Mike's Place: A True Story of Love, Blues, and Terror in Tel Aviv by Jack Baxter and Joshua Faudem
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published June 9th 2015 by First Second
A true story based on the authors' experience in Israel, 2003. It centres around two men who are making a documentary about Mike's Place, a bar where all people, of any religion or politics, are welcome, but the same are always left outside the door as Mike's is a place where people let it hang loose and be themselves, getting along with each other as fellow people. Just by looking at the cover of the book the reader knows something horrific is going to happen and most of the book leads up to this point so the reader has an impending sense of doom waiting for that to happen. Writing about the Middle East is a difficult topic to cover seeing most people are heavily one side or the other with current events. The authors have managed to show us though how Arabs and Jews living on the same street, sitting in the same bar, can and do get together, talk, are friends, and have lives where they don't think about politics and religion all the live long day. "Normal" life does exist in there behind it all. We are also shown the appreciation they have for the country itself. The beautiful weather, beaches and landscapes. A place where people should want to live. After the bombing there are poignant moments as everyone deals with what happened in their own way, but ultimately for the greater good.