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Winegarden

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Winegarden recounts episodes in the life of Jacob Winegarden, an agnostic Jewish professor of theoretical physics whose speciality is ‘thought experimentation’. A burly, vague, distracted man, a fan of popular films such as Toy Story and Fantastic Voyage, Jacob is still forlornly infatuated with his enigmatic wife, Miriam. She brings him back to reality: he is in a world o ...more
Paperback, 92 pages
Published October 8th 2015 by Holland Park Press
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Yasmin
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novella is easy to read and hard to review. I thought I'd better say that at the outset, because any honest review is likely to be tougher on the readers' patience than the book itself, which is a joy. That's why it has taken me so long to write a review.

This is what I wrote in my notebook immediately after finishing Winegarden - "Winegarden is a difficult novel to review. For one thing, it is both a novel, and not a novel; a novella, a collection of linked short stories, a constantly shift
...more
Alan
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A novella about a Jewish professor of 'Non Empirical Experimentation', his ruminations on the multiverse and quantum physics, and his uncertain relationship with his wife: may not sound thrilling, but this book is superb: thought provoking, moving and absorbing. It is a celebration of uncertainty, of not-knowing, not only if the cat in Schrodinger's box is alive or dead, but if a man can truly know another, including his wife, of believing and not believing, faith and truth and ritual. If it all ...more
African Americans on the Move Book Club
Winegarden is a short story about Jacob Winegarden. He is a smart, shy, somewhat timid physicist and a professor at a university. While being raised religious, as an adult Winegarden is an agnostic. He doesn't believe that God exists, and he doesn't believe that He doesn't. Throughout the novel we get a closer look as to why his beliefs changed. The novel is a series of flash backs over the course of Winegarden's life. We learn about his complicated marriage with Miriam, where he struggles to b ...more
Sibyl
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am not sure what this book is. A novel? A novella? (It's about one hundred pages long.) A set of linked short stories?

A rabbinical discourse? A meditation on love and death? A Woody Allenesque stand up routine?

All of the above. None of them.

(The never quite knowing is important.)

'Winegarden' reminded me of another book with a Jewish protagonist, 'Ulysses' (Both Winegarden and Leopold Bloom have dead sons.) But while Joyce's epic takes place over a single day, this slim volume about Jacob Win
...more
Adam
Feb 21, 2016 rated it liked it
This oddly compelling book is both humorous and melancholic. Sometimes one and sometimes the other. Like light it exists in two forms simultaneously. The book is about the life of a Jewish prof whose endless thought experiments deal with uncertainty both at the level of quantum physics and life in general. This short novel is suffused with 'angst', very much of the Jewish variety!

Well-written, this brief book is worth reading, maybe not as quickly as I did, but its pace is such that it does not
...more
Dalton Babcock
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's challenging to review a book this short. Winegarden was immensely pleasant. I don't feel the non-linear order of the stories did the book any favors but that and the brevity are my only complaints. Each story was independently charming and the tone from story to story was very consistent. Maybe it's only because I enjoyed the character of Winegarden so, but I really wish some of the stories were a bit longer. Anyway, fantastic first novella. I hope to see more.
Lynn
Oct 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
I just couldn't get into this book. For the most part, it seemed to be filled with senseless ramblings. I was only glad to be finished with it and each chapter I read, I was only relieved to be closer to the end of it.
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway, in exchange for my honest review.
Linda Donohue
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways-read
This novella highlights different parts of Jacob Winegarden's life from the time as a teenager meeting his future wife, through his marriage, professional career to his passing. It is a complex yet light and humorous story. He deeply loved his wife and their still born child. The end left me thinking, "in life, is that all it is." I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway, and I thank the publisher for the opportunity to read and review Ferner's book.
Ali
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Winegarden is a novella set in Birmingham, which I found surprisingly compelling, comic and poignant by turns, it is literary and thought provoking and I am delighted I had a chance to read it. Naturally I love books set in Birmingham, a retired Professor, Anthony Ferner, is a member of the Birmingham, Tindal Street fiction group who have previously brought us Gaynor Arnold and Fiona Joseph among many others. This will be a short review – a short review for a short book – it’s a book I feel will ...more
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