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The Finkler Question

Tekijä: Howard Jacobson

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
2,6831385,407 (3.02)352
Fiction. Literature. HTML:"He should have seen it coming. His life had been one mishap after another. So he should have been prepared for this one..."

Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular and disappointed BBC worker, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick, a Czechoslovakian always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results.

Now, both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower, they dine at Libor's grand, central London apartment.

It's a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had fathered children, before the devastation of separations, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. Better, perhaps, to go through life without knowing happiness at all because that way you had less to mourn? Treslove finds he has tears enough for the unbearable sadness of both his friends' losses.

And it's that very evening, at exactly 11:30pm, as Treslove hesitates a moment outside the window of the oldest violin dealer in the country as he walks home, that he is attacked. After this, his whole sense of who and what he is will slowly and ineluctably change.

The Finkler Question is a scorching story of exclusion and belonging, justice and love, ageing, wisdom and humanity. Funny, furious, unflinching, this extraordinary novel shows one of our finest writers at his brilliant best.
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» Katso myös 352 mainintaa

englanti (134)  hollanti (3)  ranska (1)  katalaani (1)  heprea (1)  Kaikki kielet (140)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 140) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
This book is pretty funny. Its a novel mainly about a long term friendship between 3 men and their interactions. Its also about one of them being attacked and called a Jew, and how this affects his sense of who he is. I don't remember a lot of the detail, but I did enjoy reading it. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Apr 16, 2024 |
A fairly simple premise: 3 friends- 2 Jewish, 1 gentile. 2 recently widowed, one never married. The gentile wants to be a Jew, one of the Jews is an antisemite. This is discussed, sometimes to an agonizing length, for 300 pages. Much of the writing and the deep intelligence presented here are very admirable, which is why it probably won the Booker Prize, but the never-ending angst and handwringing began to wear me down about halfway through and didn’t let up. That said, I am glad I finally read it and it can finally free up space on my shelf. ( )
  msf59 | Aug 26, 2023 |
Very smart. Very, very smart. Just like the Jews.

OK, so that comment only makes sense after you've read the book, but it's funny and worth reading (the book, not the comment). ( )
  robfwalter | Jul 31, 2023 |
From the previews I read of this book I thought I was going to be reading about an unmarried men helping two of his married friends cope with the loss of their wives. Seemed interesting to me, and while the book does begin with this, it pretty much turns into a non stop discussion of what it means to be Jewish in today's world. Virtually every conversation in the book is centered around the Jewish question not the Finkler question. If I had come into the book knowing this I might have been able to tolerate it better, perhaps even enjoy it. Because it is funny and amusing at times. But unfortunately, that wasn't the case, and for the most part, I found myself bored with the endless rhetoric. ( )
  kevinkevbo | Jul 14, 2023 |
Bizarre and somewhat tedious with some (too rare) interesting or amusing moments. Another textbook example of why one should be wary of the Booker prize decisions. ( )
  jean-sol | Mar 2, 2023 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 140) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Fans of Howard Jacobson might be alarmed to discover that the main character in his latest novel is a Gentile. As it turns out, though, they needn’t worry. Julian Treslove may not be Jewish, but in most other respects he’s a typical Jacobson protagonist: a middle-aged man much given to tears, self-interrogation, a sense of imminent doom, falling heavily in love and regarding his male friends as his male rivals. Above all, he’s obsessed with Jews and Jewishness.
 
The Finkler Question (longlisted for this year's Man Booker prize) is full of wit, warmth, intelligence, human feeling and understanding. It is also beautifully written with that sophisticated and near invisible skill of the authentic writer. Technically the characterisation is impeccable, the prose a subtle delight, the word selection everywhere perfect, the phrase-making fresh and arresting without self-consciousness. Indeed, there's so much that is first rate in the manner of Jacobson's delivery that I could write all day on his deployment of language without once mentioning what the book is about. A single line describing the hero's father will have to do: "a man who stood so straight that he created a kind of architectural silence around himself".
 
The Finkler Question is very funny, utterly original, and addresses a topic of contemporary fascination. That is to say, it is about the anguish of middle-aged men, it consists of a series of loosely arranged episodes rich in argument and incident, and it examines how Jews now interrogate their relations with Israel.

It puts in play a gentile fascinated by Jews, and his two Jewish friends, one a Zionist comfortable in London, and the other an anti-Zionist comfortable in his outrage. They engage with each other in sometimes moving, sometimes bathetic ways, making their own journeys of self-understanding while they exasperatedly strive to educate each other.

The anti-Zionist Jew is called Finkler, hence the title of the novel. The "question" of "Finkler" is today's version of the "Jewish question". At the end of the 19th century, Jews asked of themselves, and were asked, "What is the future of the Jewish people?" At the end of the 20th century, this question had been reformulated as "What is the future of the Jewish state?" In Jacobson's book, Finkler dwells among those miscellaneous Jews who answer the question in versions of condemnation of Israel, Zionism, and Judaism.
 
The Finkler Question is a terrifying and ambitious novel, full of dangerous shallows and dark, deep water. It takes in the mysteries of male friendship, the relentlessness of grief and the lure of emotional parasitism. In its insistent interrogation of Jewishness – from the exploration of the relationship between the perpetrators of violence and hatred and their victims, to the idea of the individual at once in opposition to and in love with his or her culture – it is by turns breezily open and thought-provokingly opaque, and consistently wrong-foots the reader. For Treslove, the committed shape-shifter with little really at stake, such demands unsurprisingly prove rather too much. "Would he ever get to the bottom," he wonders, "of the things Finklers did and didn't do?"
 

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (1 mahdollinen)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Howard Jacobsonensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Lange, Barbara deKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Mann, DavidKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Rey, Santiago delKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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To the memory of three dear friends, great givers of laughter

Terry Collits (1940-2009)

Tony Errington (1944-2009)

Graham Rees (1944-2009)

Who now will set the table on a roar?

Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
He should have seen it coming. His life had been one mishap after another. So he should have been prepared for this one.
Sitaatit
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"Just when you think you've overcome the grief, you realise you are left with the loneliness."
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

Fiction. Literature. HTML:"He should have seen it coming. His life had been one mishap after another. So he should have been prepared for this one..."

Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular and disappointed BBC worker, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick, a Czechoslovakian always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results.

Now, both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower, they dine at Libor's grand, central London apartment.

It's a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had fathered children, before the devastation of separations, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. Better, perhaps, to go through life without knowing happiness at all because that way you had less to mourn? Treslove finds he has tears enough for the unbearable sadness of both his friends' losses.

And it's that very evening, at exactly 11:30pm, as Treslove hesitates a moment outside the window of the oldest violin dealer in the country as he walks home, that he is attacked. After this, his whole sense of who and what he is will slowly and ineluctably change.

The Finkler Question is a scorching story of exclusion and belonging, justice and love, ageing, wisdom and humanity. Funny, furious, unflinching, this extraordinary novel shows one of our finest writers at his brilliant best.

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