Hardcover º Zoo Time PDF/EPUB Þ

Hardcover º Zoo Time PDF/EPUB Þ

Zoo Time [Reading] ➬ Zoo Time ➳ Howard Jacobson – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Novelist Guy Ableman is in thrall to his vivacious wife Vanessa, a strikingly beautiful red head, contrary, highly strung and blazingly angry The trouble is, he is no less in thrall to her alluring mo Novelist Guy Ableman is in thrall to his vivacious wife Vanessa, a strikingly beautiful red head, contrary, highly strung and blazingly angry The trouble is, he is no less in thrall to her alluring mother, Poppy More like sisters than mother and daughter, they come as a pair, a blistering presence that destroys Guy s peace of mind, suggesting the wildest stories but making it impossible for him to concentrate long enough to write any of them Not that anyone reads Guy, anyway Not that anyone is reading anything Reading, Guy fears, is finished His publisher, fearing the same, has committed suicide His agent, like all agents, is in hiding Vanessa, in the meantime, is writing a novel of her own Guy doesn t expect her to finish it, or even start it, but he dreads the consequences if she does In flight from personal disappointment and universal despair, Guy wonders if it s time to take his love for Poppy to another level Fiction might be dead, but desire isn t And out of that desire he imagines squeezing one great book By turns angry, elegiac and rude, Zoo Time is a novel about love love of women, love of literature, love of laughter It shows our funniest writer at his brilliant best.


10 thoughts on “Zoo Time

  1. MJ Nicholls MJ Nicholls says:

    Are you a suicidal novelist clinging to the hope the power of your debut novel will knock the socks off people who have read it all before, know nothing new has been written post 1980, and will reap you enough profit to quit that grinding office job you haven t got yet because it s a recession and no one works anywhere doing anything Then boy howdy, is this not the novel for you A scathing satire on the state of contemporary publishing, Jacobson is brutally honest about the futility of it all, Are you a suicidal novelist clinging to the hope the power of your debut novel will knock the socks off people who have read it all before, know nothing new has been written post 1980, and will reap you enough profit to quit that grinding office job you haven t got yet because it s a recession and no one works anywhere doing anything Then boy howdy, is this not the novel for you A scathing satire on the state of contemporary publishing, Jacobson is brutally honest about the futility of it all, and also reassuringly humorous about our slow sad slump into suicide at the same time Panacea for those quiet nights sobbing into your laptop


