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The Making of Henryby Howard Jacobson
"Plot-wise, The Making of Henry is a simple girl-saves-boy story. But along the way, Jacobson reveals Henry's life story with a hysterical, pathos-rich energy. Jacobson can be sweet, but he can also be very, very funny, and that makes his exhaustive catalog of what could so easily have been a curmudgeonly type well worth the read." Anna Godberson, Esquire (read the entire Esquire review)
Synopses & Reviews
From one of England’s most highly regarded novelists — winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize and shortlisted for the Booker Prize – a ravishing, mordantly funny novel about a man so temperamentally opposed to the world in the twenty-first century that he nearly misses out on the happiness that one woman — and one dog — can offer.
One day, out of the blue, Henry Nagel receives a solicitor’s letter telling him he has inherited a sumptuous apartment in St John’s Wood. Divine intervention? Or his late father’s love nest? Henry doesn’t know, but he is glad to escape the North. Not that the ghosts of Henry’s past are prepared to disappear without a struggle — his old school-friend Osmond, his tragic great aunt Marghanita for whom Henry once entertained a dangerous passion, and his father Izzi Nagel, upholsterer turned illusionist, fire-eater and origamist. And in his new life, Henry encounters more adventures: Moira, the waitress with the crooked smile and custard hair, seems to want him. Kicking and screaming every inch of the way, Henry realizes he might finally be falling in love. Will love be the making of Henry? Or will walking his neighbour’s dog?
“A rich, unrepentantly funny novel, full of vim and vigour and bolshie cleverness. Its prose pulsates with fresh images”
Man Booker Prize–Winning Author of THE FINKLER QUESTION
Swathed in his kimono, drinking tea from his samovar, Henry Nagle is temperamentally opposed to life in the 21st century. Preferring not to contemplate the great intellectual and worldly success of his best boyhood friend, he argues constantly with his father, an upholsterer turned fire-eater–and now dead for many years. When he goes out at all, Henry goes after other men’s wives.
But when he mysteriously inherits a sumptuous apartment, Henry’s life changes, bringing on a slick descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson, an excitable red setter, and a wise-cracking waitress with a taste for danger. All of them demand his attention, even his love, a word which barely exists in Henry’s magisterial vocabulary, never mind his heart.
From one of England’s most highly regarded writers, The Making of Henry is a ravishing novel, at once wise, tender and mordantly funny.
About the Author
Howard Jacobson is the author of four works of nonfiction and several novels, including The Finkler Question, which won the Man Booker Prize; The Mighty Walzer, which won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Award for comic writing; and Who's Sorry Now?, which was long-listed for the Booker Prize. He has a weekly column for The Independent and regularly reviews and writes for The Guardian, The Times, and The Evening Standard. Jacobson has also done several specials for British television. He lives in London.
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