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J: A Novel
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J: A Novel [Format Kindle]

Howard Jacobson

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

**Finalist for the 2014 Man Booker Prize

Praise for J:

“Remarkable... Comparisons do not do full justice to Jacobson’s achievement in what may well come to be seen as the dystopian British novel of its times.” –John Burnside, Guardian

“A snarling, effervescent and ambitious philosophical work of fiction that poses unsettling questions about our sense of history, and our self-satisfied orthodoxies. Jacobson’s triumph is to craft a novel that is poignant as well as troubling from the debris.” –Independent

“Fine, you can call him the British Philip Roth, but J makes me wonder when the hell we’re going to have someone with the staggering talent that we can call an American Howard Jacobson.” –Shalom Auslander, author of Hope: A Tragedy

J is a dystopia that invites comparison with George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.” –Sunday Times

“Mystifying, serious, and blackly funny... J shows that, for a writer working at the peak of his powers, with the themes of his imagined future very much part of our present, laughter in the dark is the only kind.” –Independent on Sunday

“Brilliant...J is a firework display of verbal invention, as entertaining as it is unsettling.” –Jewish Chronicle

“Readers...will find plenty to think and talk about in Jacobson’s remarkable, disturbing book.” —Booklist (starred)

J is a remarkable achievement: an affecting, unsettling—and yes, darkly amusing—novel that offers a picture of the horror of a sanitized world whose dominant mode is elegiac, but where the possibility of elegy is everywhere collectively proscribed.” –National

“Contemporary literature is overloaded with millenarian visions of destroyed landscapes and societies in flames, but Jacobson has produced one that feels frighteningly new by turning the focus within: the ruins here are the ruins of language, imagination, love itself.” –Telegraph

“[J]’s success owes much to the fine texture of its dystopia... Jacobson has crafted an immersive, complex experience with care and guile.” –Observer

“Jacobson…goes from strength to strength. This is a new departure: futuristic, dystopian, not, it seems, the world as we know it. But as we peer through the haze we see something take shape. It’s horrible. It’s monstrous. Read this for yourself and you’ll see what it is.” –Evening Standard

“A provocative dystopian fantasy to stack next to Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Gohas the kind of nightmarish twist which makes you want to turn back to page one immediately and read the whole thing again.” –Sunday Express

Praise for Howard Jacobson:

“A real giant, a great, great writer.”
–Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything is Illuminated
“Mr. Jacobson doesn’t just summon [Philip] Roth; he summons Roth at Roth’s best.”
–Janet Maslin, New York Times
“Jacobson’s capacity to explore the minutiae of the human condition while attending to the metaphysics of human existence is without contemporary peer.”
–Daily Beast

Présentation de l'éditeur

Shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize

Set in the future - a world where the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited - J is a love story of incomparable strangeness, both tender and terrifying.

Two people fall in love, not yet knowing where they have come from or where they are going. Kevern doesn’t know why his father always drew two fingers across his lips when he said a word starting with a J. It wasn’t then, and isn’t now, the time or place to be asking questions. Ailinn too has grown up in the dark about who she was or where she came from. On their first date Kevern kisses the bruises under her eyes. He doesn’t ask who hurt her. Brutality has grown commonplace. They aren’t sure if they have fallen in love of their own accord, or whether they’ve been pushed into each other’s arms. But who would have pushed them, and why?

Hanging over the lives of all the characters in this novel is a momentous catastrophe – a past event shrouded in suspicion, denial and apology, now referred to as What Happened, If It Happened.

J is a novel to be talked about in the same breath as Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World, thought-provoking and life-changing. It is like no other novel that Howard Jacobson has written.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1189 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 340 pages
  • Editeur : Vintage Digital (14 août 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0224101978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224101974
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°23.414 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.7 étoiles sur 5  11 commentaires
14 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 thought provoking and disquieting 11 septembre 2014
Par Audrey Schoeman - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Confession time: I wasn't a fan of The Finkler Question. It is probably a book I should revisit, but when it came out I found it deeply depressing as opposed to the comic work it was hailed as. So initially the feelings of upset which J stirred in me led me to suspect that I just wasn't a Howard Jacobson fan. Different strokes for different folks, right? Maybe not. As I got further into the book, the thought entered my head that perhaps this dystopian novel was deliberately unsettling. That it was making me pull back (while drawing me in) on purpose. After all, surely the best dystopian fiction will always strike a little too close to home? I don't think I will ever love Jacobson's style: I won't be waiting eagerly for his next offering. But this was a thought provoking, superbly crafted read, fan or not.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 IS ANOTHER BOOKER PRIZE IN THE OFFING? 14 août 2014
Par the GreatReads! - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
Author Howard Jacobson won the Booker Prize in 2010 for The Finkler Question. His latest work which is simply titled J is on the longlist for this year's prize. I was doubtful of his chances of scoring a double but after reading J, I'm not too sure anymore.

