Kalooki #FAIL

Kalooki Nights, by Howard JacobsonThe Maida Vale Library Reading Group’s last meeting of 2010 saw us indulging in seasonal culinary delights – some compensation perhaps for the book under discussion.

Kalooki nights by Howard Jacobson, who recently won the Man Booker prize for The Finkler question, was uniformly panned by those present on the night!

The novel centres on Max Glickman, a middle aged and world-weary cartoonist who is persuaded by a television documentary maker to re-establish contact with Manny Washinsky, an old Jewish friend from childhood who has just completed a prison sentence for murdering his parents, thus leading Max on a journey through personal, family and racial history.

Unfortunately for the group members, the journey is long and rambling, the narrator vexed and disputatious, and the sentences often of alarming length and possessed of an inordinate number of sub-clauses. As one member of the group said: “It’s like taking really bad tasting medicine, except I don’t feel better for doing it”.

Here’s hoping for better things in 2011…

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann ShafferThe Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran DesaiThe next two group meetings are at 5.15pm on 13 January (Mary Ann Shaffer’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) and 10 February (Kiran Desai’s The inheritance of loss).

[Gordon]

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