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Bookclub-in-a-Box Discusses The Finkler Question, by Howard Jacobson
     

Bookclub-in-a-Box Discusses The Finkler Question, by Howard Jacobson

3.8 5
by Marilyn Herbert
 
In The Finkler Question, Howard Jacobson provocatively puts forward the stereotypical arguments of culture, religion, politics, and anti-Semitism, presenting both the Jewish and non-Jewish sides at once. The story centers on Julian Treslove, a Gentile, so physically non-descript that people have trouble recognizing him. He has been wrongly identified as Brad Pitt and

Overview

In The Finkler Question, Howard Jacobson provocatively puts forward the stereotypical arguments of culture, religion, politics, and anti-Semitism, presenting both the Jewish and non-Jewish sides at once. The story centers on Julian Treslove, a Gentile, so physically non-descript that people have trouble recognizing him. He has been wrongly identified as Brad Pitt and Colin Firth, but never Adam Sandler or Billy Crystal. Non-Jewish Treslove also has no distinct inner identity, so perhaps he can be forgiven for trying to find one as a Jew. It all begins when Treslove is violently mugged in front of a violin shop and believes that he is the victim of an anti-Semitic assault. After all, he had just come from dinner with his two close Jewish friends, Sam Finkler and Libor Sevcik. In some of the novel’s funniest scenes, worthy of the humour of Woody Allen and Groucho Marx, Julian Treslove justifies his brush with aggression as an extreme case of mistaken identity. Using his three distinctly different characters, Jacobson considers who is and isn’t a Jew and whether or not Jews can be anti-Semitic. More significantly, Jacobson asks who (Jew or non-Jew) has permission to discuss these touchy topics. Jacobson juxtaposes his title, The Finkler Question, against “the Jewish Question,” the offensive phrase made famous by Hitler as he put forward his Holocaust’s Final Solution. Jacobson lays out the whole conversation to be considered from all sides and perspectives. This novel was rewarded for its courageous outlook by being awarded the prestigious Man-Booker prize, 2010. The Bookclub-in-a-Box guide for Harold Jacobson’s book will spark discussion around the following topics: How can a Jew be defined and does one definition fit all? Can religious and cultural intolerance be overcome by Jews and non-Jews alike? Is it possible to discuss the “Jewish” question in a productive and rational manner, without falling victim to raw emotion? Every Bookclub-in-a-Box discussion guide includes complete coverage of the themes and symbols, writing style and interesting background information on the novel and the author.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781927121184
Publisher:
Bookclub-in-a-Box
Publication date:
09/11/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
58
File size:
306 KB

Meet the Author

Marilyn Herbert, the creator of Bookclub-in-a-Box, located in Toronto, Canada, is an international speaker and writer. As a former teacher and school librarian, she adapts her education skills to the effective and thought-provoking consideration of literary fiction and film. Bookclub-in-a-Box, bookclubinabox.com, has over sixty published guides for contemporary novels. The company was established in 2002 and has an international customer base and subscriber list. Our discussion guides offer an interactive, yet educational, platform for interpreting and enjoying modern fiction. They are ideal for use by book club members, teachers, students and all readers.

Samantha Bailey, the published author of Finding Lucas, has over 15 years of experience writing, editing and teaching. She has a Master’s of Education, has written numerous articles, and runs her own freelance writing/editing business: perfectpencommunications.wordpress.com.

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Bookclub-in-a-Box Discusses The Finkler Question, by Howard Jacobson 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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