A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman
I hadn’t read anything by David Grossman, but this novel won a Man Booker prize in 2017, and Grossman is widely acclaimed in Europe. So, it’s worth a look, no?
‘A Horse’ is set in a one-man standup show in Israel. The show isn’t exactly a jokefest, as the performer unloads a confused and unhappy recollection. The crowd isn’t exactly an audience, as the performer seems to have invited people from his story to the occasion.
This peculiar performance, uninhibited in substance and style, is very difficult to grok. What is he up to? Why is he subjecting us and himself to this nasty stuff? And why is he doing it in this forum?
The mystery makes the story compelling, I suppose. But the unsympathetic character made it hard to continue to the (underwhelming) end.
Honestly, I didn’t really enjoy the story, and I’m not sure what the Man Booker people saw in this book particularly.
- David Grossman, translated by Jessica Cohen, A Horse Walks Into a Bar, New York, Alfred A. Knopft, 2017.
Sunday Book Reviews