What country isn't a charnel house of its own history?
Two people fall in love in a world where the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited. As they discover where they came from and where they are going, a bigger, more shattering truth is revealed to them.
Kevern doesn't know why his father made him put two fingers across his lips whenever he began a work with a J. It wasn't then, and it isn't now, the time or place for asking questions. Ailinn, too, has grown up in the dark about who she was and 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 whether 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 all the lives of everyone 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.
Tender and terrifying, J deserves to be spoken in the same breath as Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
J by Howard Jacobson (Tentative review)
So, let me first start by explaining that it has not taken me more than 2 or 3 days, 4 tops, to read a book in a long time. Since this was my first book to review from Blogging for Books, I wanted to try to get my review in in a timely manner. So, when I got the book, I finished the one I was reading and put the 6 or 7 other books I had to review on hold. Let me also say that I was really excited about this book, between the awesome looking cover and the description, I was ready to love this book.
It has now been over two weeks, and I have only been able to make it to page 85 of this 400 page book. Now, I am NOT one to stop in the middle of a book and put it down, but as I was trying to give this book a chance and giving it about 4 times the amount of time I usually devote to one book, the list of books I have to review has almost doubled.
Since I now have about a dozen books waiting to be read and reviewed, I started one a couple of nights ago, to make sure that the issue is not in my mood to read or something. I just got done with that book, and I cannot give this book another two weeks, right now, especially since I am trying to get the rest of my schoolwork in before the end of the semester, next week, before my month-long, winter break from homework, during which, I have planned to read at least 15 books, in order to build up my new blog.
However, I am not giving up on you, J. Instead, this is my tentative review, until after the holidays and my winter break. Perhaps when I stop worrying about how many other books I am making wait, I will be able to better get into and finish this book.