (b Format)

Book Information

ISBN: 9781845292614
Publication date: 23rd February 2006
Author: Alan Kaufman
Publisher: Constable And Robinson
Format: Paperback (b Format)
Genres: Action Adventure / Spy, Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites,
Categories:

About Alan Kaufman

Alan Kaufman is an American Jew who has served multiple tours of duty with the IDF. He edited The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry and The Outlaw Bible of American Literature. He is also the author of the memoir Jew Boy.

More About Alan Kaufman

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