Howard Jacobson amuses the judges

image-mediumThe 14th Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize –  which includes a Gloucestershire Old Spot pig to be called after the novel, champagne and a complete collection of PG Wodehouse works – has been won for the second time by Howard Jacobson.

Zoo Time (Bloomsbury) is about novelist Guy Ableman who is in thrall to his vivacious wife Vanessa. The trouble is, he is no less in thrall to her alluring mother, Poppy. His publisher has committed suicide and his agent is in hiding. In flight from personal disappointment and universal despair, Guy wonders if it’s time to take his love for Poppy to another level

Jacobson previously won the prize, which rewards comic novels, in 2000 with his novel The Mighty Walzer. In 2007 he was shortlisted for the prize with Kalooki Nights.

This year’s judges were Radio 4  Today’s James Naughtie, publisher David Campbell from Everyman’s Library and Hay Festival director Peter Florence.

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2 thoughts on “Howard Jacobson amuses the judges

  1. I read this book on the strength of its nomination for Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. I didn’t know much about the award but saw the name Wodehouse so thought it worth a try. Unfortunately, I was misled by the prize title – I didn’t find the book remotely humorous and contrary to the brief summary, it mainly comprises a long bleat about the state of the world of authors and book publishing. The allegedly humorous part about the author’s feelings for his mother-in-law seems to occupy a minor part of the book and none of the characters was remotely likeable so I ended up not caring one way or another.
    One of the complaints of the storyteller is that a critic once accused him of writing a book solely so that he could use obscenities – a criticism I would level at Jacobson’s book.
    Very disappointing and if this won the prize, I’m not sure I’ll read any of the other nominated titles.

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