After reading ‘1Q84’ last week, I felt like tackling something a tad shorter this week (although pretty much anything would seem short after that). Winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize, ‘The Finkler Question’ by Howard Jacobson was the first ‘comic’ novel to win the prize since Kingsley Amis won in 1986 with ‘The Old Devils’. I’ve read some terrible reviews for this book but as part of my ongoing quest to read as many Booker Prize-winning or nominated novels as possible, I thought I’d give it a go anyway when I found it in the library the other day.
‘The Finkler Question’ tells the story of middle-aged former BBC producer Julian Treslove, his old schoolfriend Jewish philosopher Samuel Finkler and their former tutor Libor Sevcik. It’s certainly not an easy book to fall in love with. The satire of the BBC was nicely done as were the general observations of relationships and aging but I still think Julian Barnes is more skilled than Jacobson when it comes to incorporating subtle humour and irony into his work. Continue reading