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Matthew Halloran has commented on (1) product.

The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
The Finkler Question

Matthew Halloran, January 2, 2012

I'd say this is the best book of the year because it is just powerfully unique. It's a page-turner without a particularly compelling plot, very funny while instilling a strange sense of unease/ angst throughout, tackles an important subject in the context of characters' lives which are pretty 'trivial' (not that they're not coping with the typical tragedies life dishes out), etc. That's the best I can do in terms of articulating it. One of the blurbs nails it when it says there is a nugget of pure gold on every page.

My wife and I both grew up in areas with substantial Jewish populations and are always shocked at how often we meet people who have no idea when they encounter Jews in the course of their lives. I'd recommend the Finkler Question for these types for its intelligent confrontation of reality and stereotypes. That said, as someone who takes my Irish-Catholic heritage fairly seriously, the book was revelatory in its depiction of how faith/ history/ current affairs pervade these characters everyday lives in a way I simply can't fathom.

The Booker prize is probably enough of a recommendation, but it's a great read that's hard to put in eye-catching terms.

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