The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson. Is it ‘why did I read this’? Perhaps it should be…

I chose this book because it won the Man Booker Prize last year, and I have found that I have really enjoyed several of the past winners. Bah. This book really annoyed me. It’s about a guy I don’t care about and a couple of his mates who I also don’t care about. Both his mates (one an ex-college classmate, the other a former teacher) are Jewish. He’s not. And then it rambles on for about three hundred pages about to be or not to be Jewish. And then it ends.

I just don’t get it. Perhaps I am not educated enough on the Israel/Palestine situation, or perhaps it is just that, by not being Jewish, I don’t get the difference between being Jewish and not. I don’t know. To me, people are people regardless of religion, race or education.

What I really don’t get is that everyone (being the reviewers on the back, plus several online reviewers) calls this a funny book. I don’t think I even cracked a smile – and, as anyone who knows me, I laugh at everything. Often, even not very funny things. Even Jonathan Safran Foer loved it, and I love his writing. His writing makes me laugh; his writing made me laugh out loud on my own in the foyer of a hotel in Estonia.

Having said that, according to the Wikipedia entry, most Amazon reviews are negative, suggesting that the reviewers and etc. are seeing something different to the average reader.

Have you read it? Did you get it? Did it make you laugh? Please comment, I’d love to know what you think.