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The Making of Henry

by Howard Jacobson

Now that he is approaching 60 Henry is looking back over the events that have shaped his life. And in doing so uncovers a cast of characters and stories brimming with affectionate humour. Henry’s early days caught up in Jewish family life are captured wonderfully as are his schoolboy reminisces.

Extract

And now Henry is in love.
He can't eat. There is an obstruction where the food should pass. He can't drink either, all fluids gathering in a dam halfway down his oesophagus. Intermittently the dam bursts, leaking acids into Henry's system. This is how you know you're in love when you're Henry's age. It feels like indigestion. So anyone observing Henry and Lachlan when they meet on the stairs would guess they were competing to see who could hit his own chest harder. Some mornings they do no more than burp at each other as they pass.

Parallels

Portrait of an Artist as an Old Man by Joseph Heller
Everyman by Philip Roth
 

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