Acclaimed as Britain’s greatest and most underrated novelist, this is Howard Jacobson’s masterpiece.One day, out of the blue, Henry Nagel receives a solicitor’s letter telling him he has inherited a sumptuous apartment in St. John Acclaimed as Britain’s greatest and most underrated novelist, this is Howard Jacobson’s masterpiece.
One day, out of the blue, Henry Nagel receives a solicitor’s letter telling him he has inherited a sumptuous apartment in St. John’s Wood. Divine intervention? Or his late father’s love nest? Henry doesn’t know, but he is glad to escape the North, where there is nothing to keep him. After nearly sixty years of angry disappointment, Henry’s life is about to change.
Not that the ghosts of Henry’s past are prepared to disappear without a struggle – his old friend and rival Osmond “Hovis” Belkin, currently enjoying a spectacularly successful career in Hollywood, his great aunt Marghanita for whom he once entertained a dangerous passion, and his father Izzi Nagel, upholsterer turned illusionist, fire-eater and origamist, whose shade Henry interrogates relentlessly. But the present clamours as loudly as the past. His dyspeptic neighbour Lachlan wants his sympathy, Lachlan’s sloppy red setter, Angus, wants a walk, and Moira, the waitress with the crooked smile and custard hair, seems to want him. Kicking and screaming every inch of the way, Henry realizes he might finally be falling in love. Will love be the making of Henry?
Tender, funny and beautifully told, The Making of Henry is Howard Jacobson’s richest novel to date. The writing makes you gasp with pleasure, the story builds effortlessly to its crescendo of revelations and, above all, it adds a new warmth to his reputation as the most exhilaratingly intelligent of contemporary novelists.