Something of a puff for expat Israeli saxophonist and polemicist Gilad Atzmon in The Independent. Like Artie Shaw, Atzmon is more than just a jobbing musician. (I'm a fan of his album, "Nostalgico".) What the article doesn't quite bring out - despite its polite health warning - is the sheer viciousness of his views on his native land. Nazi analogies are thrown around with demented glee; just about every Israeli seems to be either a psychopath, a huckster or both. I interviewed him once. He's actually very likeable, but he really does inhabit the outer fringes of Chomskyite reality.

I can't see his new novel, "My One and Only Love", getting much of a readership - it's a tedious would-be satire which draws part of its inspiration from an Israeli impresario's plan to milk Germans' sense of guilt over the Holocaust. If Atzmon were Philip Roth, he might just get away with it. But he ain't. As for his last book, "A Guide To The Perplexed", I broke the rule of a lifetime and dropped it in the dustbin after I'd finished it. Normally, I give unwanted books to Oxfam. This time I didn't want to take the risk of contaminating any unsuspecting reader. (Which is why I'm not linking, in case you're wondering.)

I see he's persona non grata with Harry's Place, Normblog and Oliver Kamm too. Quite a feat.

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/03/little-big-horn-something-of-puff-for.html|||3/26/2005 12:20:00 am|||||||||