Archive for the ‘Satire’ Category
Manu Josephâ€™s debut book is seriously good â€“ a wickedly funny, surprisingly warm and stunningly stylish satire that strikes its target over and over again, taking the reader along for a rollicking ride.
The book SERIOUS MEN introduces us to two equally willful men with runaway egos: Arvind Acharya, a bigger-than-life astrophysicist at the prestigious Institute of Theory and Research, a would-be Nobel candidate who is rumored to have been banned from the Vatican for whispering something untoward in the popeâ€™s ear. The other is his personal assistant, Ayyan Mani, a Dalit (or â€śuntouchableâ€ť) who is â€śsmarter than the average bearâ€ť (in this case, the average Dalit) with an IQ of 148.
Nevertheless, Howard Jacobson does talk about it, together with gentile anti-Semitism and that philo-Semitism that may well be anti-Semitism in disguise. This brilliant novel, at once comedic and penetrating, is nothing less than a study of Jewish identity, at least as reflected by a group of middle-class Jews in contemporary London. This is satire, but equal-opportunity satire; there is nobody who may not be offended by it at one point or another, yet nobody who will not recognize the wisdom of Jacobson’s insights, as loving and humane as they are witty.
Nothing prepared me for Elizabeth Jolleyâ€™s novel FOXYBABY. What was I expecting? Well a gentle novel, a comedy of manners, perhaps? Instead FOXYBABY is packed with quirky characters whose attendance at a private summer course unleashes a range of odd behaviours.
In Jenniferâ€™s Eganâ€™s lively and inventive novel â€“ A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD â€“ each of its characters feels his or her mortality. Each is a in a tenuous danse-a-deux with â€śthe goon.â€ť
Every chapter is told from a different characterâ€™s point of view and it is no accident that the novel starts with Sasha â€“ the assistant of music producer Bennie Salazar, one of the key focal points. Sasha has sticky fingers and is constantly pirating away meaningless objects to compose â€śthe warped core of her life.â€ť These objects serve as talismans, placing her at armâ€™s length from the love she wants.
November 3, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· One Comment
Tags: Knopf, Music, Near Future Â· Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Contemporary, Humorous, National Book Critic Circle (NBCC), Pulitzer Prize, Reading Guide, Satire, y Award Winning Author
Two things about British novelist Fay Weldon: she will always be controversial and she will always be relevant.
I was recently talking to my nephew. Heâ€™s a new college freshman and was heading off to school. â€śDo you ever think about reinventing yourself,â€ť I asked him. I was making dinner and he was sitting in the kitchen, keeping me company. His mouth dropped open and his eyes grew wide when I asked him the question. â€śI mean,â€ť I continued, â€śyou are going to a place where you are not known by anyone. You have no biography. You can be whatever and whomever you wish to be. Have you thought about that?â€ť He nodded his head. â€śI think about it all the time,â€ť he confessed.
I was reminded of this recent exchange while reading Daniel Kehlmannâ€™s new book, FAME, as translated from the German original by Carol Brown Janeway.