  2. Sally Howes Sally Howes says:

    The ongoing conundrum for the reader of this highly postmodern, self reflexive, and meta textual novel is whether to love it or hate it ZOO TIME is, quite frankly, stone in your shoe irritating throughout, yet its occasional moments of startling humor and razor sharp wit leave the reader on constantly shifting ground Is it really as mean spirited, whiny and shallow as it appears, or does it have hidden depths very well hidden depths This is a novel about the loves of Guy Abelman s life his The ongoing conundrum for the reader of this highly postmodern, self reflexive, and meta textual novel is whether to love it or hate it ZOO TIME is, quite frankly, stone in your shoe irritating throughout, yet its occasional moments of startling humor and razor sharp wit leave the reader on constantly shifting ground Is it really as mean spirited, whiny and shallow as it appears, or does it have hidden depths very well hidden depths This is a novel about the loves of Guy Abelman s life his writing and his women, which are prioritized in that order, although he has enough passion to honor both, at least in his own mind Naturally enough, these two entities are never kept separate but nourish each other Like the traditionalist male author he is, Guy tends to place women on pedestals, and marries Vanessa not so much for love but for his awe of her flaming haired, melodramatic charisma and his certainty that their tempestuous relationship will provide ample grist for his authorial mill Plus, marriage to Vanessa brings the added bonus of Poppy as his lawfully wedded mother in law Poppy looks and actslike Vanessa s twin sister than her mother, so his foray into holy matrimony has secured a smug Guy Abelman two beautiful, boisterous, and beguiling women for the price of one His writerly cup runneth over.There is only one problem with this While Guy says that Vanessa and Poppy strutted their stuff together They were forces, and you couldn t tell which of them energized the other, I found both female characters, but particularly Vanessa, to be completely vapid, soulless, and exasperating enough that I could have cheerfully throttled them Maybe that s the point, but to have to endure them for an entire book is a toilsome, tiresome way to arrive at it Male and female roles in Guy s world seem generally to be reversed, a condition I would normally thoroughly approve of, but in this case, it serves only to present women as bullies, airheads, or drama queens and men, particularly Guy himself, as cringing, impotent, and aimless.As Guy freely admits, Vanessa has always beenthe man of the family than he has the wife stroke husband Like an inordinately large number of things in his life, this is something that Guy both loves and hates, just as he simultaneously hates and craves the approval of everyone his women, readers, children Guy s excuse is that it is so hard to be a man because men are not allowed to be scurrilous and libidinous over women any Our main protagonist in ZOO TIME, dear reader, is a man who is saved from a bout of depression by his own father s funeral.Guy is not an easy character to like, for so many reasons Above all, it is not easy for a reader to warm to a character who calls the greater part of the reading community the malignantly illiterate the wordless walking brain dead Not only does he despise the reader, he sees anyone who is not a writer as similarly dead In fact, if he thought about it for long enough, he could probably come up with a zombie apocalypse novel that his agent would love Writers and publishers, says Guy, are up against the man haters and the word haters And this is where the sacred distinction between the author and the protagonist comes into serious question Often a difficult distinction for a reader to hold onto, ZOO TIME may be one of the few novels in which it can be legitimately abandoned altogether, at least in the parts of the book that refer to the woes of the twenty first century publishing industry These are at the same time the most vibrant and the most morose, but above all, the most interesting passages of the book, and the belief that it is not Guy s voice but Jacobson s we are hearing here is virtually irresistible.Despite the prickly hostility and generally irritating antagonism of ZOO TIME, I amthan happy to make some positive concessions, the main one being that when Jacobson qua Guy is at his most passionate which almost always means when he is talking about writing or publishing he displays a rapid fire, dangerously sharp wit that is, on occasion, breathtaking This is most amply demonstrated quite early in the novel, when Guy has lunch with his old fashioned and thus despairing publisher, Merton Flack We soon come to realize that the publishing industry is caught not just in a catch 22 but somethinglike a catch 88, at least Agents like Flack can t keep pace with all the twits and blags tweets and blogs , and Flack s assertion that the novel is dead not because no one knows how to write one but because no one knows how to read one is a sobering thought indeed Gen Y wants to know what a novel is about, what point it is making, when really it s not ABOUT anything, it s just the author s attempt to find his stroke her way toward meaning.It seems likely that this explains the weak, meandering plot and maddeningly self obsessed characters of ZOO TIME The book does have redeeming features, but they are few and far between The glimpses of brilliant wit that appear in some of the novel s rants on the death of the book are one such, and there are a few genuine laugh out loud moments, such as Guy s encounter with an American travel magazine fat checker and his assertion that the greatest problem facing the modern writer is constipation literally, not figuratively And there is one character in the book who is a genuinely intriguing and memorable man of mystery the hobo writer, Ernest Hemingway, the ghost of serious writing, who turns up whenever Guy is at his most maudlin about the future of publishing Thanks to this ghost of great authors past, the final few pages of ZOO TIME are the best, and considering what has come before, the book does have a surprisingly poignant ending.Overall, however, I cannot pretend that it is easy to find anything very cheerful about being trapped in ZOO TIME s web of cynical witticisms, self cancelling statements and ironic nihilism But then, according to Guy Abelman, I fail the Tolkien test, though I pass the Tolstoy test, so who am I to judge And I have to admit that Guy did get far enough under my skin to make me briefly consider giving ZOO TIME the five starreview I know Mr Abelman stroke Jacobson would hate But I only considered it very briefly


