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The Making of Henry Paperback – September 14, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (September 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140007861X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400078615
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,811,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

There are certain literary types that we think of as uniquely American. So, it is a surprise to find a Philip Roth protagonist living in England. Henry Nagle is a disgraced, middle-aged college lecturer. A pointless old feud has caused him to willfully destroy what was already a mediocre career. His Oedipal complex causes him to continue to argue with his dead father. It also causes him to date only married women. When Henry mysteriously inherits a luxury apartment, his whole life is called into question. Henry's new apartment comes with responsibilities to a quirky neighbor and a beautiful, divorced waitress. Henry's attempt to make peace with his parents and his life's failings is engaging, but less interesting are the late-in-the-book mysteries and revelations about his mother and aunt. Henry is not the most likable protagonist; however, his honesty and foibles make for a meaningful read. Marta Segal
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"He is our funniest living writer. . . . No writer cherishes the language more, flirts with it as furiously or leads it in directions that might incline sedate readers to dial [911] " Allison Pearson

“Jacobson is one of Britain’s best postwar writers. . . . There’s a dark side to his comedy, so dark that only comedy can deal with it.” — The Independent (London)

“The comic intelligence of David Lodge or Martin Amis. . . the expansiveness of John Updike and Philip Roth. . . . Exhilaratingly intelligent.” — The Guardian (London)

“A writer who can make you laugh out loud on the bus . . . Jacobson conjures up a tale that combines sexual comedy with the kind of expansive intelligence prized by the Booker judges. . . . Jacobson is due some recognition for his prodigious output.” –The Observer

“Jacobson is one of Britain’s best postwar writers. He’s well known as a funny writer, but that undersells him. There’s a dark side to his comedy, so dark that only comedy can deal with it.” –The Independent

“Jacobson’s . . . exuberant prose and Swiftian rage cause considerable collateral damage along the way.” –The Sunday Times

“[Jacobson is] by some distance, the cleverest, funniest, sharpest writer we have.” –The Sunday Telegraph

“Yes, it’s true what they say about the Jacobson sense of humor. After the first couple of pages . . . you become certain that he can hone any sentence for maximum drollery, and that he’ll find exactly the right word on every occasion.” –The Daily Express

“Jacobson breathes vivid life into his characters, capturing their speech patterns exactly while describing their clothes, habitats, children, friends, food, and drink. All this is brought into sharp relief by his sardonic gift for creating the very believable and very funny situations in which his characters find themselves trapped.” –The Daily Mail

“This is masterly writing; the language under tight control. . . .monstrously funny.” –The Independent
 
“Jacobson's writing is as luscious and funny as ever. . .You're never far from comic brilliance.” –The Telegraph
 
“This is a terrific novel, full of pert observations and salty insights into the ageing process–not just Henry’s but the world’s . . . . Jacobson is at the top of this form.” —The Evening Standard
 
“A beautifully rounded portrait of a man gazing into the prism of the past in order to see the future. . . . A touching, picturesque tale . . . seriously funny.” –The Sunday Telegraph
  
“Painfully funny.” –The Sunday Times

More About the Author

An award-winning writer and broadcaster, Howard Jacobson was born in Manchester, brought up in Prestwich and was educated at Stand Grammar School in Whitefield, and Downing College, Cambridge, where he studied under F. R. Leavis. He lectured for three years at the University of Sydney before returning to teach at Selwyn College, Cambridge. His novels include The Mighty Walzer (winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize), Kalooki Nights (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize) and, most recently, the highly acclaimed The Act of Love. Howard Jacobson lives in London.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By igoforth on March 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Howard Jacobson gives us another hilarious portrait of a difficult man, this one sixty-year-old Henry, neurotic, Jewish, alone, and waiting to die. (Are you laughing yet?) Jacobson is a genius, an irresistible story-teller whose sentences cry out to be shared, savored, cherished. The Making of Henry is, of all things, a romantic comedy, though its hero is about as unlikely a candidate for love and marriage as has ever been imagined for the genre. Jacobson always makes me glad to be in his company; in this book, for a change of pace, he also offers a happy ending.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Of course I like this story because it shows me what all writers know or should know....what makes humans tick. The characters held my interest right to the end of the book. And any writing describing the psychology of the individuals through their actions makes an interesting story for me....Jacobson at his best.
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By Trish on September 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well, I love Hiward Jacobson so I enjoyed Henry. Can't help but feel some of it was autobiographical. Henry really is a flawed character, weak and lacking go but I found myself warming to him anyway!
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