The Finkler Question
"He should have seen it coming. His life had been one mishap after another. So he should have been prepared for this one…"
Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular former BBC radio producer, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and v
I dunno how exactly, but I did not lose myself in admiration of Jacobson while reading The Finkler Question.
Two friends of Julian Treslov...more
Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question has a central question that falls perfectly in the Booker court: what is Jewishness? And what does it mean to be Jewish in England today? It's a question that...more
This tiresome obsession was sparked by an incident in which he was mugged by someone who, he believed, mistook him for a Jew. From then on Julian's thoughts are dominated by ways of being Jewish. H...more
Funny and refreshing. Most of the half of those books that I've read were downright depressing including the last winner, Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending. So, this book by Jacobson that won in 2...more
Look at the back of the book. Everyone (other writers, newspapers etc) say how wonderful this book is. How he is the funniest writer alive. Blah Blah Blah.
Maybe I am not the demographic for a Jewish crisis of existence book but it did not make me laugh once, nothing really happended and it was as dull as dish water.
Repition of themes, events, sayings, jokes, characteristics cannot be expected to carry a novel over 370 pages. And I imagine that the J E and W keys...more
The first thing I must elucidate is that Finkler and the others seem to be more concerned with melancholic satire and the humour may not be too ama...more
It's about anti-semitism in particular, but more generally about other-ness and self, about hatred, jealousy and love. The first 2/3 is laugh out loud funny, so much so that I attracted attention from my kids (what's so funny, Mom?), my h (who took the kobo from me to read a passage) and strangers who looked around to see the hilarity for themselves (in the girl...more
The narrator Treslove is a Gentile but feels that he is more Jewish than his two buddies, Finkler and Libor, taking on a Jewish girlfriend, wallowing in his guilt and shame, learning Yiddish and even willing to submit to circumcision. His two Jewish friends however feel that “a minor indiscretion, or two, does not matter,” and shrug off Treslove, saying that he can never become one of them – there is more to...more
Funny. Scathing. Humourous. Satiric. Trivial. Serious. 'Jocoserious'. Mad. Repetitive. Circular. Sensible. Nonsensical. Touching.
The Finkler Question has something to do with Jewishness, something to do with Jewish people, nothing to do with 'Issrrae', something to do with the image of Israel, and everything to do with human nature.
Go read it!!!
First of all, this could probably be described as a "novel of ideas,"...more
Stepping aside from the central Jewish question for a moment, I think what bugs me is the feeling that this is...more
Early on, I began to wonder to whom I might recommend the book. Would it be to someone who enjoys interesting characters with redeemable qualities? I don't think so. I felt the male characters ranged from unbearable (2 of 3) to nearly bearable (1). The single (living) female character left me generally perplexed...more
Although the story is about the exp...more
“You could divide the world into those who wanted to kill Jews and those who wanted to be Jews.” versus “We’re all anti-Semites. We have no choice. You. Me. Everyone.”
When I was young I read Exodus and all of the writing of Leon Uris. I read Anne Frank and Phillip Roth. Chaim Potok. Went to see Woody Allan movies. Read Elie Wiesel. Tried to get up to speed on things like the Holocaust. On gefilte fish, Shabbat and other things Jewish. A bit of a fascination re...more
Through this tale of three friends, Jacobson explores the elusive qualities of Jewishness in contemporary Britain.
First we have Treslove, a directionless Gentile who tries on a Jewish identity, embarking on a relationship with a Jewish woman, Hephzibah, and immersing himself in Jewish lore, ritual, and language. Next we have two recent widowers, Finkler and Libor. Libor, a 90 year old Czech Jew, had a career as a Hollywood gossip columnist, and enjoyed friends...more
Author Howard Jacobson gets a lot right in this book. For example, he can certainly turn a phrase when he wants to; he describes Treslove's father as "a man who stood so stra...more
|Jewish readers: did you relate and like this book?||8||54||May 31, 2014 03:38PM|
|Not impressed by Finkler||19||165||Nov 21, 2013 12:04AM|
|Interview with Harold Jacobson at Toronto Public Library||1||27||Apr 07, 2011 08:00AM|
|Howard Jacobson answering questions on Classic FM's Facebook Page this Sunday||1||13||Nov 25, 2010 08:47AM|