J by Howard Jacobson is a speculative fiction novel with a subtle post-apocalyptic setting with the romance between the two main protagonists Ailinn Solomons and Kevern Cohen both gentle and terrifying. It is a strange society where the letter `J' is rarely used, though not prohibited by law. The situation is such that Kevern is unable to utter a word containing the letter without making a gesture - covering his lips with his fingers.

Howard Jacobson's characters are well-conceived, though at times they border on the unthinkable. The plot has surprises, and this makes for an effortless reading which is one major plus-point of the book. The wordplay of the author is quite brilliant, occasionally superb. The culture and norms of the society inhabited by the characters are a bit weird. Perceptive and engaging, J by Howard Jacobson is an impressive novel with its delightful lightheartedness in the midst of a grim setting.
15 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Nebulous 22 août 2014
Par Helen - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
This is a difficult novel to enjoy. Firstly, it deals with a dystopian society where the reasons for that dystopia are incredibly uncomfortable. Of course, good dystopian novels SHOULD make you uncomfortable as a reader so perhaps it's reading it against the backdrop of current world events that struck such a disharmonious chord within me. Secondly, it takes a very long time for the reasons behind the society created in J to become clear. There are very good reasons for Jacobson writing in this manner and the cloudy WHAT HAPPENED, IF IT HAPPENED events that have made things the way they are. However, even though it's intentional to be fumbling around through the chapters and trying to work out what's happening, it made the story, the characters and the writing all far too nebulous. I spent far more time attempting to decipher the clues than appreciating the novel. I should probably go back and re-read it now I know the truth but, in reality, I know I won't.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 "What happened, if it happened." 14 octobre 2014
Par Amelia Gremelspacher - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Perhaps I cannot be blamed for returning over and over to thoughts of the Holocaust as this darkly brilliant novel unravels the fabric of a society determined to forget the past by law. No one is to remember the great brutality of a war gone by as if to examine it would resurrect more hatred in the opposing views of thought and blame. There are dark references to trains and selections, ruined cities, and toppled economies of greed and affluence.

In Kervin's small town, the people congratulate themselves on their distance from the turmoil of the past and of the large cities. In the Ishmael law, itself a gifted riff on a doomed pseudonym, everyone has taken a new name. Heirlooms are limited. Everyone says sorry all the time. Yet the village is haunted with violence and unions are rarely monogamous. Fights are common. No one says J without a gesture across the lips. No one notes history. Kervin is a remarkable man, a Cohen unable to drop the significance of this made up name. He has fallen in love with Ailleen and it is their very temperance that does not allow them to give lip service to the inanities of the new civilization, thus cursing themselves in their small world.

The writing is perplexing and often labyrinthine. The sense of unease and of being followed never abates. The irony of a society willed to a civility that never holds is ironic in the extreme. Yet this is a novel that brings to mind every denier, every person who is determined to bury the past, and every book that shades hatreds of history. It is not so very far to venture from this book to any determinedly pleasant day in the many blood soaked sands of the world. Yet the main characters remain vibrant in contrast and their determination to be human brings balm to the reader. I find this to be an inspired piece of fiction and one I will not forget.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Excited to begin reading; sad to abandon it 20 octobre 2014
Par vmcla - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I had such high hopes for this book. However, by 26% in I had lost all interest and had no desire to pick it up again.

In fact, in the first few dozen pages, I couldn't wait to resume reading. Imagine a chapter titled, "Twitternacht". Superbly interesting given our current times and communications. But it's a very vague story where the most alluring aspect, what happened to society and why, is only hinted at. Instead, we get two wan characters who can't penetrate their pasts and offer us no reason at all to be concerned about their present or future.

Intriguingly, the writing is very fine. Deep, detailed and nice to see for anyone who likes the art of putting words together. But ultimately, so many words require a story what carries the reader through the abstractions. That's just not here.

So if you are a reader who requires a story, there are many other books which satisfy that need. This is certainly not one of them, particularly with it's lost premise and promise.
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