Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 58: Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question


This 2010 novel won the Man Booker prize, though at least one of us might have thrown it across his living room. We talk about funny novels vs “comic novels,” Jewishness, when it’s okay to give up on a book, and middle-aged male novelists who can’t stop writing about their penises.

Finkler cover

Mike also has a new installment of Fan Fiction Corner, which includes examples of “alternate universe” TV fanfic, plus … well, spanking. Though maybe not the kind of spanking you’re expecting.

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, download the mp3 file, or visit us in the iTunes store, where you can listen to all our back episodes and subscribe (for free) so you never miss a new one. You can buy Mike’s recommendation–Jason Isbell’s new solo album, Southeastern–here, on vinyl, CD, or MP3. While we’re not always big fans of Amazon, they’ve got pretty good deals on vinyl, their MP3 files don’t come encoded with all the restrictive iTunes nonsense, and we recognize that not everyone has a good record store within walking or driving distance. For book purchases, check out Powell’s online store, by clicking on the book cover above, or any of the links around our site. You get to support an indie book store without leaving your house, and we get a little on the back end. Win win!


Download Episode 58 (right-click, save-as)


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

3 thoughts on “Episode 58: Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question

  1. Hey, guys. Long-time listener and even multiple-time donator here. Not to get too morbid, but I spent the summer with my dying mother and didn’t much feel like listening to podcasts for a couple months, but now i’m catching up on them and have been bingeing on Book Fight this week. I’m loving the Summer of Shorts — it’s ridiculous, but you somehow make it work — so kudos on pulling off that nutty idea.
    I’m leaving my comment on this episode to high five Mike for his recommendation of Southeastern, my favorite release of 2013, which I’ve listened to a stupid number of times since I got it (on CD, so I often carry it form house to car and back, like a purse). And you’re bang on about the lyrics; Isbell is a WRITER, no doubt about it. Hope you saw him a few months back at Union Transfer. The show was terrific and he was cool.
    So, well done. And thanks.

  2. Hey, Grace — sorry to hear about what sounds like a miserable summer. But thanks for the comment (and, of course, for your donations). Since you’re catching up, you may not have heard the announcement that we’re doing a live show in Manayunk on 9/25. If you’re free, we’d love to see you there and put a face to name we’ve blurbed at least once. Full details here:

  3. Also, we have a sort of tenuous connection to Jason Isbell– we know someone who knows someone, basically– and we’re hoping to somehow find a way to get him on the show. It’s the longest of long shots. But maybe?

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