Howard Jacobson

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Whatever it is, I don't like it

book | Non-Fiction | 2011
UK → Bloomsbury Publishing
US → Bloomsbury Publishing
It takes a particular kind of man to want an embroidered polo player astride his left nipple. Occasionally, when I am tired and emotional, or consumed with self-dislike, I try to imagine myself as someone else, a wearer of Yarmouth shirts and fleecy sweats, of windbreakers and rugged Tyler shorts, of baseball caps with polo players where the section of the brain that concerns itself with aesthetics is supposed to be. But the hour passes. Good men return from fighting Satan in the wilderness the stronger for their struggle, and so do I.

Man Booker Prize-winning Howard Jacobson shimmers with life in this collection of his most acclaimed journalism. From the unusual disposal of his father-in-law's ashes and the cultural wasteland of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the melancholy sensuality of Leonard Cohen and desolation of Wagner's tragedies, Jacobson writes with all the hostility and joy of a man possessed. Absurdity piles upon absurdity, and glorious sentences weave together to create a hilarious, hearty, heartbreaking and uniquely human collection.
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Whatever it is, I don't like it
Reviews

Rarely has my job felt so much like goofing off than now: having to praise a selection of Howard Jacobson's columns. I would have latched on to this book and devoured it – heck, even bought a copy with my own money – whether or not I had a column in which I recommended good books to discriminating readers.


Nicholas Lezard
The Guardian

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Jonny Geller
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Kate Cooper
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