Stockholm by Noa Yedlin


Israeli author Noa Yedlin’s new work, Stockholm, is packed with hijinks, shenanigans, escapade and ‘best laid plans’ that go terribly awry.   


It’s only a few days before, “the call," announcing the winner of the prestigious Nobel Prize. A shoo-in for the coveted recognition in Economics, Avishay Sar-Shalom "shuffles off his mortal coil."— he kicks the bucket. However, his dearest and nearest sidekicks won’t endure something as insignificant as Avishay’s death, by assumed heart attack, to stop him from receiving the grand prize –and the million bucks attached to it. Fully aware of the Nobel Committee’s unbreakable rule, Avishay’s friends understand the initial contact is made with the recipient personally. That call is eight days away. They devise a plan to “revive” their cash cow. But can they keep their money train running for eight days. The four amigos don’t lack imagination.


Their fertile minds collude in several wacky ways to keep Avishay current, until he is recognized in the global academic world. They agree there must be some way to resurrect their beloved friend. In fact, they depend on it. Zahora, a struggling ghostwriter feels entitled to gain financially. After all, she has been Avishay’s “common- law wife” for twenty years. Yehuda is anticipating bathing in the laureate’s foreword to his upcoming book and fellow economist, Amos admittedly heaves a sigh of relief. All his life Amos has had to play second fiddle to his now departed chum, a far more gifted colleague.


Zahara and Yehuda generously volunteer to handle any incoming e-mail messages. Nili, a brainy pediatrician, the resourceful mastermind of the group, magnanimously offers free medical advice suggesting to lower the room temperature in Avishay’s bedroom. This act would go a long way to preserve Avishay’s body. Reverently, the four musketeers take the trouble to close the windows to prevent the inevitable entry of flies. But can they circumvent Ruthi?


Ruthi is Avishay’s sister. Without exception, Ruthi visits her brother every weekend. They must get the body out. The group agrees. Yehuda’s luxurious apartment is available now that his wife, Edit, is abroad, again. However, ‘a funny thing happened on the way’ to Yehuda’s place. A catastrophe that complicated their plan calling for additional chicanery, subterfuge, a dollop of macabre skullduggery and artful deceit when the fearless four try to pull off a gambit that proves more ‘weighty’ than they bargained for. 


Yeldin’s translator, Jessica Cohen, writes, “Yeldin’s virtuosity and fluency in writing allows us to know each character intimately as though we were personally experiencing their individual thoughts words and deeds." But would we want any part of those dastardly deeds? A delightful diversion, Stockhom, will have you giggling and laughing out loud. Who wouldn’t want that?