Michael Arditti

Seeing The Funny Side

Kalooki Nights

By

Jonathan Cape 480pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

Maxie Glickman, the narrator of Howard Jacobson’s latest novel, is a caricaturist who declares of his craft, ‘I’m meant to concentrate only on what’s salient’. And to Glickman, as to his creator, the only salient characteristic of Jews is their Jewishness.

Having explored various aspects of Jewish life in earlier novels, Jacobson now turns to the nature of Judaism itself and, in particular, what it means to be a Jew in a world tainted by Auschwitz. In a series of variations on this central theme, Maxie examines the impact of being Jewish on his family and friends and its ambiguous attraction to his two Gentile wives.

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