  3. Vishnu Vishnu says:

    If you d asked me what I thought of this book at the 150 page mark,I d have declared it as one of the best I dread in the recent past and would have given it a 5 5 rating After the 220 page mark, the rating would have slipped down to 4 after 300 page mark it would have slid to 3 5 and finally, after the entire run of 375 pages, it has dwindled down to a 2 5 Maybe 2.5 Here we have for us a classic case of book that tried to be written beyond its capacity and beyond the author s capability Ma If you d asked me what I thought of this book at the 150 page mark,I d have declared it as one of the best I dread in the recent past and would have given it a 5 5 rating After the 220 page mark, the rating would have slipped down to 4 after 300 page mark it would have slid to 3 5 and finally, after the entire run of 375 pages, it has dwindled down to a 2 5 Maybe 2.5 Here we have for us a classic case of book that tried to be written beyond its capacity and beyond the author s capability Maybe he doesn t overtly try to, but Jacobson seems to want to colour himself with shades of Philip Roth and make his Guy Ableman an Alexander Portnoy, but fails miserably in the process The first half of this novel has some brilliant passages mirroring Jacobson s own theory on the interlinked processes of reading and writing and these make for a compelling read, but from thereon in it is an exercise in futility as much as Guy Ableman s own literary endeavours It is not say that I dislike novels with a particular fixed plot story which shows meaningful displacement from point A to point B, it s actually contrarywise But Jacobson s turn of prose, brilliant in flashes, deserts him halfway through the novel and he cuts as sorry and frustrated a figure as his character, a spent figure with barely anything to show for his initial genius Still, I do think this book needs to be read, not for its plot, not for the characters but for the author himself who exemplifies an almost Adam and Eve esque fall from grace, becomingmortal with each further page he writes, leaving behind the immortality he clamours for, which shall forever remain for him just that much out of reach In this, Guy Ableman becomes the Everyman, the truly tragic figure in this increasingly pathetic book


  4. Glenn Sumi Glenn Sumi says:

    Howard Jacobson s follow up to his Booker Prize winning The Finkler Question is a pitch black, razor sharp critique of the publishing industry that will earn lots of chuckles from book nerds.Middle aged UK author Guy Ableman is stuck in literary limbo His readership has dwindled, bookstores are going bankrupt and his despairing publisher just committed suicide What s , Guy s begun to fantasize about sleeping with his wife s mother, possibly as inspiration for his next novel.As Guy deals wi Howard Jacobson s follow up to his Booker Prize winning The Finkler Question is a pitch black, razor sharp critique of the publishing industry that will earn lots of chuckles from book nerds.Middle aged UK author Guy Ableman is stuck in literary limbo His readership has dwindled, bookstores are going bankrupt and his despairing publisher just committed suicide What s , Guy s begun to fantasize about sleeping with his wife s mother, possibly as inspiration for his next novel.As Guy deals with a new publisher who wants literature reduced to 10 minute smartphone reads, Jacobson flashes back and ahead to pretentious literary festivals, angry reading groups and politically correct symposia.The book could use a bit of a trim, especially in the first third, where some of Guy s rants feel repetitive And the plot and characterizations are intentionally, gloriously broad.But the novel succeeds because of its chatty, lively tone Jacobson obviously still loves the world he skewers.Originally published in NOW MagazineHere s my related interview with Jacobson


  5. Boris Feldman Boris Feldman says:

    A worthy nominee for worst book of 2012.The English Philip Roth Only in his own mind.I ve read all of Jacobson s prior works Generally, they ve gotten worse over time Here, he has reached his literary nadir Self indulgent Cute, in an artificial sweetener kind of way.No doubt, it will be short listed for this and that, because he s now An Important Author.It should be short listed for the remainder table at The Strand.


  6. Kirsty Kirsty says:

    I fully understand that Zoo Time is a satirical work hey, I m all for satire but something about it just tries far too hard I didn t enjoy Jacobson s prose style something which several people have told me about other works of his , and the protagonist is, let s face it, an egotistical dick I didn t enjoy this at first, but I persevered to page fifty, and then wondered why I d bothered, as the end result was the same to Oxfam goes this book.


