Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Finkler Question: A riveting journey


The Finkler Question, Man Booker Prize winner for the year 2010, is reviewed by Swetha Amit, who finds it an engrossing read that delves deep into the psyche of the characters

Author: Howard JacobsonPublisher: Bloomsbury PublishingPrice: Rs499Classification: FictionCertain events tend to trigger thought processes in an individual that lead him / her to extremes of behaviour. Religious fanaticism, self absorptive behaviour, obsessive interest in worldly affairs, etc, constitute patterns of behaviour that can take root in the cognitive sphere of an individual due to stressful events. The Finkler Question explores this theme in detail.

The story commences with one of the protagonists named Julian Treslove, a former BBC employee, being mugged by a woman and cursed, which shakes him up. This propels him to start obsessing about the particular abuse or curse, something on the lines of ‘you ju’, which leads to his eventual conversion into Judaism.

The book describes Treslove's relationship with two Jewish widowers, namely Libor Sevcik and Sam Finkler, who mourn the loss of their wives; Treslove is a bachelor but is ascribed the status of a widower because he never has had a longstanding relationship with a woman. Treslove envies Sevcik and Finkler their religion and their pain of loss; he always dreams of a young love lost to death and about kissing cold lips good bye. The book delves deep into the psyche of each of the protagonists who reminisce about their lives and losses, and have heated discussions on pertinent issues that affect the lives of millions across the globe.

Written in a powerful yet poetic style, the book has an even mix of dark humour and wit. Though the narration requires the reader to read between the lines to grab the essence of the book, it is worth a read for those keen on reading something different from the usual run-of-the-mill potboilers. It is bound to appeal to a category of readers whose tastes go beyond a conventional narrative. The unique portrayal of characters is probably what earned it the Man Booker Prize for the year 2010.

Written for www.domain-b.com



Blogger A said...

Good review

12:18 PM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...


7:02 PM  

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