Howard Jacobson

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The Mighty Walzer

Winner: Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize
book | Fiction | 1999
UK → Vintage
US → Bloomsbury Publishing

From the very beginning, Oliver Walzer is a natural - at ping-pong. Without even a bat (he plays with the Collins Classic edition of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) he can chop, flick, half-volley like a champion.

At sex, he is not a natural, being shy and frightened of women, but with tuition from Sheeny Waxman, fellow member of the Akiva Social Club Table Tennis team and stalwart of the Kardomah coffee bar, his game improves.

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Kate Cooper manages the translation rights for The Mighty Walzer

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French
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Editions Calmann-Levy
Italian
World
L'Ancora del Mediterraneo
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The Mighty Walzer
The Mighty Walzer
The Mighty Walzer
Reviews

[I found] Jacobson's cadences, rhythms and vocabulary (a particularly rich broth of Mancunian Yiddish) implanted in my brain for what seemed like weeks afterwards. Nicholas Lezard
The Guardian
Full Review

A beautifully written book - poignant, moving, hilarious - that explores a rich variety of semi-autobiographical themes. Andrew Anthony
The Observer
Full Review

Jacobson writes like a player at the top of his game: alive to the comedy and sadness of the mundane, shifting the mood effortlessly. Tristan Quinn
The Observer
Full Review

A master of confessional humour, Jacobson has written his best novel yet. The Independent
Full Review

One of the greatest sporting novels ever. David Robson
The Telegraph

Jacobson writes with such verve, and his sense of humor is so sharp, that he could turn a novel of basket weaving into a ripsnorter. Publishers Weekly
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A delight from start to finish, and a note-perfect evocation of the gray 1950s. Kirkus
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