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The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson

*Winner of the 2010 Man Booker Prize*

"He should have seen it coming. His life had been one mishap after another. So he should have been prepared for this one…"

Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular and disappointed BBC worker, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick, a Czechoslovakian always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results.

Now, both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower, they dine at Libor's grand, central London apartment.

It's a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had fathered children, before the devastation of separations, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. Better, perhaps, to go through life without knowing happiness at all because that way you had less to mourn? Treslove finds he has tears enough for the unbearable sadness of both his friends' losses.

And it's that very evening, at exactly 11:30pm, as Treslove hesitates a moment outside the window of the oldest violin dealer in the country as he walks home, that he is attacked. After this, his whole sense of who and what he is will slowly and ineluctably change.

The Finkler Question is a scorching story of exclusion and belonging, justice and love, aging, wisdom and humanity. Funny, furious, unflinching, this extraordinary novel shows one of our finest writers at his brilliant best.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    I actually only got halfway through :( Can I join next time instead? (And I promise I will be prepared!)

    July 16, 2013

    • H H

      Aubrey - that is fine. It's not a requirement to read the book all the way through to come to meetings. However, if you do come to meetings, be prepared for discussions to cover all parts of the book, including the ending! :)

      July 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Don't want to spread my cold. That and I'm less than halfway through the book.

    July 16, 2013

    • H H

      Get well, Dolly! Hope to see you at a future book club meeting.

      July 16, 2013

  • Barry

    Suddenly called out of town, sorry.

    July 15, 2013

  • Barry

    I was very much looking forward to this conversation, but was suddenly called out of town. Oh well, next time. Cheers, Barry.

    July 15, 2013

  • H H

    A most curious book - I look forward to the discussion. Please update your RSVP if your plans have changed. See you Tuesday!

    July 14, 2013

  • Diana Elise A.

    on vacation - will come for next book club meet

    July 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey! I'm interested in joining a book club-where do you all meet? I'm going to try to download the next read so I can catch your July 16th meetup!

    1 · July 9, 2013

    • H H

      Hi Aubrey! We meet at the downstairs area of Life Alive, a cafe in Central Square. See the map at the top of this screen; it's about a 3-5 min. walk from the Central Square T stop. Looking forward to meeting you at the Book Club.

      July 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi HH, Ok great! I'll see you guys there.

      July 10, 2013

  • Connie B.

    HH, I did get a copy but it took 2 weeks - paperback.

    July 9, 2013

  • Connie B.

    There's a hold line for this book at minuteman regional system but I signed up for the book.

    1 · June 21, 2013

    • H H

      There seem to be a lot of copies available in typical paperback: try various editions, as sometimes an obscure edition will only have a few copies, but a more common edition will have lots. Here is the hyperlink I looked at:
      http://find.minlib.ne...­

      July 7, 2013

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