Zoo Time

Zoo Time

2.91 (687 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$29.90

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


Novelist Guy Ableman is in thrall to his vivacious wife Vanessa, beautiful but contrary, highly strung and blazingly angry. The trouble is, he is no less in thrall to her alluring mother, Poppy. Their provocative presence fills Guy's head with stories so wild he can't concentrate to write them.

Not that anyone reads anymore, anyway. Reading, Guy fears, is finished. His publisher, fearing the same, has committed suicide. His agent, like all agents, is in hiding. Vanessa, however, is writing her own novel. Guy dreads the consequences...

Our funniest writer at his brilliant best, Zoo Time is a novel about love - love of women, love of literature, love of laughter.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 35.05mm | 706g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • 1408828685
  • 9781408828687
  • 387,123

Review quote

Carries all the intimations of angst, melancholia and comedy that make Jacobson unique * Daily Telegraph * An extended howl over the terminal state of literature and a scabrously funny portrayal of a writer in torment ... Here's a reminder that a novel can offer a thorough insight into the workings of another's human mind, however different it may be from our own ***** * Metro * When he's at full throttle like this, few British novelists can touch him for such stirring, belligerent comedy ... Jacobson's attack on our growing philistinism proving uncomfortably persuasive * Daily Mail * Fiction is important ... Howard Jacobson suggests in this seriously funny book that though it is troubled, it is not quite finished yet ... **** * Alexei Sayle, Daily Telegraph * Does not fail to offer Jacobson's trademark pleasures, his wit, his energy his love of words - and some will add his self-deprecating priapic jokes to this list * New Statesmen * Comedy is never as clever as when Howard Jacobson is on a roll and this book finds him barrelling * Independent on Sunday * Brilliantly composed ... crackling with Jacobson's wit, superb wordplay and boundless exuberance * Times Literary Supplement * All the trademark Jacobson qualities - waspish comedy, transgressive sex, wry riffs on Jewishness, prose so scintillating you might miss its underlying artistry - are here in spades ***** * The Mail on Sunday * You don't read Jacobson for a restrained and respectful delineation of what goes on between men and women; you read him for a no-holds-barred, bawdy and highly naughty glimpse into what we're all really thinking about doing to one another. And for the jokes, of which Zoo Time has plenty * Guardian Summer Reading * Once again, Jacobson shows that the true humorist is among the best kinds of novelist. His humour is neither cheap nor chirpy but addresses fundamental mysteries * Sunday Telegraph * A fiercely intelligent, fizzing piece of theatre ... An intellectually rich depiction of the animal desires that drive us, and the human feelings that elevate and sadden us ... In Guy Ableman, Jacobson has created an unforgettable narrator, a character defined by heroic flaws and tender, susceptible heart ... Magnificently eclectic in its range of targets, Zoo Time is a bestiary of betes noir. Few modern novelists better balance the absurd with the artistic, the priapic with the philosophical, the wicked with the wise ... a scorching indictment of an anti-intellectual age in which most readers are greedy for pap, and those who want more than a sugared bun passed to them through the bars are doomed to starve * Sunday Herald * Zoo Time is wonderfully witty, ferociously clever and assured to the point of swaggering - he's clever enough to tease his readers without taking his eyes off the road * Kate Saunders, Jewish Chronicle * There were many moments when I roared with laughter * Readers Digest * Always zestful and occasionally bang on target * Sunday Times (Ireland) * Angry, funny and profoundly pessimistic fiction * Prospect * He does have an ear in the Joycean or Tennysonian sense of writing prose that rings out, that sounds good in your head as you're reading * Literary Review * As sharp and intelligent as it is enjoyable * Stylist * Brilliant, blistering comedy, with melancholy undertones of regret for what is being lost * Kate Saunders, The Times * Ableman's every beautifully constructed comic riff is a response to his fear of not being read **** * Sunday Express * Jacobson fills the tale with exuberant comedy. He has a stand-up's skill for callbacks, puns and quips, which make Zoo Time a total riot * Time Out * Jacobson takes the time to craft lines that are so perfectly executed, they deserve to be read twice. Possibly even aloud, to fully appreciate the comedic value of his prose ... humour still drips off every page ... Fascinating, often hilarious **** * The List * Jacobson is a master of keep-up-at-the-back smart talk * Evening Standard * Buoyant comedy of gritty life, great literature and a good laugh * Iain Finlayson, Saga * It's also joyously rude about almost everything and filled with delicious invective. Just relax and go with it - it's Zoo Time * We Love This Book * It made me laugh and laugh; Jacobson does that to readers more than any other writer I can think of * Rodge Glass, Scotsman Books of the Year * Howard Jacobson not only set his attack-dog writer-narrator loose on our dumbed-down post-print culture in the glorious dyspeptic arias of Zoo Time, but made his grumpy hero a classic fool for love * Independent on Sunday Books of the Year *
show more

About Howard Jacobson

An award-winning writer and broadcaster, Howard Jacobson was born in Manchester, brought up in Prestwich and was educated at Stand Grammar School in Whitefield, and Downing College, Cambridge, where he studied under F. R. Leavis. He lectured for three years at the University of Sydney before returning to teach at Selwyn College, Cambridge. His novels include The Mighty Walzer (winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize), Kalooki Nights (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize), the highly acclaimed The Act of Love and, most recently, the Man Booker Prize-winning, The Finkler Question. Howard Jacobson lives in Soho, London.
show more

Rating details

687 ratings
2.91 out of 5 stars
5 9% (60)
4 22% (153)
3 33% (226)
2 24% (166)
1 12% (82)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X