  7. Jill Jill says:

    Guy Abelman is an everyman If you have any doubt, just deconstruct his name Guy and Abel In Howard Jacobson s new book, this everyman has plenty of problems he wants to sleep with his mother in law and he also is determined to ensure that the priapic novel continues to reign.In short, Everyman is narcissistically obsessed by phallic matters Decades ago, when Philip Roth focused on man and his phallic preoccupation, the world sat up and took notice Today most readers are far quicker to Guy Abelman is an everyman If you have any doubt, just deconstruct his name Guy and Abel In Howard Jacobson s new book, this everyman has plenty of problems he wants to sleep with his mother in law and he also is determined to ensure that the priapic novel continues to reign.In short, Everyman is narcissistically obsessed by phallic matters Decades ago, when Philip Roth focused on man and his phallic preoccupation, the world sat up and took notice Today most readers are far quicker to recognize that phallus preoccupation is typically a metaphor for self preoccupation.And so it is with our Everyman He is self absorbed A writer such as I am feels he s been away from the first person for too long if a third person narrative goes on forthan two paragraphs, never mind a chapter He, him, his Why bother when such words as I, me, mine exist The problem with a narcissistic character is he can easily become tiresome Abelman is not an able man rather, he s in the throes of forces bigger than himself The pleasure of reading books such as he writes is disappearing now, an app called Unbooks lets time pressed readers breeze through an entire book at a bus stop and readers challenge him at readings that is, if they show up Is Zoo Time named, in part, because of Abelman s first novel, Who Gives a Monkey s witty For this reader, there was a certain pretentiousness in the prose that made it hard for me to break through and relate Sure, there were beautifully phrased insights that made me want to keep going harbingers of what this book might have been but not quite enough for me to want to have spent so many hours in Abelman s navel picking world.I couldn t help but compare Zoo Time to Smut, by Alan Bennett Although the comparison isn t true apples to apples, Bennett tackled phallic topics with a light and deft hand Humor, of course, is in the eye of the beholder and others may take to itkindly


  8. Beth Beth says:

    The protagonist and antagonist of Howard Jacobson s newest novel Zoo Time is a writer For Guy Abelman, art is life and life is art, the distinction or lack thereof Abelman s greatest inducement and his most enduring curse A self described victim of everyone and everything from his readers or lack thereof , his parents and brother, his agent, publisher, reviewers, the very state of the contemporary book industry to his sniping and aspiring writer wife and her mother, Abelman is never The protagonist and antagonist of Howard Jacobson s newest novel Zoo Time is a writer For Guy Abelman, art is life and life is art, the distinction or lack thereof Abelman s greatest inducement and his most enduring curse A self described victim of everyone and everything from his readers or lack thereof , his parents and brother, his agent, publisher, reviewers, the very state of the contemporary book industry to his sniping and aspiring writer wife and her mother, Abelman is nevertheless in love with all of the above as well Without them, he has no sense of himself as a man or as a writer and, literally, no characters for the raving sexual fantasies he imagines to be the last gasping remnants of the literary tradition begun by such author heroes as Henry Miller and D.H Lawrence With his satiric and sometimes laugh out loud style, his brilliant dialogue and raw though often completely unreliable personal reflections, Jacobson has written a novel about writing and love are they any different that captures the state of both in perfect desperation while, at the same time, reserving the right to hope for something even if it is just a good laugh about it all


  9. Sophie Sophie says:

    I should have realised that I would hate this book when the protagonist s misogyny was pointed out on the first page The worst kind of misogynist, he claims to love women and proceeds to paint them all as exactly the same Having persevered through the book out of sheer stubbornness no, it doesn t get better , I immediately went in search of answers and themes, assuming I just wasn t intellectual enough to understand its underlying poetry So far, I m none the wiser and no longer sure I care I should have realised that I would hate this book when the protagonist s misogyny was pointed out on the first page The worst kind of misogynist, he claims to love women and proceeds to paint them all as exactly the same Having persevered through the book out of sheer stubbornness no, it doesn t get better , I immediately went in search of answers and themes, assuming I just wasn t intellectual enough to understand its underlying poetry So far, I m none the wiser and no longer sure I care I m left feeling that Jacobson wrote this novel to test his readers tenacity, not their intelligence It was exhausting and not at all worth my time The status of the writing world really can t be that bad when books like this have been published


