Kalooki Nights, Paperback Book
2 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Life should have been sunny for Max Glickman, growing up in Crumpsall Park in peacetime, with his mother's glamorous card evenings to look forward to, and photographs of his father's favourite boxers on the walls.

But other voices whisper seductively to him of Buchenwald, extermination, and the impossibility of forgetting.

Fixated on the crimes which have been committed against his people, but unable to live among them, Max moves away, marries out, and draws cartoon histories of Jewish suffering in which no one, least of all the Jews, is much interested.

But it's a life. Or it seems a life until Max's long-disregarded childhood friend, Manny Washinsky, is released from prison.

Little by little, as he picks up his old connection with Manny, trying to understand the circumstances in which he made a Buchenwald of his own home, Max is drawn into Manny's family history - above all his brother's tragic love affair with a girl who is half German.

But more than that, he is drawn back into the Holocaust obsessions from which he realises there can be, and should be, no release.

There is wild, angry, even uproarious laughter in this novel, but it is laughter on the edge. It is the comedy of cataclysm.


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Jacobson is an inventive and comic writer and so I felt something lacking in myself that I didn't finish this novel. Perhaps it is that his exuberant style overwhelms me at times

Review by

When Jewish novelists resort to writing about the Holocaust in the 21st century it seems so very obvious. This book is unashamedly obsessed, not just with not just Nazism but the chosen people it sought to extinguish - but just because it is knowingly obsessed doesn't making it any less trying. A weak plot and florid writing, combined with one of my least favourite topics; if this is Jacobson's masterpiece, I suppose he's not for me.

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