Reading progress update: I've read 27 out of 280 pages.

Shylock Is My Name (Hogarth Shakespeare) - Howard Jacobson

"Bali is one place I haven't yet been to," Plurabelle said. "What's it like?"


Plurabelle shook her head in sympathy. "I can imagine," she said. Then, after a moment's contemplation, she asked him, "Do you think it's because we have too much?"


"Us. You and I. People of our sort. The advantaged."

"But are we advantaged?" D'Anton asked. "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

"That's so beautiful," Plurabelle said. "And so true. It makes me want to cry. Paulo Coelho often makes me want to cry."

"A greater man than Paulo Coelho said that," D'Anton surprised her by saying. She didn't know there was a greater man than Paulo Coelho.

"Nelson Mandela?"

"St. Paul."

"So would we be less pierced with sorrows if we gave all we have to the poor?"

He didn't know but said he sometimes asked himself whether the sadness problem, for him anyway, wasn't money but modernity. "Do you ever feel," he asked her, "that you are too modern?"

Plurabelle liked the idea. "Too modern - yes, you're right," she said. "Too modern. I have often felt that, yes I have, though until now I didn't know I'd felt it. Too modern - yes, of course." Then she had a thought. "But that doesn't explain," she said, "why Aborigines and American Indians always look sad on the Discovery Channel. They can hardly be called modern."

"No but that's a different kind of sadness, isn't it? The cause of their sadness is that they have been made abject. It's been done to them. They are sad because they are victims."

Hmm,.... I'm not sure I'm going to love this book. 


The audio narration by Michael Kitchen (he also can read crisp packets to me) is excellent, but the book itself so far seems full of sadness and contempt and TSTL characters. 

To be fair....that does match some of the sentiments of The Merchant of Venice, but it also feels like the author's style gets away with him at times and leaves me wondering whether there is a point ... eventually.