I haven’t read J, so herewith a review of Jacobson’s The Finkler Question, winner of the 2010 Man Booker.
The novel is a mordantly funny third-person narrative centering on the self-doubting Julian Tredlove and his complicated relationship with Samuel Finkler, a successful philosopher and media personality.
The inciting incident is a mugging that sets Tredlove on a quest to find out not only who mugged him, but also who he is. The novel uses this story of a feckless man in mid-life crisis to examine how European culture views Jews.
It’s tricky to pull off a feckless man in mid-life crisis (and God knows it’s been tried repeatedly), but Jacobson’s humor brings the reader through what might otherwise be a difficult read.
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