Howard Jacobson shot to fame when he won the 2010 Booker Prize with the Finkler Question. I was put off the winning novel itself by various comments, so was tempted to try out one of his earlier stories instead.
I liked it. He gels an engaging tale around adolescence, Jewish family life , playing table tennis, and working on his dad's market stall. He pokes plenty of fun along the way in his self-confident, slightly dry style.
I find Jacobson's non-fiction scintillating. He is penetrating, original, and has always got something interesting to say. I thought his fiction on the other hand, although witty, was perhaps a shade ordinary.
I enjoyed it but I don't think I'll rush to sample his other novels - I'll read `Whatever it is, I Don't Like it' next.