MJ Nicholls's Reviews > Zoo Time

Zoo Time by Howard Jacobson
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Sep 23, 12

bookshelves: novels, sassysassenachs, tortured-artists
Read from September 22 to 23, 2012

Are you a suicidal novelist clinging to the hope the power of your debut novel will knock the socks off people who have read it all before, know nothing new has been written post-1980, and will reap you enough profit to quit that grinding office job you haven’t got yet because it’s a recession and no one works anywhere doing anything? Then boy howdy, is this not the novel for you! A scathing satire on the state of contemporary publishing, Jacobson is brutally honest about the futility of it all, and also reassuringly humorous about our slow sad slump into suicide at the same time. Panacea for those quiet nights sobbing into your laptop.
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Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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message 1: by P. (new)

P. I've sort of shied away from Jacobson after I found The Finkler Question to be very disappointing, despite all of the Booker hoopla about it.

Your review of this now makes me question my judgment.


message 2: by MJ (last edited Sep 24, 2012 12:32AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls I wanted to do a longer review of this, but all my stamina has been comprehensively strained, it being Sunday eve. It's probably a four-star novel in the final analysis, but I haven't laughed so much at a book in a long time. It is absolutely genuinely gutbusting. So five for Mr. Jacobson. Haven't read Finkler yet, but I gather it's somewhat similar.


message 3: by P. (new)

P. I may have to give it a try, then. I remember Finkler being funny, but not gutbustingly so - almost a bit contrived, if my memory serves me correctly. Perhaps he's matured since then.


message 4: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell A scathing satire on the state of contemporary publishing, Jacobson is brutally honest about the futility of it all, and also reassuringly humorous about our slow sad slump into suicide at the same time

omg SOLD


message 5: by K.D. (new)

K.D. Absolutely I liked the "Finkler" and so I think this book should be a must-read. Thanks for letting me know its existence, MJ.


message 6: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls Moira wrote: "Perhaps he's matured since then."

Jacobson just turned seventy so it's a bit late for the maturing. I think the book is something writers will find more screamingly funny than readers, but who can say?


message 7: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls (Well, the readers who aren't writers can say).


message 8: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls No problem, KD! It just came out a few weeks ago. Eek. That's the closest-to-release I think I've ever come with a book.


message 9: by P. (new)

P. MJ wrote: "I think the book is something writers will find more screamingly funny than readers..."

This sold me.


message 10: by Mike (new)

Mike Puma Boy howdy, indeed.


message 11: by Miette (new) - added it

Miette I need to start a list titled books-to-read-thanks-to-mj-Nichols-reviews. Catchy, memorable.


message 12: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls You do. But you will never never get around to read them all. I have six clones working for me.


message 13: by P. (new)

P. MJ, saw this article in yesterday's Guardian. Thought it might interest you: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/...


message 14: by MJ (new) - rated it 5 stars

MJ Nicholls Proustitute wrote: "MJ, saw this article in yesterday's Guardian. Thought it might interest you:"

Thanks, P-titty. I'm reading it now . . .


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