Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Mighty Walzer by Howard Jacobson



The Mighty Walzer: A NovelThe Mighty Walzer
Author Howard Jacobson
Oliver Walzer is a natural at ping-pong. He can chop, flick, half-volley like a champion. At sex he is not a natural, but with tuition from Sheeny Waxman, his game improves. Unabashedly autobiographical.


Review: Above is the synopsis presented at Goodreads and at other book sites.  As you can read, not much is revealed about what to expect between the covers. That's it folks. That's all you get to decide if this read is going in the check-out basket or not. Sometimes this can be a winning tactic, but in this case, it falls flat. I received The Mighty Walzer for early review and had a tough time getting into it. It was well-written, but just didn't capture my attention. I was having flashbacks to all the novels I was assigned to read for English Literature critical analysis class.  You know, the ones that are shining examples of literature, grammar, sentence structure, tone, era, voice but some how manage to be the most boring books on the planet.  Yes, I could write a term paper on the book and can appreciate its literary worth, but that doesn't mean I enjoyed it as a source of entertainment.  On the front cover it notes that fans of Phillip Roth will presumably like this author's style. I would agree. Unfortunately, Phillip Roth does not excite me either. There is some satire, but unless you understand Yiddish and British slang, this might make your eyes cross. I think the comedic relief was lost of me due to my limited understanding of the language. I discovered I'm just not that interested in reading pages about ping pong facts, plays, moves or strategies couple with rambling accounts of growing up Jewish in Manchester. I did put the book down, thinking that perhaps my mood would change on another day. Maybe I just needed to be in a more serious frame of mind to enjoy this read, but after pushing through another hundred pages, I was still rather bored and asleep.
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*ARC provided by Bloomsbury USA courtesy of Library Thing Early Reviewers


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