Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, 2006
Fixated on the crimes that have been committed against his people, but unable to live among them, Max moves away, marries out, and draws cartoon histories of Jewish suffering in which no one, least of all the Jews, is much interested. But it's a life. Or it seems a life, until Max's long-disregarded childhood friend, Manny Washinsky, is released from prison. Little by little, as he picks up his old connection with Manny, trying to understand the circumstances in which he made a Buchenwald of his own home, Max is drawn into Manny's family history - above all with his brother's tragic love affair with a girl who is half German. But more than that, he is drawn back into the Holocaust obsessions from which he realises there can be, and should be, no release.
There is wild, angry, even uproarious element of laughter in this novel, but it is laughter on the edge - the comedy of cataclysm.
"He has taken his skills to a new level and produced a novel of genius." (
"A masterpiece...a brilliantly constructed, playful, evocative, hilarious, midnight dark novel." ( Sunday Herald)
"This is turbocharged; someone has put a rocket under Jacobson, and the result is scintillating." ( Evening Standard)
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Laugh where you dare!