Posted by: Lisa Hill | March 12, 2014

Limassol (2008), by Yishai Sarid, translated by Barbara Harshaw

LImassolThis is going to sound rather ungrateful because I won this book in a competition run by the Dublin City Library and they sent it to me – along with the entire 2012 IMPAC shortlist of ten books – across the world from Ireland to Australia at vast expense ( €46 which is about $100AUD).  (You might remember that I held a giveaway because I already had three of the books).

But honestly, when I compare Limassol to the other shortlisted titles that I’ve read, it doesn’t rate.   Jon McGregor was the winner with Even the Dogs, which I thought was a truly thought-provoking book (see my review) and I thought that Rocks in the Belly by Jon Bauer and The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna well deserved their places on the shortlist.

But Limassol is just another one of those boring old crime/thriller stories about a disaffected, world-weary male protagonist (yawn) who can’t communicate (yawn) whose marriage is falling apart (yawn) and he’s trapped in a moral quagmire (yawn).  Ok, this time the male protagonist is an Israeli secret service agent, and ok, this time the setting is Israel and all the geopolitical angst that goes with that, but at the end of the day, it’s a tired old plot with tired old characterisation that’s been done to death.

Author: Yishai Sarid
Title: Limassol
Translated by Barbara Harshaw
Publisher: Europa, 2010, first published 2008
ISBN: 9781609450007
Source: Won in a Facebook competition.

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