Thursday, October 1, 2015

J by Howard Jacobson

What in the world did I just put my brain through?

This is my exact thought upon finishing this book. I picked this book because of the eye-catching statements of praise from amazon but upon reading the first chapter, most will discover they are in for a hike through molasses.

Or perhaps some thick mud that drips down into your boots as you try to trudge your way through to some solid ground.

I'm fairly certain about what I was reading. I get that some horrific event happened and society has decided to creatively do away with their collective memory. I also think I understand that Jacobson wanted to speak on some of our crazy societal things. But I don't think this work of fiction was the best route to go.

Each page brings difficulty in finishing. It will take you a few day's worth of reading to get used to the style of writing - if you can ever get used to it.

Then you have the characters that I don't think were written to be engaging. I think the purpose was the philosophical drive behind the story. The characters were there to put flesh to the idea but the flesh is hardly there.

I'm sure there are people who absolutely adore this kind of writing and that is obvious as this was almost an award winner and Jacobson has written award-winning stuff right?

This just did not work for me. Not enjoyable at all. Perhaps when I'm old and alone on a cold and rainy October, I'll read this again - to see if it's doable.

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Hogarth Publishing.

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