Graeme's Reviews > The Finkler Question

The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
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M 50x66
's review
Dec 30, 2011

liked it

I had a massive great long exposition planned about this book, but I can't actually be arsed to write it down. So, what do I reckon?

It's a good book -- an interrogation of 'Jewishness', I guess you could say, and it worked best for me when it was rolling up its sleeves and grappling with questions like identity, antisemitism, Israel, secularism, Islam and so on, and less well when it was trying to be a comic novel.

As a work of philosophy or perhaps an essay dressed up as a novel, it was great. As a piece of storytelling, well, it was less good as far as I'm concerned. Kind of like unengaging, cold, snobbish, not-funny Nick Hornby, if you see what I mean.

I shouldn't judge the author by the book really, right? But it felt a bit like a smart book written by a bit of a dick. That's not scholastic in the least, so don't go ripping this off for your O Levels or GCSEs or BAs or whatever the kids do these days. Just my general thoughts. It's definitely worth reading, but more because you should than because you love reading.

That is all.

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