Book – The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson

Generally speaking, if a book appears on the Booker prize list I stay away from it. I find it hard to concentrate on reading (on anything) at the best of times and if a whole paragraph is used to describe how a cup is chipped and why that is significant, my mind wonders off to all the cups I have, the ones, I have broken, the special ones picked up on my travels…..

Darn it; I’ve used a whole paragraph to describe why I can’t concentrate.

Having said that, I enjoyed this story and if I understand it right, it’s about 3 gentlemen; Libor who is twice as old as the others and recently widowed by the love of his entire life; Samuel, also widowed although not the same kind of relationship due to his philandering and Julian.

The story is told through Julian’s longing to be a Jew or sometimes even thinking he is one. Unlike his two married Jewish friends, he has remained a bachelor despite fathering two grown up children with whom he has virtually no relationship. The book tells each man’s stories of their relationships, their friendships, their career choices and their Jewness.

Julian is constantly agonising as by no means has he lived a pure life and is paranoid that it will all end prematurely anyway. He has skipped from job to job and pays particular high disregard to his former long term employer, the BBC (I’m guessing there’s something the author was trying to tell us). He now works as a lookalike of any celebrity that is male and of similar build it seems, whereas his more driven friends are a hugely accomplished; author/TV star respectively and their retired teacher.

It is actually a very good read – well obviously it is; it’s in the short list for Booker Prize and I’m glad I read it.
I imagine you will be too.
7/10 Inspiration factor 7½/10

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