The Full Catastrophe by Edna Mazya

Book Title: The Full Catastrophe

Author: Edna Mazya


Book Review. Edna Mazya is a playwright and director in Israel. The Full Catastrophe is her first novel, and what an achievement it is! From the beginning of the main character, Ilan’s, suspicions of his much younger wife’s unfaithfulness, to the full flight of his obsessive behaviour; the reader is lead deep inside Ilan’s increasingly tortured mind and brilliantly forced by the power of the narrative, to dwell there until the events of the text totally unwind.


Ilan’s journey is triggered by small changes in his wife’s behavior and the nagging feeling that considering his age and his wife’s attractiveness, he has married far above him. Every mannerism of Naomi’s and her every word become focal points for Ilan and he analyses incessantly, feeding his inner frustration at every instance. His mother’s warnings that the match between Ilan and Naomi was and is unwise, only fuels his turmoil.


The tension is heightened as Ilan’s best friend, Anton, works in a Criminal Investigations Department and Ilan becomes more and more convinced that his friend is aware of an act of murder which Ilan’s jealousy leads him to commit. Ilan is sure that Anton is ever ready to spring the charge on his friend and will do so when Ilan least suspects it.


The Full Catastrophe is a totally absorbing novel. Translated into English from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu, it is a novel which it is impossible to recommend too highly.


The Full Catastrophe is published in Australia by Pan Macmillan Australia.