This engaging epistolary novel, set in contemporary Israel, is both comic and Kafkaesque. Its two protagonists embark on journeys studded with adventure, uncertainty and existential tests.
Michael is a bourgeois lawyer, divorced, conservative, dull and accustomed to living alone with his cat. With uncharacteristic impulsiveness, he decides to travel, to set out for unknown destinations, as far away as possible, to the ends of the earth and the soul. In his journey he discovers more about this world and also the one which lies beyond, the one that enables its believers to inhabit former lives, to speak with the dead and peer far into the future.
His nephew Nadav is a soldier whose story is as funny as it is despairing. A sweet kid from a good home in Jerusalem, who writes poetry in secret and is on the lookout for love, has begun his army service. Nadav is not blind to the ironies and inanities that surround him. With unsparing accuracy he follows the chain of events that leads him as far away as possible, to a bleak antenna base at the far reaches of the Negev desert.
With rich linguistic flair, Hilu creates in AS FAR AS POSSIBLE the complex worlds inhabited by Michael and Nadav, hurtling through opposing as well as mirroring processes, one toward spirituality and liberation and the other toward militarism and crudeness. The two characters seem so real and their journeys so compelling they linger in the imagination long after the book’s last sentence.
Rights Sold to:
Holland, Ambo/Anthos; Israel, Yediot/Miskal
“Alon Hilu has a fresh, smooth style; the different philosophies and contemplations are conveyed quite naturally. […] As Far Away As Possible is a tragicomic novel full of compassion. […] Hilu has a hilarious final number in the epilogue.” – Tzum
“With his compelling style and dark humor Alon Hilu has become a prominent literary voice in Israel.” – Trouw
“Hilu…can develop a complex plot with clarity and freshness. He has a genuine and proven ability to tell a story, and his prose is fresh, pleasant and fluent… [F]rom its beginning, this is a book that knows how to touch and to penetrate…” – David Rosenthal, Walla!
“As Far Away As Possible is an optimistic novel…With beautiful language Alon Hilu has created a complex world.” – Chapeau Magazine
“As Far Away As Possible is mostly an optimistic book in which the characters have the choice to take a different path…It is beautifully written.” – Havenloods Charlois