  10. Anne Anne says:

    Yeah, it s full of the same old Howard Jacobsen Players the seductive harridans, horrible harridans, and the roguish author who can t keep his thoughts, his hands, or his dick to himself But still, no one can hairpin the mood of a heavy sentence like Howard Jacobsen Also, it s a very good satire of various POVs about the demise of the publishing industry.


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10 thoughts on “Zoo Time

  1. MJ Nicholls MJ Nicholls says:

    Are you a suicidal novelist clinging to the hope the power of your debut novel will knock the socks off people who have read it all before, know nothing new has been written post 1980, and will reap you enough profit to quit that grinding office job you haven t got yet because it s a recession and no one works anywhere doing anything Then boy howdy, is this not the novel for you A scathing satire on the state of contemporary publishing, Jacobson is brutally honest about the futility of it all, Are you a suicidal novelist clinging to the hope the power of your debut novel will knock the socks off people who have read it all before, know nothing new has been written post 1980, and will reap you enough profit to quit that grinding office job you haven t got yet because it s a recession and no one works anywhere doing anything Then boy howdy, is this not the novel for you A scathing satire on the state of contemporary publishing, Jacobson is brutally honest about the futility of it all, and also reassuringly humorous about our slow sad slump into suicide at the same time Panacea for those quiet nights sobbing into your laptop

