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Cover Art - Tmima Sharon

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Rafi's World is a hard-hitting novel that takes an unflinching look at the brutal realities of the Other Israel and its emerging criminal class. Set in the late 1980s as the country undergoes its final transformation into a Western-style consumer society, it tells the story of those left behind in the ruins of the Zionist dream. Rafi Cohen, a smalltime hood, moves through the mean streets of the urban jungle in an Israel rarely before seen. Driven by hatred and alienated from the world around him, he hurtles toward his inevitable end in a gripping story that illuminates the darker corners of Israeli society.

About the Author:

Fred Russell is the pen name of an American-born writer living in Israel. His work has appeared in Third Coast, Polluto, Fiction on the Web, Static Movement’s Speculative Long Fiction Anthology, Wilderness House Literary Review, Ontologica, Citizens for Decent Literature, and Fear of Monkeys.


Rafi’s World is stark and devastating. Rafi Cohen does not live; he exists. Like a mere thing, he is a creature outside politics, love, trust and faith. He is also a member of Israel’s underclass. In this novel, with its blistering, violent prose, Rafi is a warning about Israel’s capacity—in fact, any State’s ability—either to rescue or quarantine those who have no hope. In fact, the novel’s question is how to deal with those who have decided to slough off what we call the mantle of humanity.

—Lewis Fried, author of Handbook of American Jewish Literature