The Act of Love by Howard Jacobson (Jonathan Cape, £17.99)
Felix Quinn, the narrator of Howard Jacobson’s new novel, is “afflicted” by love. He is a connoisseur of its “agonies,” a veteran of “sexual insult.” The Act of Love is irrigated by Felix’s obsession with “that category of classic novel… whose subject is humiliation.”
This is familiar territory for Jacobson. Writing in Prospect earlier this year, he warned that “you can’t mess around with sex, in life or literature. It is never not serious.” Especially not in literature, you can imagine him wanting to add—and certainly not in his own…
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