Ben and Marian Mendelssohn love each other deeply.  After Marian dies in a freak accident, Ben, utterly convinced in the reality of an afterlife and with no children to take care of,  kills himself to join her there.  Once he arrives in the afterlife, he has trouble finding Marian and eventually wonders if she really is dead.  He even hires a private detective.

Israeli author Ofir  Touche  Gafla  displays a rich imagination in this, his first, book (published in 2005) and his second translated into English. Indeed it is almost too rich as it creates a profusion  of secondary plots. The afterlife he depicts is in some ways similar to earthly life and in some ways very different. In addition to the main population, there are those who are on life support and hence live between the two worlds of life and death, and those who died before, at, or immediately after, birth.

The tale has many comical moments as well as some serious ones   Many of the characters Mr. Gafla creates are, in their way, nearly as odd as the afterlife he invents.  Indeed while his depiction of the afterlife is fun, this tale is not really an exploration of something so unknowable as death or the next  world.  It is, at times,  a consideration of particular human beings, some of them  grotesque.   I found this sprawling, quirky  fanciful novel  not deep but inventive and engaging.