“[An] ebullient riff on Shakespeare... [a] blend of purposeful deja vu and Jewish fatalism…Jacobson’s highflying wit is more Stoppardian than Shakespearean, even amid rom-com subplots and phallocentric jests equally well suited to Elizabethan drama as to the world of Judd Apatow.”
-- The New York Times Book Review
“Jacobson… has delivered with authority and style… [a] deft artist firmly in control, offering witty twists to a play long experienced by many as a racial tragedy.”
-– The Washington Post
“Sharply written, profoundly provocative.”
--The Huffington Post
"The Shylock of the novel is ... a character in search of an author, or at least an author who will write him fully, fill in the blanks and give him a voice where once he was voiceless. And in Jacobson, after just over 400 years, he has found a mensch who has done—with considerable skill—exactly that."
-- The Daily Beast
“Stimulating… Jacobson is ideally suited to take on ‘Merchant.’”
-- The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“It is delicious…Jacobson is one of our finest writers.”
“A funny and insightful reimagining of The Merchant of Venice…Jacobson is uniquely qualified to take on The Merchant of Venice.”
-- The Miami Herald
“A serious comic masterpiece.”
–- The Spectator (UK)
“Supremely stylish, probing and unsettling…This Shylock is a sympathetic character... both savagely funny and intellectually searching, both wise and sophistical, intimate and coldly controlling… Jacobson's writing is virtuoso. He is a master of shifting tones, from the satirical to the serious. His prose has the sort of elastic precision you only get from a writer who is truly in command.”
-- The Independent (UK)
“Jacobson takes the play's themes - justice, revenge, mercy, Jews and Christians, Jew-hatred, fathers and daughters - and works away at them with dark humour and rare intelligence… This is Jacobson at his best. There is no funnier writer in English today. Not just laugh-out-loud humour, though there is plenty of that, including wonderful jokes about circumcision and masturbation. But a sharp, biting humour, which stabs home in a single line… This is one of his best novels yet.”
– Jewish Chronicle (UK)
“Part remake, part satire and part symposium, Jacobson's Merchant is less Shakespeare retold than Shakespeare reverse-engineered... in these juicy, intemperate, wisecracking squabbles, Jacobson really communicates with Shakespeare's play, teasing out the lacunae, quietly adjusting its emphases … and making startlingly creative use of the centuries-old playscript.”
–-Daily Telegraph (UK)
“Jacobson, with glorious chutzpah, gives Shylock his Act V, and the end when it comes is extremely satisfying… Provocative, caustic and bold.”
–- Financial Times (UK)
"Jacobson is a novelist of ideas... What is added to a great work in the rewriting? Do we need the argot of the 21st century because the original is now intimidatingly remote? [Shylock Is My Name] is a moving, disturbing and compelling riposte to the blithe resolution offered in the urtext."
-- Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
“Jacobson treats Shylock less as a product of Shakespeare’s culture and imagination than as a real historical figure emblematic of Jewish experience—an approach that gives the novel peculiar vigour.”
– Prospect Magazine (UK)
“When Shylock and Strulovitch are swapping jokes, stories, and fears, the tale is energetic…a work that stands on its own.”
– Publishers Weekly
“The Merchant is well-suited to Jacobson, a Philip Roth–like British writer known for his sterling prose and Jewish themes….full of the facile asides and riffs for which Jacobson has been praised.” -- Kirkus
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
From the Hardcover edition.