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Whatever It Is, I Don’t Like It

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  108 ratings  ·  16 reviews
It takes a particular kind of man to want an embroidered polo player astride his left nipple. Occasionally, when I am tired and emotional, or consumed with self-dislike, I try to imagine myself as someone else, a wearer of Yarmouth shirts and fleecy sweats, of windbreakers and rugged Tyler shorts, of baseball caps with polo players where the section of the brain that conce ...more
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published September 10th 2011 by Bloomsbury UK (first published September 1st 2011)
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MJ Nicholls
When semi-successful novelists publish x number of well-reviewed books and have large enough public or media profiles, broadsheets offer them weekly or fortnightly columns which, depending on their popularity, can run for years and years and provide the novelists with an influx of extra income, saving them from the necessary lunge into teaching or humiliating copyediting work for conglomerate ghouls. This seems a more standard practice in Britain than America, where commissioned articles (i.e. e ...more
Reminds me of Christopher Hitchens in that 1) he’s an intellectual, and 2) sometimes he drags in references to ideas/events/people I’m blank on…however he doesn’t do that as much as Hitchens, and he’s more readable than Hitchens.

However, he’s at least as thought-provoking and stimulating as Hitchens, and he can write an essay-length statement on something that ends with the splendid (and sometimes shocking) ending of great essays, something I always admire.
Benjamin Obler
Dec 20, 2014 Benjamin Obler rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Josh
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm completely charmed. And edified. And enlightened. And admiring. Jacobsen's voice strikes a delightful mix of humor, erudition, insight, and reflection. He only touches on current events enough to ground each essay in topicality. He's not capable of belligerence--he is an Englishman after all. But he's also somehow managed to divest all snootiness, if he ever had any. And his wit is so dry, you'll want a lozenges, lotion, steamers--yet it doesn't chafe.

Don't let the title fool you: these are
Clayton H
Jacobson has an acute observational intellect that is only bested by his literary gift as a writer. To put the two abilities together in one person, well, God mustn't have been paying attention.

Thank God!

After reading this collection of articles from his newspaper column I'm left to wonder if Jacobson could (can) do comedy - I admit to having not read his novels yet - and I may do so now - but if he was twenty years younger I'd have wagered he could (had he'd been inclined and his income depen
Jacobson is acerbic, funny, annoying, and insightful. He can be scary but always articulate. I found him real. Some parts of this book really added to my thinking, which I appreciate very much.
Enjoyable - partly because they are bite-size article-length pieces on a wide variety of topics which are frequently humorous, but also I think because Mr Jacobson tackles subjects that others avoid and is prepared to say things which are decidedly un-p.c. at times. It is also good to read a columnist whose self-deprecation appears to be sincere and without the hidden motive of making you want to think more favourably of him. Realism, especially when personally directed, is a rare quality, and o ...more

"Whatever it is" is a collection of Jacobson's columns for the Independent newspaper.
This was a joy to read – Jacobson has a beautiful way with words – mellifluous if you like. His topics are wide ranging - from menacing cyclists to porn for the Prince,from popular culture to politics - he almost comes across as a bit of a curmudgeon but this is thoroughly tempered by his beautifully humorous turn of phrase. Very funny
Sarah Hunter
I'm sure this guy is sick of Woody Allen comparison's! Apologies Howard, but here's another one :) A great read that rocks along - he's more intellectual than Woody - less whimsical. Expect lots of laughs and be prepared to have your outlook altered. I want to give it 3.5 stars but don't know how.
Mixed bag, like most short article books, some I loved, some were ok and some bored me. He is a clever and articulate writer and I think I may have enjoyed the book more had I read a few at a time (perhaps between other books) rather than trying to read it all at once.
I have no idea why but I couldn't listen to more than a few chapter of this book. Perhaps it was the sound of the author's voice that I couldn't get into, I'm really not sure I just didn't enjoy this award winning book.
An interesting read, a collection of articles and each one gives you pause to consider. I have not read any Howard Jacobson before and I did enjoy this. I like his insights, humour and ability to not take himself seriously.
John Marshall Mills
Excellent pull together of his newspaper pieces.
Much enjoyed the variety, perspectives and humour
Pastor Dennis
I will begin reading this book most likely this weekend on Christmas Day~

Pastor Dennis
Entertaining, thought-provoking, funny and wonderful writing.
The man is a hero of mine, plain and simple.
Mike marked it as to-read
Dec 15, 2014
Andrea Hames
Andrea Hames marked it as to-read
Dec 11, 2014
Yuchin Villa
Yuchin Villa marked it as to-read
Dec 10, 2014
Glool marked it as to-read
Nov 22, 2014
Andy Mckinney
Andy Mckinney is currently reading it
Nov 04, 2014
Angela marked it as to-read
Oct 19, 2014
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Howard Jacobson was born in Manchester, England, and educated at Cambridge. His many novels include The Mighty Walzer (winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize), Who’s Sorry Now? and Kalooki Nights (both longlisted for the Man Booker Prize), and, most recently, The Act of Love. Jacobson is also a respected critic and broadcaster, and writes a weekly column for the Independent. He lives in ...more
More about Howard Jacobson...
The Finkler Question J Kalooki Nights Zoo Time The Mighty Walzer

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