Tara Whiteson's Reviews > The Finkler Question

The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
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Nov 16, 11


I loved the concept of the gentile protagonist, Treslove, believing intuitively that he is Jewish. He can't quite compute that he is not and tries to appropriate a Jewish lifestyle even choosing a Jewish girlfriend and sleeping with his friend's Jewish wife. He becomes the victim of what he perceives to be an anti-semetic mugging, and derides Finkler, his self-hating Jewish friend's assertion, that it couldn't be an act of anti-semitism as Treslove isn't Jewish. The novel embraces the wider political debate about Zionism therefore 'The Finkler Question' successfully entwines both public and intensely private philosophical and religious debates.

Jacobson's writing style is easy to read and humorous throughout, even - or perhaps especially - when dealing with difficult concepts, such as death, grief and loss. He has a very 'Jewish' style to his prose full of cynicism and black humour; I can imagine him shrugging as he formulates his words. Whilst others have felt the politics are rather heavy-handed and that the book would have been more successful as a shorter novel, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. The characters are realistic and convincing and their identity struggles starkly real.
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message 1: by Fiona (new) - added it

Fiona This sounds perfect for 'identity' issues in AS.


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