"That's the great test, if you're going to be a great comic writer, not a humorist, you've got to take it into the throat of grief. Can you make laughter and seriousness so close that they are the same thing? There's nothing more wonderful than when the comedy's got horror in it, got blood in it. And the seriousness is at all times aware of its own preposterousness. What's it for, this seriousness? Everything is loss, is nothing, in the end."
-Howard Jacobson's new novel, The Finkler Question, is getting some of the best reviews that this underappreciated author has received in his career. If it's even half as good as The Mighty Walzer-a personal favorite-I'm sold. If you've never heard of him and are curious, start with this profile. He also writes a very good column for the Independent.