Mr. Rosenblum's List: Or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman

Mr. Rosenblum's List: Or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman

Book rating: 03 Paperback Sceptre

By (author) Natasha Solomons

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  • Publisher: Sceptre
  • Format: Paperback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 24mm | 82g
  • Publication date: 8 July 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0340995661
  • ISBN 13: 9780340995662
  • Sales rank: 9,516

Product description

List item 2: Never speak German on the upper decks of London buses. Jack Rosenblum is five foot three and a half inches of sheer tenacity. He's writing a list so he can become a Very English Gentleman. List item 41: An Englishman buys his marmalade from Fortnum and Mason. It's 1952, and despite his best efforts, his bid to blend in is fraught with unexpected hurdles - including his wife. Sadie doesn't want to forget where they came from or the family they've lost. And she shows no interest in getting a purple rinse. List item 112: An Englishman keeps his head in a crisis, even when he's risking everything. Jack leads a reluctant Sadie deep into the English countryside in pursuit of a dream. Here, in a land of woolly pigs, bluebells and jitterbug cider, they embark on an impossible task...

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Author information

Natasha Solomons is the author of the internationally bestselling Mr Rosenblum's List, The Novel in the Viola, which was chosen for the Richard & Judy Book Club, and The Gallery of Vanished Husbands. Natasha lives in Dorset with her son and her husband with whom she also writes screenplays. Her novels have been translated into 16 languages.

Customer reviews

By Rebecca Johnson 27 Jul 2011 4

I greatly enjoyed this novel and found it an interesting insight into a situation I'd never given any thought to. It began in a believable way with a slightly eccentric Mr Rosenblum endeavouring to meld into English society. Despite his best efforts he is largely unsuccessful. When he embarks on a hare brained scheme to build a golf course, it seemed almost slapstick (which I don't enjoy).
However, the second half of the book actually developed the characters into very likable people and as they grew to love the English countryside and make friends with the down to earth locals it became very easy to forgive the small leaps and inconsistencies of the plot.
Read and enjoy.

By Elena 14 Jan 2011 2

At first sight, Mr. Rosenblum's List seems a great book dealing with an unknown side of WWII for most of us. Once in England, Jack Rosenblum has to fight not only cultural barriers but also the hate towards both Germans and Jews. Meanwhile, he tries to be the best Englishman ever, following his "Must to be" List, and decides to creat a business to help his wife Sadie and their baby daughter Elizabeth to improve their situation. But even a German Jew with money has problems to feel integrated in the English society and, many years after their arrival the Rosenblums still have to deal with segregation, to the point of being rejected by all the golf clubs in England. So, Jack decides to create his own golf club in the most English place ever: the countryside.

Although the book does seem interesting, it becomes boring very soon. Jack makes the reader hate and pity him, Sadie seems to need some kind of psiquiatric help and the typically countryside Englishmen are plain stereotypes. Jack's desire to build a golf club is very irrational and, since the plot revolves around such desire, the book becomes more and more irrational and tiring. In my opinion, this is a shame because the Rosenblums' situation could have made a great plot. So, in conclusion, I actually do not recommend this book although there is a slight posibility of being likeable for someone.

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Review quote

Prepare to be seriously charmed. The Times 'The descriptions of England - as friend, adversary and eventually homne - are exquisite. Jack Rosenblum, a foolish, deeply sympathetic protagonist, is exasperating and admirable in equal measure. A touching, surprising and satisfying read.' Sadie Jones, author of The Outcast 'Utterly charming and very funny' Paul Torday, author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen 'In her charming debut, Natasha Solomons folds together Jewish baking, golf and Dorset folklore to create a singular comic confection... Solomons crafts a fine pastoral comedy from Jack's eccentric endeavours to reshape the land and from his encounters with rustic labourers who seem to have absconded from the pages of a Hardy novel... Sadie provides a touching counterpoint to the comedy... Much of the delight in this novel stems from Solomons' feeling for types of traditional knowledge that are on the verge of obsolescence.' Telegraph The light yet poignant tone makes for an unusual, richly comic novel...a treat of a book. Guardian An affectionate portrait of a spirited man trying to find a little corner of the world where he can truly belong...[Solomons] successfully treads the fine line between comedy and the precarious plight of refugees in an entertaining tale that has resonances in contemporary Britain. Herald 'a subtle and moving examination of the dilemma faced by immigrants to modern Britain'. Observer 'a tender exploration of the nature of home'. Marie Claire written with and skill, humour and sympathy The Lady [Solomons] has an exceptional feel for the Dorset countryside. Country Life A delightful tale of one man's determination to fulfil his dream. Stylist delightful debut...Solomon's narrative has shades of both P.G. Wodehouse and Isabel Allende...There are also echoes of Jez Butterworth's play Jerusalem in this whimsical novel's deep seam of inquiry into the nature of Englishness. TLS almost irritatingly impressive...she strikes the perfect note with simple, evocative metaphors. I was forced to accept that this was a rare treat; a debut novel that is pretty much flawless... The Times Sprinkled with a hint of magic, this debut is a delight. Daily Mail