ellen middlebrook herron's Reviews > The Finkler Question

The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
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's review
Oct 02, 2011

liked it

i grabbed this book off the shelf in the library sort of randomly, because i like to give new (to me) authors a chance. when i read the back cover praise from other writers and that it had won the man booker award for 2010, my expectations were elevated. halfway through reading, i wondered what i was doing in the middle of this book. it seems clear that it was intended for a very particular audience - and there's nothing wrong with that, but i am not part of that demographic. the writing was ok, the questions explored were important, existential ones, but i didn't connect with any of the characters and frankly didn't care how they answered those questions. the sort of main character, treslove, was utterly absurd and unbelievable to me. he would have been perfect in some sort of farce, as his obsessions and characteristics were so over the top. but i detected nothing of the farce in this novel, so to me he just read as a character that doesn't ring true. i'm not exactly sorry i read this book, but i'm not happy i did either.

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