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Mr. Rosenblum's List: Or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman Paperback – 8 Jul 2010


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Mr. Rosenblum's List: Or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman + The Novel in the Viola + Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; Reprint edition (8 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340995661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340995662
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 2.2 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Natasha Solomons was born in 1980. Her first job, aged nine, was as a shepherdess, minding the flock on Bulbarrow hill. Since then, she has worked as a screenwriter with her husband, and they are currently working on the adaptation of MR ROSENBLUM`S LIST. She is also researching a PhD in eighteenth-century poetry. She lives in Dorset.

Product Description

Review

Prepare to be seriously charmed. (The Times)

'The descriptions of England - as friend, adversary and eventually homne - are exquisite. Jack Rosenblum, a foolish, deeply sympathetic protagonist, is exasperating and admirable in equal measure. A touching, surprising and satisfying read.' (Sadie Jones, author of The Outcast)

'Utterly charming and very funny' (Paul Torday, author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen)

'In her charming debut, Natasha Solomons folds together Jewish baking, golf and Dorset folklore to create a singular comic confection... Solomons crafts a fine pastoral comedy from Jack's eccentric endeavours to reshape the land and from his encounters with rustic labourers who seem to have absconded from the pages of a Hardy novel... Sadie provides a touching counterpoint to the comedy... Much of the delight in this novel stems from Solomons' feeling for types of traditional knowledge that are on the verge of obsolescence.' (Telegraph)

The light yet poignant tone makes for an unusual, richly comic novel...a treat of a book. (Guardian)

An affectionate portrait of a spirited man trying to find a little corner of the world where he can truly belong...[Solomons] successfully treads the fine line between comedy and the precarious plight of refugees in an entertaining tale that has resonances in contemporary Britain. (Herald)

'a subtle and moving examination of the dilemma faced by immigrants to modern Britain'. (Observer)

'a tender exploration of the nature of home'. (Marie Claire)

written with and skill, humour and sympathy (The Lady)

[Solomons] has an exceptional feel for the Dorset countryside. (Country Life)

A delightful tale of one man's determination to fulfil his dream. (Stylist)

delightful debut...Solomon's narrative has shades of both P.G. Wodehouse and Isabel Allende...There are also echoes of Jez Butterworth's play Jerusalem in this whimsical novel's deep seam of inquiry into the nature of Englishness. (TLS)

almost irritatingly impressive...she strikes the perfect note with simple, evocative metaphors. I was forced to accept that this was a rare treat; a debut novel that is pretty much flawless... (The Times)

Sprinkled with a hint of magic, this debut is a delight. (Daily Mail)

Book Description

A charming novel about an irrepressible man, his long-suffering wife and a Very English dream.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By covergirl14 on 28 July 2011
Format: Audio Cassette
I loved Natasha Solomons' 'Novel in the Viola' - one of the best books I've read for years - and was surprised that this is completely different in tone and direction. It's the unusual, subtly clever story of Jack and Sadie, Jews who move to England from Germany and try VERY hard (or at least, Jack does) to fit in in rural Dorset.
Jack's obsession with 'fitting in' leads him to another compulsion, which drives the novel along - his all-consuming desire to build his own golf course, as he can't get admission into any all-English ones.
Jack's oft-thwarted journey to the final hole is both funny and heart-breaking. I have to say, I have never wanted a character to succeed so badly. I haven't read many novels recently where the main character was a man who isn't typically heroic and doesn't solve exciting crimes, so Jack was a bretah of fresh air. Sadie's loneliness and isolation contrasted perfectly with his never-say-die, optimistic attitude and their middle-aged love story is really sweet (and another breath of fresh air - I'm sick of good-looking professionals in their 20s who pervade everything in book-form at the moment).
You don't have to love golf to enjoy this weird and wonderful novel. You don't have to be Jewish. And you don't have to be typically English. But if you are fed up with the same-old crime, romance and daddy-beat-me-up-when-I-was-little novels, give this a try.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 20 May 2013
Format: Paperback
I thought this an excellent, immensely enjoyable book. It wasn't quite what I expected: from the publisher's description I thought it would be a gentle comedy of the conflict between the manners of the English middle-class in the 1950s and those of German Jewish refugees - something like George Mikes's How To be An Alien in the form of a novel. Well, there is some of that, certainly, but there is far more depth and subtle observation in the book, too.

Natasha Solomons writes in a straightforward, gentle way. The prose is a pleasure throughout and she writes of what she knows: of the place where she grew up and now lives, and of the heritage of her family. All of this makes the book an easy and very enjoyable read; she captures beautifully the Dorset countryside, the turn of the seasons and the people of that part of England. However, within this almost cosy setting and structure, this book has a great deal to say about some very important things - among them the meaning of belonging; the effect of evil forces destroying a person's family and most of what gives them the sense of who they are; the pain of exile and people's responses to it and - not least - the meaning of being English. Solomons also catches, with a lovely lightness of touch, much of the experience of exile - the tiny reminders of the past, the importance of food, the significance of names, the never quite feeling secure, and so on.

Jack and Sadie, refugees from the Nazis, respond quite differently to their situation. Jack, by means of the eponymous list, is determined to forget all about the past, to be relentlessly cheerful and to make himself into what he believes to be an Englishman.
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By BookWorm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
A lovely, warm-hearted feel-good story about a middle-aged Jewish couple who settle in England after fleeing Nazi Germany. Jack Rosenblum is an energetic optimistic whose irrepressible spirit sees him become a successful businessman from nothing, and who is desperate to assimilate into his adopted land and become a 'proper Englishman'. His wife, Sadie, is quieter and sadder, finding it hard to leave behind her roots and mourning the deaths of family and friends who were unable to escape. When Jack is denied entry to a golf club because of his religion, he decides to build his own course and moves to the Dorset countryside to do so. What follows is the classic tale of a single, likeable character struggling against enormous odds on an eccentric, seemingly impossible task, and gradually earning the admiration of the sceptics around him.

Like all effective stories of this kind, there is a good amount of pathos underlying the narrative. It is by no means a saccharine or implausibly happy story. There are some very sad and moving moments and storylines here, and it balances out nicely. At first, I found Jack Rosenblum a rather implausible character, and I was irritated by his naivety which I felt was overdone. But by halfway through he had won me over as effectively as he did his rural neighbours. What at first seemed like foolishness, gradually showed itself to be the same willingness to take risks and determination to follow dreams that had allowed him to succeed as an entrepreneur. In the modern day, he would doubtlessly be appearing on 'Dragon's Den' with some sort of crazy invention that everyone would laugh at until they heard how much money it made.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By peterstod on 13 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book as the location, set in rural Dorset, interested me. The main character was difficult to imagine in that setting but the story got better at the end.
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