Howard Jacobson - The Finkler Question (4 stars)

Howard Jacobson - The Finkler Question


Fans of Howard Jacobson’s skilfully constructed storytelling will not be surprised to hear that his latest work seems to centre around male-female relationships, a theme the London-based writer has explored often. But as The Finkler Question introduces us to three old acquaintances – romantic dreamer Julian Treslove, his seemingly arrogant and hugely successful uni pal Sam Finkler and their charming former lecturer Libor Sevick – we soon realise the book is as much an insight into their complex relationships with each other as it is a tale of lost female loves.

They constantly assess each others’ moods and achievements throughout, lock horns and ask the types of existential questions that come with maturity. And the way that Jacobson depicts these largely loveable characters and weaves their experiences together, clearly relishing each elegant word choice and sumptuous phrase, ensures that while we are delving into the pasts and psyches of the world-weary, there is a beauty and humour in their sadness.

Howard Jacobson

  • 4 stars

Explosive, mordant, rambunctious and hilarious: Howard Jacobson’s prose style generates plenty of colourful adjectives from the critics, and he is commonly described as one of Britain’s greatest – but bafflingly undervalued – living writers. Jacobson’s new book, The Finkler Question, an unflinching story of friendship…


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