  2. Sally Howes Sally Howes says:

    The ongoing conundrum for the reader of this highly postmodern, self reflexive, and meta textual novel is whether to love it or hate it ZOO TIME is, quite frankly, stone in your shoe irritating throughout, yet its occasional moments of startling humor and razor sharp wit leave the reader on constantly shifting ground Is it really as mean spirited, whiny and shallow as it appears, or does it have hidden depths very well hidden depths This is a novel about the loves of Guy Abelman s life his The ongoing conundrum for the reader of this highly postmodern, self reflexive, and meta textual novel is whether to love it or hate it ZOO TIME is, quite frankly, stone in your shoe irritating throughout, yet its occasional moments of startling humor and razor sharp wit leave the reader on constantly shifting ground Is it really as mean spirited, whiny and shallow as it appears, or does it have hidden depths very well hidden depths This is a novel about the loves of Guy Abelman s life his writing and his women, which are prioritized in that order, although he has enough passion to honor both, at least in his own mind Naturally enough, these two entities are never kept separate but nourish each other Like the traditionalist male author he is, Guy tends to place women on pedestals, and marries Vanessa not so much for love but for his awe of her flaming haired, melodramatic charisma and his certainty that their tempestuous relationship will provide ample grist for his authorial mill Plus, marriage to Vanessa brings the added bonus of Poppy as his lawfully wedded mother in law Poppy looks and actslike Vanessa s twin sister than her mother, so his foray into holy matrimony has secured a smug Guy Abelman two beautiful, boisterous, and beguiling women for the price of one His writerly cup runneth over.There is only one problem with this While Guy says that Vanessa and Poppy strutted their stuff together They were forces, and you couldn t tell which of them energized the other, I found both female characters, but particularly Vanessa, to be completely vapid, soulless, and exasperating enough that I could have cheerfully throttled them Maybe that s the point, but to have to endure them for an entire book is a toilsome, tiresome way to arrive at it Male and female roles in Guy s world seem generally to be reversed, a condition I would normally thoroughly approve of, but in this case, it serves only to present women as bullies, airheads, or drama queens and men, particularly Guy himself, as cringing, impotent, and aimless.As Guy freely admits, Vanessa has always beenthe man of the family than he has the wife stroke husband Like an inordinately large number of things in his life, this is something that Guy both loves and hates, just as he simultaneously hates and craves the approval of everyone his women, readers, children Guy s excuse is that it is so hard to be a man because men are not allowed to be scurrilous and libidinous over women any Our main protagonist in ZOO TIME, dear reader, is a man who is saved from a bout of depression by his own father s funeral.Guy is not an easy character to like, for so many reasons Above all, it is not easy for a reader to warm to a character who calls the greater part of the reading community the malignantly illiterate the wordless walking brain dead Not only does he despise the reader, he sees anyone who is not a writer as similarly dead In fact, if he thought about it for long enough, he could probably come up with a zombie apocalypse novel that his agent would love Writers and publishers, says Guy, are up against the man haters and the word haters And this is where the sacred distinction between the author and the protagonist comes into serious question Often a difficult distinction for a reader to hold onto, ZOO TIME may be one of the few novels in which it can be legitimately abandoned altogether, at least in the parts of the book that refer to the woes of the twenty first century publishing industry These are at the same time the most vibrant and the most morose, but above all, the most interesting passages of the book, and the belief that it is not Guy s voice but Jacobson s we are hearing here is virtually irresistible.Despite the prickly hostility and generally irritating antagonism of ZOO TIME, I amthan happy to make some positive concessions, the main one being that when Jacobson qua Guy is at his most passionate which almost always means when he is talking about writing or publishing he displays a rapid fire, dangerously sharp wit that is, on occasion, breathtaking This is most amply demonstrated quite early in the novel, when Guy has lunch with his old fashioned and thus despairing publisher, Merton Flack We soon come to realize that the publishing industry is caught not just in a catch 22 but somethinglike a catch 88, at least Agents like Flack can t keep pace with all the twits and blags tweets and blogs , and Flack s assertion that the novel is dead not because no one knows how to write one but because no one knows how to read one is a sobering thought indeed Gen Y wants to know what a novel is about, what point it is making, when really it s not ABOUT anything, it s just the author s attempt to find his stroke her way toward meaning.It seems likely that this explains the weak, meandering plot and maddeningly self obsessed characters of ZOO TIME The book does have redeeming features, but they are few and far between The glimpses of brilliant wit that appear in some of the novel s rants on the death of the book are one such, and there are a few genuine laugh out loud moments, such as Guy s encounter with an American travel magazine fat checker and his assertion that the greatest problem facing the modern writer is constipation literally, not figuratively And there is one character in the book who is a genuinely intriguing and memorable man of mystery the hobo writer, Ernest Hemingway, the ghost of serious writing, who turns up whenever Guy is at his most maudlin about the future of publishing Thanks to this ghost of great authors past, the final few pages of ZOO TIME are the best, and considering what has come before, the book does have a surprisingly poignant ending.Overall, however, I cannot pretend that it is easy to find anything very cheerful about being trapped in ZOO TIME s web of cynical witticisms, self cancelling statements and ironic nihilism But then, according to Guy Abelman, I fail the Tolkien test, though I pass the Tolstoy test, so who am I to judge And I have to admit that Guy did get far enough under my skin to make me briefly consider giving ZOO TIME the five starreview I know Mr Abelman stroke Jacobson would hate But I only considered it very briefly

