"Endless surprise twists and hilarious scenes. The finale leaves one happily astonished."-Elena Loewenthal, La Stampa
"Starts out as a psychological drama and becomes a strange, funny, unexpected hybrid: a farce thriller. A great book."-Ma'ariv
Ilan, a middle-aged professor of astrophysics, discovers that his young wife is having an affair. Terrified of losing her, he decides to confront her lover instead. Their meeting ends in the latter's murder-the unlikely murder weapon being Ilan's pipe-and in desperation, Ilan disposes of the body in the fresh grave of his kindergarten teacher. But when the body is discovered . . .
Edna Mazya is one of Israel's most lauded and popular playwrights. In 1997 she received the Margalit Prize for her play Family Story. Her plays include The Uncle from Capetown, The Rebels, and Herod. This is her first novel.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 5.28" Height: 0.71" Weight: 0.57 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2006
Publisher Europa Editions
ISBN 1933372087 ISBN13 9781933372082
Reviews - What do customers think about Love Burns?
"We all know that at critical moments it's everyone for himself." Aug 27, 2006
"Love Burns", the subtle, witty first novel from Israeli playwright, Edna Mazya is narrated by Ilan Ben Nathan, a middle-aged neurotic astrophysics professor who lives in Haifa. Ilan is married to Naomi, and the fact that she's beautiful and young enough to be his daughter just adds to his paranoia. He claims his various anxieties--which he attempts to temper with Valium--stem from the date of their marriage.
When the novel begins, Ilan returns home unexpectedly from work--only to find Naomi gone, and he begins to panic. Within the first few pages, the author humorously captures Ilan's neurotic personality, his tortured anxiety at the thought he might lose Naomi one day, and his obsessive, suffocating love. Ilan deludes himself that he "managed the relationship ... with careful and calculating maturity, guarding against the moment when the halo of important professor would fade to reveal an aging semi-intellectual with a tendency to morbid introspection." Ilan--who's so perfectly crafted that he could be an escapee from a Woody Allen comedy--spends the evening in a state of hysteria--repeatedly telephoning his unsympathetic mother while waiting for Naomi to return.
Although Naomi returns home later that evening, her unexplained absence sparks Ilan's suspicions, and he begins to realize there are "entire areas of her personality" unexplored. He engages in a little amateur detective work, and discovers that Naomi is embroiled in a steamy affair with a brawny, blond, Nick Nolte look-a-like. Ilan decides to monitor the affair rather than immediately confront Naomi about her unconventional lover. While Ilan makes the reasoned, unemotional decision to ignore the affair and share his wife, unfortunately, his obsessive-compulsive personality can't cope, and soon he's following Naomi, monitoring her underwear, donning ridiculous disguises, and spying on his adulterous wife with a telescope.
Just how a neurotic person copes with the discovery that his very worst fears are realized is the substance of this marvelously entertaining novel. Author Edna Mazya explores the actions of her characters with humour, insight and a wonderful degree of well-placed tenderness towards her troubled protagonist. One of the funniest--and most touching--aspects of the novel is the peculiar relationship between Ilan and his mother--a cantankerous woman who treats her son with mordant humour and a "faint mockery which always succeeds in getting to his most exposed places." Since the story is told by Ilan, the novel mirrors his erratic thoughts, so portions are written in run-on sentences, but while William Faulkner-style run-on sentences put me off a book, Mazya's style reflected--and therefore complemented--Ilan's thoughts. Quite frankly, this is one of the best new fiction books, I've read this year--displacedhuman
Irritating style, great ending Aug 14, 2006
I almost put this novel aside when I discovered its irregular punctuation and total lack of paragraphs. I was grateful the author at least had the grace to use a more-or-less standard chapter format. But I had bought the book at an airport and was stuck without other reading material on a five hour flight, so I perservered. I was rewarded with a story filled with irony and insight--and maybe the best ending I've read in a while.