‘ “Matches” is the IDF code term for a soldier. Among the troops, it has come to mean someone who strikes, burns and dies.’
Nathan Falk is an American Jew who leaves the relative comforts of New York City to serve in the Israel Defence Force. But unlike most Jewish Americans who serve in Israel, Falk fights in the Gaza Strip, where soldiers would rather commit suicide that fall into the clutches of their enemies. Patrolling the streets of Gaza in the dead of night, playing a high-stakes off-duty game of Risk with his fellow soldiers, making passionate love to the wife of his best friend, Nathan Falk lives each moment with an increasing awareness of the arbitrary boundary between life and death.
Poet Alan Kaufman writes as only a former soldier could about life in the dark heart of one of the most controversial and unremitting conflicts in the world. In this short, brilliant novel he offers an intensely revealing portrait of the damage war does to the soul of a man.