Howard Jacobson

Celebrated novelist Howard Jacobson's most recent novel is Man Booker-nominated 'J'. He has also written 'The Finkler Question', published to great acclaim in 2010. An acerbic critic and broadcaster with a passion for literature and art, he is known for his ebullient wit.

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Finding the sweetest way to be insulting to someone is one of the few consolations left to us

All things considered, calling someone a "swivel-eyed loon" isn't so bad

It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more

Why is Israel alone of all offending countries to be boycotted? Perhaps because it's that offending country which also just happens to be Jewish?

Olivia Colman and David Tennant in 'Broadchurch'

Whodunnits have become so unsatisfactory. The answers never live up to the questions

The climactic moments of Broadchurch and Mad Men are among the least enjoyable

Sex, booze, fags and tweets: We're all addictive creatures and we don't know why

Only addiction can explain tweeting, an activity that appears to be so without sensual satisfaction in itself, but whose side effects are so damaging

We have so much to thank Thatcher for – how to be together in avidity and envy

Today it’s the banker to whom we capitulate, on pain of his taking his talents somewhere else

Knowing Shakespeare fiddled his taxes tells us nothing. And don’t say it makes him ‘human’

It's beginning to look like a horrible nature fires the creative spark

Qatada will now take his legal battle back to the British courts after failing in Strasbourg

Qatada shows that it isn’t only injury we have to quiet; it’s our sense of the preposterous, too

We are told we must protect an advocate of violence from torture in his birth country

Is Jane Eyre happy? Is Hamlet sad? You will never find that out with a Google search tool

This is a technology for which we have no use commensurate to its sophistication

Oh, for a judge who had read Dante or Shakespeare to sum up the tragedy of Vicky Pryce

The best summings up by the best judges are exemplary - this one fell woefully short

Cuneyt Cakir shows Nani a red card

A gross and cruel misjudgement did for Manchester United’s chances against Real Madrid

Where's divine justice when you need it? That red card should have been struck by a thunderbolt and burnt to cinders as Cüneyt Çakir waved it officiously

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The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
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'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
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New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
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12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam