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Publishers Weekly, 2011-07-11 Published in England in 1998 but only now reaching the U.S., Jacobson's novel immediately plunges the reader into the rising discord between Frank, an award-winning TV critic, and his partner, Melissa, author of "feministical-erotic novels," as Frank puts it. When Mel gives him the boot, Frank, at 50, hits the road to reconnect with old friends. In Cambridge, his once successful art dealer buddy has lost everything: "Business-in trouble. Marriage-kaput. Relations with offspring-deeply flawed." In Gloucester, another is having an affair with his married ex-wife (an ex-lover of Frank's, as it happens). In Little Cleverley, Frank seeks out Clarice, the fulcrum of a threesome he and Melissa once had. Along the way he meets a zaftig female standup comic and ends up, incongruously, in a religious retreat, where he's given some unorthodox advice from an ex-abbot. Reminiscent of Philip Roth and Mordecai Richler at their most trenchantly vulgar, Jacobson, who won the Man Booker for The Finkler Question, writes like a Jewish Evelyn Waugh. Laugh-out-loud observations abound, but the grating Frank may test readers' patience as he meanders through his sexually disordered life. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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