Friday, 8 December 2017

A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman, Jessica Cohen (Translation)

"People stare at their drinks, swirl their glasses of wine and peck distractedly at their little bowls of nuts and pretzels."

I started reading this winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2017, in September and finished in December. At a mere 208 pages long you can see it took me AN AGE, because I found it tedious, annoying and just plain not worth the effort. Perhaps something got lost in translation?

The tired jokes, and sweaty grossness of the ageing stand-up comedian Dovaleh G, really did not float this reader’s boat….. At all! I’m confounded that this got such amazing reviews. Did I miss something? I was deeply uninterested in the protagonist’s relationship to the comedian and the reasons for his summons to the show. The stand-up routine was excruciating, the way it jumped back and forth from bad jokes to recounting traumas and then back to paltry humour again. I wanted out even more than the audience.

If you know me, you’ll know I love to finish things. Job done, tick in a box. Therefore, I had to muddle through and I did; ever optimistic that it would get better. For me, it just didn’t.

1 out of 5 times I’d like a refund.

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