Posted by JeanC on November 14, 2010 at 11:09:55:
In Reply to: Howard Jacobson wins booker posted by EdJH on November 12, 2010 at 11:36:45:
It is written in a simple direct style. Unusual for Booker winners. Here is the opening:
He should have seen it coming.
His life had been one mishap after another. So he should have been prepared for this one.
He was a man who saw things coming. Not shadowy premonitions before and after sleep, but real and present dangers in the daylit world. Lamp posts and trees reared up at him, splintering his shins. Speeding cars lost control and rode on to the footpath leaving him lying in a pile of torn tissue and mangled bones. Sharp objects dropped from scaffolding and pierced his skull.
Women worst of all. When a woman of the sort Julian Treslove found beautiful crossed his path it wasn’t his body that took the force but his mind. She shattered his calm.
True, he had no calm, but she shattered whatever calm there was to look forward to in the future. She was the future.
People who see what’s coming have faulty chronology, that is all. Treslove’s clocks were all wrong. He no sooner saw the woman than he saw the aftermath of her — his marriage proposal and her acceptance, the home they would set up together, the drawn rich silk curtains leaking purple light, the bed sheets billowing like clouds, the wisp of aromatic smoke winding from the chimney — only for every wrack of it — its lattice of crimson roof tiles, its gables and dormer windows, his happiness, his future — to come crashing down on him in the moment of her walking past.
She didn’t leave him for another man, or tell him she was sick of him and of their life together, she passed away in a perfected dream of tragic love — consumptive, wet-eyelashed, and as often as not singing her goodbyes to him in phrases borrowed from popular Italian opera.
: Howard Jacobson won the 2010 Man Booker Prize for his novel, The Finkler Question. I've read it. Great!
: Anybody else read it?
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