The Finkler Question

Jacobson, Howard

Book - 2010
Average Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5.
The Finkler Question
Baker & Taylor
Julian Treslove, a radio producer, and Samuel Finkler, a Jewish philosopher, have been friends since childhood and, as they enter middle age, they reminisce over their struggles with self-identity, anti-Semitism, women, love, and the past.

McMillan Palgrave

Winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize

Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular former BBC radio producer, 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 lost touch with each other, or with their former teacher, Libor Sevcik.

Dining together one night at Sevcik's apartment—the two Jewish widowers and the unmarried Gentile, Treslove—the men share a sweetly painful evening, reminiscing on a time before they had loved and lost, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. But as Treslove makes his way home, he is attacked and mugged outside a violin dealer's window. Treslove is convinced the crime was a misdirected act of anti-Semitism, and in its aftermath, his whole sense of self will ineluctably change.

The Finkler Question is a funny, furious, unflinching novel of friendship and loss, exclusion and belonging, and the wisdom and humanity of maturity.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2010
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9781608196111
Branch Call Number: FIC J
Characteristics: 307 p. ; 22 cm.


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Dec 27, 2014



Oct 16, 2014
  • BarneyJr rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed "The Finkler Question." I thought it was brilliant. I was happy to get perspective on Jewishness in London. I'm not surprised the humor is missed or found unfunny because it can be subtle but there's a line of absurdity that runs through it that is hilarious like life. It's a more thoughtful(?) form of humor or humour but "Pineapple Express" or "I Hope They Sell Beer in Hell" it's not.

Apr 16, 2014

I find that in this day and age the general level of literacy is such that many books which I find brilliant, humorous and insightful are found to be "pedantic", "a slog", "literary dribble(sic)", others.

Dec 09, 2012

Oh my I am surprised to read these negative comments about The Finkler Question :o. I think Howard Jacobson is nothing short of a poetic and comedic genius! I laughed and was inspired by his magnificent use of language on every page.

Aug 02, 2012
  • uncommonreader rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

It is difficult to know how this book won the 2010 Booker. It is touted as being humourous. It is not.

Jun 19, 2012
  • A_Traveler_Like_Jack rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Wow. Howard Jacobson won the £50,000 (US$78,989) Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Finkler Question....seriously?!!! Seriously? Wow. The Finkler Question was pedantic, monotone, depressing drivel on being Jewish....enough already! What a waste of ink, money and my time. One sorry, boring excuse for a book. Very, very disappointing.

Nov 21, 2011
  • educated rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

zzzzz....zzzzzz..umm..what? oh just more conversation about being Jewish? Yeah Howard, you wrote that 30 pages ago and again 40 pages ago...literary dribble...a great sleep aid though.

Nov 19, 2011
  • NEIL VINCENT FINNIE rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I was really looking forward to this book, but by 50 pages into it, I knew that it was curtains. What a dismal pedantic waste of effort putting this together.. Now on to something more worthwhile. How do folks write books like this.

Jul 10, 2011
  • tamaravh rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

BAH! This book is SO pretentious! The characters are all unlikeable, and the premise was just insulting. (A non Jewish man tries to discover what it means to be Jewish in the 21st century? Seriously?) Thanks Man Booker for giving me ANOTHER book that is almost impossible to finish. Skip it.

Jun 25, 2011
  • garlicnonions rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I too found it funny at times,insightfull, but too much jewish experience.

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