  3. Vishnu Vishnu says:

    If you d asked me what I thought of this book at the 150 page mark,I d have declared it as one of the best I dread in the recent past and would have given it a 5 5 rating After the 220 page mark, the rating would have slipped down to 4 after 300 page mark it would have slid to 3 5 and finally, after the entire run of 375 pages, it has dwindled down to a 2 5 Maybe 2.5 Here we have for us a classic case of book that tried to be written beyond its capacity and beyond the author s capability Ma If you d asked me what I thought of this book at the 150 page mark,I d have declared it as one of the best I dread in the recent past and would have given it a 5 5 rating After the 220 page mark, the rating would have slipped down to 4 after 300 page mark it would have slid to 3 5 and finally, after the entire run of 375 pages, it has dwindled down to a 2 5 Maybe 2.5 Here we have for us a classic case of book that tried to be written beyond its capacity and beyond the author s capability Maybe he doesn t overtly try to, but Jacobson seems to want to colour himself with shades of Philip Roth and make his Guy Ableman an Alexander Portnoy, but fails miserably in the process The first half of this novel has some brilliant passages mirroring Jacobson s own theory on the interlinked processes of reading and writing and these make for a compelling read, but from thereon in it is an exercise in futility as much as Guy Ableman s own literary endeavours It is not say that I dislike novels with a particular fixed plot story which shows meaningful displacement from point A to point B, it s actually contrarywise But Jacobson s turn of prose, brilliant in flashes, deserts him halfway through the novel and he cuts as sorry and frustrated a figure as his character, a spent figure with barely anything to show for his initial genius Still, I do think this book needs to be read, not for its plot, not for the characters but for the author himself who exemplifies an almost Adam and Eve esque fall from grace, becomingmortal with each further page he writes, leaving behind the immortality he clamours for, which shall forever remain for him just that much out of reach In this, Guy Ableman becomes the Everyman, the truly tragic figure in this increasingly pathetic book

  4. Glenn Sumi Glenn Sumi says:

    Howard Jacobson s follow up to his Booker Prize winning The Finkler Question is a pitch black, razor sharp critique of the publishing industry that will earn lots of chuckles from book nerds.Middle aged UK author Guy Ableman is stuck in literary limbo His readership has dwindled, bookstores are going bankrupt and his despairing publisher just committed suicide What s , Guy s begun to fantasize about sleeping with his wife s mother, possibly as inspiration for his next novel.As Guy deals wi Howard Jacobson s follow up to his Booker Prize winning The Finkler Question is a pitch black, razor sharp critique of the publishing industry that will earn lots of chuckles from book nerds.Middle aged UK author Guy Ableman is stuck in literary limbo His readership has dwindled, bookstores are going bankrupt and his despairing publisher just committed suicide What s , Guy s begun to fantasize about sleeping with his wife s mother, possibly as inspiration for his next novel.As Guy deals with a new publisher who wants literature reduced to 10 minute smartphone reads, Jacobson flashes back and ahead to pretentious literary festivals, angry reading groups and politically correct symposia.The book could use a bit of a trim, especially in the first third, where some of Guy s rants feel repetitive And the plot and characterizations are intentionally, gloriously broad.But the novel succeeds because of its chatty, lively tone Jacobson obviously still loves the world he skewers.Originally published in NOW MagazineHere s my related interview with Jacobson

  5. Boris Feldman Boris Feldman says:

    A worthy nominee for worst book of 2012.The English Philip Roth Only in his own mind.I ve read all of Jacobson s prior works Generally, they ve gotten worse over time Here, he has reached his literary nadir Self indulgent Cute, in an artificial sweetener kind of way.No doubt, it will be short listed for this and that, because he s now An Important Author.It should be short listed for the remainder table at The Strand.

  6. Kirsty Kirsty says:

    I fully understand that Zoo Time is a satirical work hey, I m all for satire but something about it just tries far too hard I didn t enjoy Jacobson s prose style something which several people have told me about other works of his , and the protagonist is, let s face it, an egotistical dick I didn t enjoy this at first, but I persevered to page fifty, and then wondered why I d bothered, as the end result was the same to Oxfam goes this book.

