Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Grossman, David "The Zig Zag Kid"

Grossman, David "The Zig Zag Kid" (Hebrew: יש ילדים זיגזג/Jesh Jeladim) - 1994

A fascinating story about a boy growing up and finding his way, finding answers to so many questions he didn't even know he had. Nonno, the zig zag kid, the kid that is different from other kids, and not only because his mother died when he was little.

He is meant to go and visit his uncle in Haifa but instead gets kidnapped by a Romanian criminal. Only, he doesn't have the feeling he is kidnapped, it's all a big adventury.

The story is mysterious, I couldn't stop reading. It's funny, there is so much to laugh about. I especially like Felix Glick, the kidnapper whose first and last name both mean luck, one in Latin, the other in yiddish. David Grossman manages to write in a fascinating way, he captures your attention, makes you think about what will happen next. We try to follow the mindset of the 13 year old Nonno who is impressed by his new surroundings. And with the help of this brilliant writer, we even achieve that.

I read this book in the German translation. This was only the second book I read by this author but certainly not the last one.

From the back cover: "Twelve-year-old Nonny Feuerberg's father is the world's greatest detective, wholly dedicated to the war on crime. Nonny aspires to follow in his father's footsteps but, to his father's dismay, his wild side keeps breaking out. Then all of a sudden Nonny finds himself traveling on a train with the magnetic, elegant Felix Glick, international outlaw extraordinaire. Not until Felix has hijacked the locomotive and whisked Nonny off on a quest for the trademark purple scarf of the great actress Lola Ciperola does Nonny realize that he is in the hands of a kindly and fascinating kidnapper - and that, though he himself knows almost nothing about his own mother, who died when he was a baby, both Felix and Lola seem to know a lot about her.

A hijacked train whisks an imaginative young boy on an unforgettable adventure, in which he makes discoveries about his own family's past and a wild woman who rescued his Israeli policeman father from a vat of chocolate."

I also read "To the End of the Land" (אשה בורחת מבשורה/Isha Nimletet Mi'Bshora) by David Grossman.

David Grossman received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (Friedenspreis) in 2010.


  1. Wonderful! I also read To the End of the Land and was deeply moved. I think Grossman is an amazing authorl

    1. He definitely is a great author. I've been reading boooks by the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade for a while now and a lot of them have later received the Nobel Prize for Literature. I wouldn't be surprised if he was one of them one day.

      Have a good weekend,