Bloomsbury £7.99 (384pp) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The Finkler Question, By Howard Jacobson
Friday 06 May 2011
With Jacobson, and especially on this Man Booker-winning form, you sign up for the process - for the uproarious, heart-rending journey - and not for some imaginary "closure". As with literature, so with life.
Some readers complain about the talky plotlessness of the novel that at last snared Jacobson the bauble he thought would forever elude him. Well, as his three wrangling friends – two history-haunted, philosophising London Jews and a touching, comic wannabe called (what else?) Julian – come to know too well, our human plot can end only one way.
Until it does (and grief in many forms shapes and shadows all the bitingly intelligent comedy on display here) they – and we – must keep talking, joking, trying to understand. Failing again. Failing better.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
Miley Cyrus concert banned on morality grounds in the Dominican Republic
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
American film board gives gay film Love Is Strange R-rating despite no sex or violence
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians