Wednesday, August 02, 2017

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Book of the Day: Shylock Is My Name By Howard Jacobson


Quote of the day: 

Be true to yourself. Make each day a masterpiece. Help others. Drink deeply from good books. Make friendship a fine art. Build a shelter against a rainy day. -John Wooden






Imagine a world without books, certainly a scary proposition to imagine. Herman Hesse said it best 'Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity'. But that is not the case and for that one must consume a many books as time will allow.

Shylock is my Name is a novel by award wining British writer and broadcaster Howard Jacobson. It is the second to be published in Vintage's Hogarth Shakespeare series (a project where Shakespeare's works are retold by acclaimed and bestselling novelists of today). It is a reworking of The Merchant of Venice, a sort of modern version of the classic play by William Shakespeare. It focuses on Simon Strulovitch, a wealthy art collector and philanthropist who is often conflicted about his Jewishness, and the antagonist Shylock -a character in search of closure and one filled with wit and purpose. They both meet in a graveyard-each with his own intimate thoughts about a lost loved one. Along the way Shylock becomes the house guest of Strulovitch -who is struggling to come to terms with his daughter's betrayal of their family values and Jewish upbringing -an echo of the original play by Shakespeare. As the two men bond, most of the novel expands upon their individual relationship, and the twists and dialogue between these two main characters, sprinkled with a few other notable characters and moments of subtleties from the second half of the book.

Howard Jacobson is great at turning satire into seriousness. He delves deep into issues of family conflict, self doubt, fatherhood, history and religion in this wonderful and modern take on Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice'. His interpretation is brilliant, witty and truly a delightful book to read.


What books are you currently reading?


Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Are You Real?


42 comments:

  1. Hi Blogoratti - so great to have this review from you - I'll put it into my TBR list and definitely bear it in mind - thanks ... interesting to read retellings of Shakespeare's stories .. thanks - Hilary

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    1. You are welcome and it sure is interesting to read new material on Shakespeare. Greetings to you.

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  2. I like today's quote very much indeed. I try to follow it (or most of it) every day.

    One of the books I am reading now, or rather, listening to (audiobook format) is..... A Strangeness in My Mind!!: )) I am loving it!!

    I have 21 more books from the library (I keep renewing them) to read. Next I will start either "The Wings of the Dove" by Henry James or "The Last Crossing" by Guy Vanderhaeghe (Canadian) which will be discussed in September (Book Club).

    Today's book will on the "to be read" list.

    Thanks

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    1. Good to know you've checked out the book by Orhan Pamuk, certainly a great choice which I'm sure you are enjoying. Thanks for sharing your book reading and also those lined up.Greetings!

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  3. This sounds like a great read! I'm definitely going to add this to my growing wish list of books. Thanks and blessings!

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  4. Very beautiful post.
    Greetings.

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  5. Great quote. Me? I'm reading Stephen King's, End of Watch, and also Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - Neil De Grasse Tyson

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    1. Thank you. Stephen King is definitely a favourite although I haven't read anything of his recently. Nice of you to share, greetings!

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  6. A Field Guide to the Birds East of the Rockies by Roger Tory Peterson is my current reading material. During morning walks to beat the heat, we have encountered many different species of birds. It's been fun to identify and read about them.

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    1. That sure sounds like great fun, to read about birds and then be surrounded by mother nature, and different species. Wonderful indeed.

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  7. The book sounds fascinating. I'm currently reading two novels, one is portal fantasy, and the other is the last Odd Thomas book. Both are excellent so far.

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    1. Thank you very much for sharing your book reading. Greetings!

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  8. I think I need to add this to my TBR list!

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  9. Enticing review. Unfortunately I'm book booked (hee-hee)

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  10. Such an intelligent review, it sounds like a great book thanks for sharing.

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  11. Review suggests a promising read. Shall pick it up one of these days! Thank you.
    Just finished reading 'Sapiens' authored by Yuval Noah Harari. An excellent book on Evolution of mankind and civilization.

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  12. The quote at the top of your post is super. (I had to read it twice just to let it sink in nicely...)

    I'm usually not a fan of modern rewrites of the classics, but I'd be willing to give this one a try. (After all, I DID love "West Side Story"...)

    I don't even want to THINK about a world without books. (shudder) I'm currently reading a delightful translation of the French novel "P.S. From Paris" by Marc Levy.

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    1. It certainly is a great quote isn't it. I'm wary of modern rewrites myself, but this one proved to be very well done.

      A world without books and where would our humanity be. Thanks for sharing your book and warm greetings!

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  13. Will move this book to the top of the list. Sounds wonderful, Blogoratti. Thank you for the honest review & lovely quote!
    (Am currently reading non-fiction, "Alternative Art Surfaces.")

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    1. Thank you and you are welcome. It sure is a great read. Greetings!

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  14. did not have internet when young... and read and researched Many books...

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  15. Thanks a lot :D

    Super interesting content my dear. I would like to read

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  16. Nice book, and I love Art Blakey.

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  17. Being true to ourselves, and drinking deeply from good books sounds like a perfect plan to me. Great quote! Hugs...

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  18. I like this a lot. Great post!

    Bloglovin
    STYLEFORMANKIND.COM

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  19. I do like the quote at the top of the page as well as "without words" quote, I love collecting books, but have lost the stillness to read... the book sounds good.
    Amanda xx

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and its nice that you collect books. Greetings!

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  20. I can't even imagine a world without books B! Currently I have a pile of ten on my bedside table awaiting my perusal 😀 and am reading 'One Day' by David Nicholas.

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    1. I can't either so it's nice to have books to read! And I can also relate to having a pile of books waiting to be read. Thanks for sharing your book reading. Greetings!

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  21. I'm currently reading 'the game of thrones'.

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  22. Witty sure is a win any day at our loony bin.

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  23. It sounds like a very interesting book. I haven't read it before. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  24. thanks for the heads up on this. I didn't now it existed.

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  25. Good review. Have a great day!

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  26. Jacobson's Redback is one of the funniest novels I ever read! This one looks like a good read too!
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  27. I keep getting drawn back to that quote and the part that reads "drink deeply from good books". Excellent!

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  28. I haven't heard of this one but have read "Vinegar Girl" by Anne Tyler, a retelling of Taming of the Shrew.

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