  7. Jill Jill says:

    Guy Abelman is an everyman If you have any doubt, just deconstruct his name Guy and Abel In Howard Jacobson s new book, this everyman has plenty of problems he wants to sleep with his mother in law and he also is determined to ensure that the priapic novel continues to reign.In short, Everyman is narcissistically obsessed by phallic matters Decades ago, when Philip Roth focused on man and his phallic preoccupation, the world sat up and took notice Today most readers are far quicker to Guy Abelman is an everyman If you have any doubt, just deconstruct his name Guy and Abel In Howard Jacobson s new book, this everyman has plenty of problems he wants to sleep with his mother in law and he also is determined to ensure that the priapic novel continues to reign.In short, Everyman is narcissistically obsessed by phallic matters Decades ago, when Philip Roth focused on man and his phallic preoccupation, the world sat up and took notice Today most readers are far quicker to recognize that phallus preoccupation is typically a metaphor for self preoccupation.And so it is with our Everyman He is self absorbed A writer such as I am feels he s been away from the first person for too long if a third person narrative goes on forthan two paragraphs, never mind a chapter He, him, his Why bother when such words as I, me, mine exist The problem with a narcissistic character is he can easily become tiresome Abelman is not an able man rather, he s in the throes of forces bigger than himself The pleasure of reading books such as he writes is disappearing now, an app called Unbooks lets time pressed readers breeze through an entire book at a bus stop and readers challenge him at readings that is, if they show up Is Zoo Time named, in part, because of Abelman s first novel, Who Gives a Monkey s witty For this reader, there was a certain pretentiousness in the prose that made it hard for me to break through and relate Sure, there were beautifully phrased insights that made me want to keep going harbingers of what this book might have been but not quite enough for me to want to have spent so many hours in Abelman s navel picking world.I couldn t help but compare Zoo Time to Smut, by Alan Bennett Although the comparison isn t true apples to apples, Bennett tackled phallic topics with a light and deft hand Humor, of course, is in the eye of the beholder and others may take to itkindly

  8. Beth Beth says:

    The protagonist and antagonist of Howard Jacobson s newest novel Zoo Time is a writer For Guy Abelman, art is life and life is art, the distinction or lack thereof Abelman s greatest inducement and his most enduring curse A self described victim of everyone and everything from his readers or lack thereof , his parents and brother, his agent, publisher, reviewers, the very state of the contemporary book industry to his sniping and aspiring writer wife and her mother, Abelman is never The protagonist and antagonist of Howard Jacobson s newest novel Zoo Time is a writer For Guy Abelman, art is life and life is art, the distinction or lack thereof Abelman s greatest inducement and his most enduring curse A self described victim of everyone and everything from his readers or lack thereof , his parents and brother, his agent, publisher, reviewers, the very state of the contemporary book industry to his sniping and aspiring writer wife and her mother, Abelman is nevertheless in love with all of the above as well Without them, he has no sense of himself as a man or as a writer and, literally, no characters for the raving sexual fantasies he imagines to be the last gasping remnants of the literary tradition begun by such author heroes as Henry Miller and D.H Lawrence With his satiric and sometimes laugh out loud style, his brilliant dialogue and raw though often completely unreliable personal reflections, Jacobson has written a novel about writing and love are they any different that captures the state of both in perfect desperation while, at the same time, reserving the right to hope for something even if it is just a good laugh about it all

  9. Sophie Sophie says:

    I should have realised that I would hate this book when the protagonist s misogyny was pointed out on the first page The worst kind of misogynist, he claims to love women and proceeds to paint them all as exactly the same Having persevered through the book out of sheer stubbornness no, it doesn t get better , I immediately went in search of answers and themes, assuming I just wasn t intellectual enough to understand its underlying poetry So far, I m none the wiser and no longer sure I care I should have realised that I would hate this book when the protagonist s misogyny was pointed out on the first page The worst kind of misogynist, he claims to love women and proceeds to paint them all as exactly the same Having persevered through the book out of sheer stubbornness no, it doesn t get better , I immediately went in search of answers and themes, assuming I just wasn t intellectual enough to understand its underlying poetry So far, I m none the wiser and no longer sure I care I m left feeling that Jacobson wrote this novel to test his readers tenacity, not their intelligence It was exhausting and not at all worth my time The status of the writing world really can t be that bad when books like this have been published

  10. Anne Anne says:

    Yeah, it s full of the same old Howard Jacobsen Players the seductive harridans, horrible harridans, and the roguish author who can t keep his thoughts, his hands, or his dick to himself But still, no one can hairpin the mood of a heavy sentence like Howard Jacobsen Also, it s a very good satire of various POVs about the demise of the publishing industry.

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