Monday, January 31, 2011

February 2011

Plenty or reading to keep us busy this month!

Howard Jacobson's 'The Finkler Question' was the winner of last year's Booker prize. According to one reviewer 'This charming novel follows many paths of enquiry, not least the present state of Jewish identity in Britain and how it integrates with the Gentile population. Equally important is its exploration of how men share friendship. All of which is played out with Jacobson's exceptionally funny riffs and happy-sad refrains....Jacobson cunningly crafts sublime pathos from comedy and vice versa. As such, he is the literary equivalent of Tony Hancock, illuminating the conflict, anger, love and dependence created by friendship while wincing at the ignominy and absurdity of the characters' predicament.'

Another prize winner is Orhan Pamuk. 'The Museum of Innocence' features 'Kemal, a wealthy Istanbulli playboy, (who) spends a decade besieging his beautiful young cousin and then, after certain tragic events, devotes the rest of his life to creating a museum in her memory, stocking it with panties, nutcrackers, china dogs, 4,213 cigarette stubs and sundry other trifles recovered from their moments together' One reviewer enthuses 'Before anything else, it is simply an enthralling, immensely enjoyable piece of storytelling.'

Kingsley Amis’ novel Lucky Jim is a modern British classic. Written and set in the early fifties, the title character Jim Dixon is a history lecturer at one of the modern provincial universities, who is frustrated by the academic banality of his job, and trapped in a suffocating pseudo-relationship with a woman he is completely uninterested in.

Defiantly in favour of jazz, beer and pulling faces, the hero of "Lucky Jim" struggles through 1950s Britain in a rage at the pretension around him.

Happy reading!