Shylock Is My Name by Howard Jacobson

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Read Shylock Is My Name Online Free - Man Booker Prize-winner Howard Jacobson brings his singular brilliance to this modern re-imagining of one of Shakespeare’s most unforgettable characters: Shylock

Winter, a cemetery, Shylock. In this provocative and profound interpretation of “The Merchant of Venice,” Shylock is juxtaposed against his present-day counterpart in the character of art dealer and conflicted father Simon Strulovitch. With characteristic irony, Jacobson presents Shylock as a man of incisive wit and passion, concerned still with questions of identity, parenthood, anti-Semitism and revenge. While Strulovich struggles to reconcile himself to his daughter Beatrice's “betrayal” of her family and heritage – as she is carried away by the excitement of Manchester high society, and into the arms of a footballer notorious for giving a Nazi salute on the field – Shylock alternates grief for his beloved wife with rage against his own daughter's rejection of her Jewish upbringing. Culminating in a shocking twist on Shylock’s demand for the infamous pound of flesh, Jacobson’s insightful retelling examines contemporary, acutely relevant questions of Jewish identity while maintaining a poignant sympathy for its characters and a genuine spiritual kinship with its antecedent—a drama which Jacobson himself considers to be “the most troubling of Shakespeare’s plays for anyone, but, for an English novelist who happens to be Jewish, also the most challenging.”

Title : Shylock Is My Name
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0804141320
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 275 pages


Phrynne rated it ★★★☆☆

February 26, 2018

Firstly I am VERY glad I listened to Shylock Is My Name on audio. The narrator was very English, very nicely spoken and gave emphasis to all the right words. He helped me stay on track whereas left to myself I probably would have read too fast and lost the meaning. The meaning was deep, the prose...

Rebecca rated it ★★☆☆☆

March 17, 2016

(DNF @ 43%) I’d read Jacobson’s three most recent novels and liked them all well enough. He’s certainly your go-to author if you want a witty discussion of the modern Jewish “persecution complex.” I think the problem with this one was that I wasn’t sure what it wanted to be: a contemporary Jewish...

Olivia-Savannah rated it ★★★★☆

March 20, 2016

Shylock is My Name is a book I have been pining to read since I heard about it. And it did live up to my expectations even though it was absolutely nothing like I was expecting it to be. The writing style at the beginning completely threw me. It was more literature than I had expected - even thou...

James rated it ★★★★★

October 26, 2016

Great book – equally thought provoking, challenging and entertaining. It certainly helps if you have at least some familiarity and understanding of Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and I suspect those of us who don’t, might be find this book somewhat perplexing to say the least. Whilst I am...

Roman Clodia rated it ★★★★☆

January 08, 2017

This is an intelligent, informed and brilliantly-written engagement with Merchant: it approaches the play thematically rather than strictly following the plot-line (although there's lots of that, too) and manages to be both inside and outside the play at the same time. In a bold move, Jacobson ha...

Meg rated it ★☆☆☆☆

February 28, 2016

//Edit: 28 February – I'm dropping this rating down to one star because I'm still angry at it. Shylock Is My Name is Howard Jacobson's addition to the Hogarth Shakespeare series, and I felt it to be such a let down after reading Jeanette Winterson's The Gap of Time. I read Jacobson's J last year a...

Neil rated it ★★★★☆

March 11, 2016

This book really made me laugh. I don't often laugh out loud at books, especially not on a plane surrounded by strangers. But I did while reading this. I have read reviews that complain of Jacobson "showing off" in this book, that seem to think it is just about the author showing how well he think...

Sparkleypenguin rated it ★☆☆☆☆

September 30, 2016

Friends, this has been a long road of reading this book. Let's discuss it together, shall we? Firstly, this book is WAY beyond my vocabulary level as a human. Like every single sentence it felt like had a word I didn't know which was annoying to say the very least. I tried looking them up as I wen...

Jessica rated it ★★☆☆☆

May 08, 2016

I received an advance reading copy through Netgalley. This is the first Howard Jacobson book I've read. I can't say it made me at all excited to read any of his other books. Shylock is My Name is a retelling of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice in the Hogarth Shakespeare series. I'm definitely stil...

Wanda rated it ★★★☆☆

May 30, 2017

Actual rating: 3.5 stars Confession of ignorance first: I am completely unfamiliar with this author. Even his name is unknown to me, which is unusual for one who works in a library and frequently plays in them too. But the Hogarth Shakespeare has chosen well for their Merchant of Venice rewrite. J...

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