From the beginning, Oliver Walzer is a natural - at ping-pong. Even with his improvised bat (the Collins Classic edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde) he can chop, flick, half-volley like a champion. At sex he is not a natural, being shy and frightened of women, but with tuition from Sheeny Waxman, fellow member of the Akiva Social Club Table Tennis team, his game improves. And while the Akiva boys teach him everything he needs to know about ping-pong, his father, Joel Walzer, teaches him everything there is to know about "swag." Unabashedly autobiographical, this is an hilarious and heartbreaking story of one man's coming of age in 1950's Manchester.
"Jacobson writes with such verve, and his sense of humor is so sharp, that he could turn a novel of basket weaving into a ripsnorter." - Publishers Weekly
"Starred Review. A delight from start to finish, and a note-perfect evocation of the gray 1950s." - Kirkus Reviews
"Poignant, moving, hilarious... laugh-out-loud funny... the sort of book that might change your life." - Observer (UK)
"Jacobson is a great storyteller: phrases, anecdotes and atmosphere roll off the page with the ease and sublime, scary grace of drunken eels - he is unsurpassable." - The Times (UK)
"This mature novel has the sustained exuberance and passion of his youthful writing... an achingly funny book... an amazing achievement... There are few novelists today who can imbue the trifles of life with such poetry." - Independent (UK)
"Marvellous. Jacobson has not just written the first great novel about ping-pong. He has written one of the greatest sporting novels ever." - Sunday Telegraph (UK)
"[Jacobsons] humour is unashamedly savage and his jokes as sharp as a switch-blade... comic vitriol worthy of Evelyn Waugh." - Express on Sunday (UK)
The information about The Mighty Walzer shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.
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, the highly acclaimed The Act of Love, Zoo Time, and The Finkler Question, which won the Man Booker Prize. Whatever It Is, I Don't Like It is a compilation of his columns and In the Land of Oz is an account of his travels in Australia.
Howard Jacobson lives in London.
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare set in Savannah
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.