J – Howard Jacobson

J book coverI enjoyed this exploration of how human society functions and who we really are. It is a near-future dystopian world, in which something has happened which is gradually revealed through the book. J builds a realistic world where societal rules have been changed in the wake of disaster.

The selection of narrators wove together well, combined with a few different styles of writing. It only jarred for me on the first transfer, when I was still expecting a single narrator, then felt seamlessly done.

Without revealing the plot, I find the ending bittersweet satisfying. The reveal was also very well done, with gradually less subtle hints as to the true plot until all the pieces had taken into place. With hindsight the meaning of the book name is clear and a perfect choice for the book.

“I’m being facetious,” she said. “Uniquely malevolent is a quotation from then. I use it now for anyone or anything not approved of by junior academics.”




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