The Finkler Question

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The Finkler Question

by Howard Jacobson

Bloomsbury Press Agency | October 12, 2010 | Trade Paperback

The Finkler Question is rated 2.5 out of 5 by 2.

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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 8.25 × 5.49 × 0.81 in

Published: October 12, 2010

Publisher: Bloomsbury Press Agency

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1608196119

ISBN - 13: 9781608196111

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from What was the Booker Prize Jury thinking I am more than halfway through this book but I cannot force myself to continue reading. The characters are unlikeable, and intolerable. The main protagonist is a horrible individual and a cowardly pathetic excuse for a man. Though some of the scenes between the three men are tolerable the level of arrogance the author must have to create such a flawed and disgusting individual is beyond my comprehension. This work is completely undeserving of the Booker prize and it saddens me the award’s prestige has been tarnished by such a pathetic excuse at characterization. Weak male characters make this book inferior and infuriating.
Date published: 2011-08-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very very well written I had no plans of reading this book. Got it as a gift and I have to confess this book has become one of my all time favorites. There is a richness in the characters that is a rare find in other novels (and I read atleast 2 a month) and the manner in which the whole plot develops is genius. A great book and a big yes to it.
Date published: 2011-08-07

– More About This Product –

The Finkler Question

The Finkler Question

by Howard Jacobson

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 320 pages, 8.25 × 5.49 × 0.81 in

Published: October 12, 2010

Publisher: Bloomsbury Press Agency

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1608196119

ISBN - 13: 9781608196111

From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

Howard Jacobson was born on August 25, 1942 in Manchester, England. He is a Man Booker Prize-winning British author and journalist. He studied English at Downing College, Cambridge under F. R. Leavis. He lectured for three years at the University of Sydney before returning to England to teach at Selwyn College, Cambridge. His later teaching posts included a period at Wolverhampton Polytechnic from 1974 to 1980. His time at Wolverhampton was to form the basis of his first novel, Coming from Behind, a campus comedy about a failing polytechnic that plans to merge facilities with a local football club. He also wrote a travel book in 1987, titled In the Land of Oz, which was researched during his time as a visiting academic in Sydney. His fiction, particularly in the six novels he has published since 1998, is characterised chiefly by a discursive and humorous style. His 1999 novel The Mighty Walzer, about a teenage table tennis champion, won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic writing. In October 2010 Jacobson won the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Finkler Question, which was the first comic novel to win the prize since Kingsley Amis's The Old Devils in 1986. In 2013 he made The New York Times Best Seller List with his title Whole Rethinking the Science of Nutrition which he co-authored with T. Colin Campbell.