Howard Jacobson– The Finkler Question (2010)
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2010
I’m not quite sure how to describe this story. I’m don’t really know what I was expecting but I was a little surprised of where Jacobson took me…
Julian Treslove is a former BBC employee who has since drifted from job to job and woman to woman without much direction in his life. His old school friend Sam Finkler and their former teacher Libor Sevcik are Jewish and Julian is fascinated by their heritage. The story is about these three men. Libor is reluctantly accepting of his Jewish background whilst Sam is self-hating and Julian just wants to find meaning in his life.
When Julian is attacked one night he believes he is the target of an anti-Semite attack and begins to wonder whether he may in fact be Jewish himself. He longs to be accepted by the Jewish (referred to as ‘Finkler’) community.
This story took a while to get into and to be honest it was a bit slow. There’s not much action and it is quite a sad book. However, Jacobson provides an extremely intelligent insight and raises some questions about anti-Semitism.
If you are into stories of philosophy, spirituality and finding meaning then The Finkler Question will definitely get you thinking.