Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson

mynameisshylockIt isn’t very often I begin a book and don’t finish it, let alone write about it.  Occasionally, I will start one and set it aside for awhile because I have to be in a certain frame of mind to read it, then pick it up again later and tear through it because I am in the right frame of mind. But Shylock is My Name was a book that simply eluded me.
For me, Jacobson‘s tome, dealing with what has been describe as an “uncomfortable” topic — that of the grasping Jew, Shylock, who, incidentally, is that way because of the abuse he has suffered — set in modern times, just fell flat for me. It was extremely slow-paced and so full of racist jokes and allusions that I found it repugnant.  I survived through about 4 chapters.  It’s quite possible that I entirely missed the point Jacobson (winner of the Man Booker Award 2010 for his book, The Finkler Question) was trying to make but I have stacks of books I really want to read and after leaving this one on my bedside table for what must be close to a year, I finally gave it up!  If you enjoyed it, I apologize.  If you want to tell me why you enjoyed it, I’d be glad to hear from you.  If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry about it.

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About mysm2000

Having taught elementary school for more than 25 years and been involved in many amazing technology and curriculum projects, I find I've developed a myriad of interests based on literature I've read and music I've heard. I've followed The Wright Three to Chicago, Ansel Adams to Colorado, The Kon Tiki Expedition to Easter Island, Simon & Garfunkel lyrics to New York City, Frank Lloyd Wright to Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, and have only just begun.
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