It’s been a little while since I last posted, but I’m back again with another whinge. A few weeks ago I read a book that has been niggling at me since. The book was “The Finkler Question” by Howard Jacobsen. I read it for a couple of reasons: I had read a book of his before, and this one had won the Man Booker prize in 2010.
Why has it been niggling at me?
Firstly, as the title of this post suggests, I don’t think it is a novel, despite being marketed as such. To me it is just a 350 page polemic on the nature of Jewishness, (very) loosely hung on a framework that could have been the basis of a plot for a novel.
Secondly, it is publicized as a comic novel. I like to think of myself as having a very broad sense of humour, but this was just not funny to me, apart from a few times when it encouraged a wry smile.
Have I missed something? I like to read widely, so have read lots of “literary” novels like this, so I don’t think I’m being confused by the style. However, all the reviews seem to rate it highly, so who’s right?
After writing that last paragraph I had a (rather obvious) brainwave and checked the reader reviews on Amazon.co.uk . The readers on Amazon gave it an average of 2.2 stars, with 121 out of 252 only giving it 1 star. Maybe I’m not alone!