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A wickedly observed novel about falling in love at the end of your life, by the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Finkler Question

A wickedly observed novel about falling in love at the end of your life, by the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Finkler Question.
At the age of ninety-something, Beryl Dusinbery is forgetting everything – including her own children. She spends her days stitching morbid samplers and tormenting her two long-suffering carers, Nastya and Euphoria, with tangled stories of her husbands and love affairs.

Shimi Carmelli can do up his own buttons, walks without the aid of a frame and speaks without spitting. Among the widows of North London, he’s whispered about as the last of the eligible bachelors. Unlike Beryl, he forgets nothing – especially not the shame of a childhood incident that has hung over him like an oppressive cloud ever since.

There’s very little life remaining for either of them, but perhaps just enough to heal some of the hurt inflicted along the way, and find new meaning in what’s left. Told with Jacobson’s trademark wit and style, Live a Little is in equal parts funny, irreverent and tender – a novel to make you consider all the paths not taken, and whether you could still change course.

Reviews

A joyous new novel… A life-affirming tale of late-flowering love… if we manage to live a little longer, we might have the privilege of enjoying more novels such as this one.

Alexander Nurnberg, Sunday Times

Let’s pause to consider [Howard Jacobson’s] comic elegance and precision… Just look at the way he makes the English language dance for us… the characters, as they converse, striking sparks off one another.

Nicholas Lezard, Spectator

Brilliantly observed… No other novelist writing in Britain could dramatise this nonagenarian love story with greater verve and tenderness, while never forgetting that this is a resplendently comedic form.

Tim Adams, Observer

A thoroughly enjoyable read. For a literature snob and a language obsessive… there is a lot to feast on… for someone looking for an emotionally honest storyline, the book also delivers.

Holly Baxter, Independent

Howard Jacobson is a rather rare bird among contemporary novelists, for he devotes himself to what Arnold Bennett called the great cause of cheering us all up. So one opens a new Jacobson novel in the expectation of pleasure… Jacobson’s observations are as acute and funny as ever.

Allan Massie, Scotsman

A meander of a novel that nonetheless feels urgent… it’s rarely less than bitterly funny in its determination to face up to the obliteration that awaits us all.

Alex Clark, Guardian

Witty and razor sharp… Almost forty years after the publication of his first novel, Jacobson shows that he has lost none of his verve, insight or ability to write dark comedy.

Ian Critchley, Literary Review

A tender story of unlikely love… Wise, witty, and deftly crafted.

Kirkus Reviews

Fast and clever… brilliant.

David Herman, Jewish Chronicle

As vigorous and darkly mirthful as it is tender… [Live a Little has] unparalleled linguistic verve. Vintage Jacobson.

Hephzibah Anderson, Mail on Sunday

Tender and funny.

Grazia

Jacobson's familiar wit and whimsy combine with verve and tenderness in this narrative of nonagenarian love found along Finchley Road… witty banter and enjoyment of conversation is at the very heart of the novel.

Jewish News

A surprisingly tender love story… The book is alive. It pulses with warmth and intelligence, and, unusually for a novel about old age, it has a lot of style.

Johanna Thomas-Corr, The Times

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781787331440

    July 2, 2019

    Jonathan Cape

    288 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9781787331433

    July 4, 2019

    Jonathan Cape

    288 pages

    RRP $45.00

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

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