I was looking forward to liking Howard Jacobson's J. From the back cover, I'm told that Jacobson is a Man Booker Prize winner, and a Sunday Times review is quoted, saying J "invites comparison with George Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World." Wow! Those two books were formative influences to me, so I just knew J would be a hit.
Well, J does invite comparison to those venerable novels, as in "Compared to the classic dystopian novels Brave New World and 1984, J doesn't hold a candle." Jacobson's writing is unnecessarily obtuse and frustratingly evasive. Many passages are lengthy, pointless dialogues which reminded me of those stage plays where nothing really happens but boy, do they ever talk a lot!
There's a love story in J. SOMETHING HAPPENED IF IT HAPPENED. What HAPPENED? Some kind of genocide, even more successful than Hitler's. I should probably read this again to get the whole social commentary. But I don't want to.
Thanks to Blogging for Books for the complimentary review copy!