Jacob's Folly: A Novel

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Mar 5, 2013 - Fiction - 384 pages
1 Review

A luminous novel-funny and moving in equal measure-that shines with the author's unique talents

Jacob's Folly is a rollicking, ingenious, saucy book, brimful of sparkling, unexpected characters, that takes on desire, faith, love, acting-and reincarnation.
In eighteenth-century Paris, Jacob Cerf is a Jew, a peddler of knives, saltcellars, and snuffboxes. Despite a disastrous teenage marriage, he is determined to raise himself up in life, by whatever means he can. More than two hundred years later, Jacob is amazed to find himself reincarnated as a fly in the Long Island suburbs of twenty-first-century America, his new life twisted in ways he could never have imagined. But even the tiniest of insects can influence the turning of the world, and thanks to his arrival, the lives of a reliable volunteer fireman and a young Orthodox Jewish woman nursing a secret ambition will never be the same.
Through the unique lens of Jacob's consciousness, Rebecca Miller explores change in all its different guises-personal, spiritual, literal. The hold of the past on the present, the power of private hopes and dreams, the collision of fate and free will: Miller's world-which is our own, transfigured by her clear gaze and by her sharp, surprising wit-comes brilliantly to life in the pages of this profoundly original novel.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - eilonwyhan - LibraryThing

Funny and frank observations of 21st century American life from an 18th century Parisian street vendor reincarnated as a fly. Enjoyable! Jacob Cerf aka Gebeck aka Le Naif died in 1773 Paris. Imagine ... Read full review

Jacob's Folly

User Review  - Evelyn Beck - Book Verdict

The main character of author and filmmaker Miller's (Personal Velocity; The Private Lives of Pippa Lee) imaginative new novel is an 18th-century Jewish peddler reincarnated as a fly on contemporary ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Rebecca Miller is the author of the short-story collection Personal Velocity, her feature-film adaptation of which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (FSG, 2008), which she also adapted for the screen. Her other films include Angela and The Ballad of Jack and Rose. She lives in New York and Ireland with her family.

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