The Finkler Question: A Novel
"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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Review: The Finkler QuestionUser Review - Mona - Goodreads
I love books that meander and go nowhere, because real life does not come with self-contained climaxes and denouements. Unfortunately for "The Finkler Question" it does not have the poetry that ... Read full review
Review: The Finkler QuestionUser Review - Lilian - Goodreads
This is perhaps the funniest book I've ever read; it's also seriously brilliant. This is a novel that deserved to win the Booker prize. It's about anti-semitism in particular, but more generally about ... Read full review