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Pussy by Howard Jacobson
  

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Prince Fracassus is idle, boastful, thin-skinned and egotistic; has no manners, no curiosity, no knowledge, no idea and no words in which to express them. Could he, in that case, be the very leader to make the country great again?

If you like Howard Jacobson you might also like to read books by Jonathan Franzen, Martin Amis and Kazuo Ishiguro.

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Synopsis

Pussy by Howard Jacobson

Pussy is the story of Prince Fracassus, heir presumptive to the Duchy of Origen, famed for its golden-gated skyscrapers and casinos, who passes his boyhood watching reality shows on TV, imagining himself to be the Roman Emperor Nero, and fantasizing about hookers.

Reviews

A satire in Swiftian vein, this is Howard Jacobson's fifteenth novel and first hand grenade. If Trump's policy is to move fast and break things, then he has a competitor in Jacobson, who began Pussyv in the aftermath of Trump's election victory and completed well before Trump's catastrophic failure to repeal Obamacare... It has all the qualities of a fleet response: undigested rage, whip-smart wit devastating fluency and an aim as straight as an arrow... This is the story, savagely well told by our greatest comic novelist, of how we got in the state we're in. -- Francis Wilson * Oldie * The pairing of author and subject sounds divinely ordained: The world's smartest comic novelist vs. a TV reality star who ran for president while bragging about his genitals. -- Ron Charles * Washington Post * There are many aesthetic pleasures to be had in Pussy. If Trump's presidency is a source of continuing anxiety, then among its very few benefits is that it has moved one of our finest comic writers to write an elegantly savage satire of a man who defies satire. -- Andrew Anthony * Observer * Jacobson is... on target and deliciously laugh-aloud nasty about not just the making of this rough beast but what in the American character enabled it to go slouching into the White House. -- Jeffrey Burke * Mail on Sunday * This is top-class comment writing, disguised in the form of a satirical jeu d'esprit... It is, to quote the title of Jacobson's own study of comedy, Seriously Funny. -- Philip Collins * The Times * Angry... In common with many a classic satire, Pussy is written as a fable... It's all great fun... Jacobson is very good on the nuances of the Trump phenomenon, both in terms of what's alarming about it and why it has struck such a resonant chord... And even if his book is unlikely to topple any governments, it may at least, as its author hopes, spread comfort in some quarter and vexation in others. -- Dan Brotzel * UK Press Syndication * The book brilliantly portrays a world in which language and the complexity of ideas that it can convey has been devalued... The novel hurtles breathlessly through a bildungsroman of the young prince from baby celebrity to idling away his boyhood watching reality TV shows, to becoming a young man fantasising about prostitutes and being a Roman emperor, to the moment he runs for election... Fascinating. -- Anita Sethi * i * For anyone thinking that Pussy is a comic novel, beware: the book is relentlessly unfunny. But this should not be taken as a criticism; rather, recognition of just how creepily well realized and bleak Jacobson's vision of the Trump phenomenon turns out to be... It also captures, with chilling accuracy, the way Trumpism is a reflection of the post-literate world we increasingly inhabit... Bullseye, Mr Jacobson. This is a novel that has much to say about how Mussolinis like Trump coerce others into succumbing to their profoundly myopic, Manichaean world-view. -- Douglas Kennedy * New Statesman * Howard Jacobson's reaction to the recent US election is viciously sharp, and almost too close to the bone to be funny... After the result, Jacobson... churned out 50,000 lacerating words in the form of a fable, one filled to its margins with viciously sharp humour and gossamer-thin allusions to reality... While delirious in its excoriations, Pussy can be hard to laugh at at times as it is so on-the-nose, in much the same way many rock bands find This is Spinal Tap too accurate to be outright comedy... A seething little nugget of a book. -- Hilary A White * Irish Independent * What immediately stands out is how different this is from most of Jacobson's fiction. This is all-out political satire, a punchy attack on President Trump... Fracassus is a Nero for our times. Monstrous. Larger than life. Jacobson captures him with some excellent turns of phrase. -- David Herman * Jewish Chronicle * Pussy, written at huge speed, is a brilliant send-up of President Trump and a departure from Jacobson's usual contemporary fiction. Published this week, the deliciously funny satire takes wry pot shots at the most powerful man in the US and his inner circle and raises serious questions about morality, identity and truth in today's increasingly strange political world. -- Rebecca Wallersteiner * Jewish News * Pussy... is an aberration for the writer oft-described as Britain's greatest living comic novelist: a curious and purposefully not that funny moral fable written at lightning speed in a fury of disbelief . -- Chitra Ramaswamy * Scotsman *


About the Author

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, the 2010 Man Booker Prize-winning, The Finkler Question and, most recently, Zoo Time. Howard Jacobson lives in Soho, London.

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Book Info

Publication date

13th April 2017

Author

Howard Jacobson

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Publisher

Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Vintage Publishing

Format

Paperback
208 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Humour

ISBN

9781787330207

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