The Finkler Question, by Howard Jacobson

I got this because I thought I'd like Howard Jacobson - I thought he would be in the David Lodge/Malcolm Bradbury mode: intelligent and funny. And it won the Booker prize. But I found it really heavy going.

It's about a guy who's got Jewish friends, and has a sort of weird obsession with Jewishness, to the extent that he thinks he might be Jewish too. To this extent, it's a bit reminiscent of Tubby Passmore in Therapy, but this was more morbid and dry than funny.

I think the writing was fairly competent, and I sort of kept going even though I wasn't enjoying it, because I assumed it must have been pretty good to win the Booker. But then It Had To Be You turned up, I started that, and experienced a glorious sense of freedom from reading something enjoyable.

I then checked Amazon, and quite a lot of the reviewers there seem to have had the same experience as me: not enjoying the book at all, and a sense of bewilderment that it could have been so highly praised.

So I gave up.

Gave up : 27-Jun-2011

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