Reviews

  • "A satire in Swiftian vein, this is Howard Jacobson’s fifteenth novel and first hand grenade. If Trump’s policy is to move fast and break things, then he has a competitor in Jacobson, who began Pussyv in the aftermath of Trump’s election victory and completed well before Trump’s catastrophic failure to repeal Obamacare… It has all the qualities of a fleet response: undigested rage, whip-smart wit devastating fluency and an aim as straight as an arrow… This is the story, savagely well told by our greatest comic novelist, of how we got in the state we’re in."

    Oldie
  • "The pairing of author and subject sounds divinely ordained: The world’s smartest comic novelist vs. a TV reality star who ran for president while bragging about his genitals."

    Washington Post
  • "There are many aesthetic pleasures to be had in Pussy. If Trump’s presidency is a source of continuing anxiety, then among its very few benefits is that it has moved one of our finest comic writers to write an elegantly savage satire of a man who defies satire."

    Observer
  • "Jacobson is… on target and deliciously laugh-aloud nasty about not just the making of this rough beast but what in the American character enabled it to go slouching into the White House."

    Mail on Sunday
  • "This is top-class comment writing, disguised in the form of a satirical jeu d’esprit… It is, to quote the title of Jacobson’s own study of comedy, Seriously Funny."

    The Times
  • "Angry… In common with many a classic satire, Pussy is written as a fable… It’s all great fun… Jacobson is very good on the nuances of the Trump phenomenon, both in terms of what’s alarming about it and why it has struck such a resonant chord… And even if his book is unlikely to topple any governments, it may at least, as its author hopes, spread comfort in some quarter and vexation in others."

    UK Press Syndication
  • "The book brilliantly portrays a world in which language and the complexity of ideas that it can convey has been devalued… The novel hurtles breathlessly through a bildungsroman of the young prince from “baby celebrity” to idling away his boyhood watching reality TV shows, to becoming a young man fantasising about prostitutes and being a Roman emperor, to the moment he runs for election… Fascinating."

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  • "For anyone thinking that Pussy is a comic novel, beware: the book is relentlessly unfunny. But this should not be taken as a criticism; rather, recognition of just how creepily well realized and bleak Jacobson’s vision of the Trump phenomenon turns out to be… It also captures, with chilling accuracy, the way Trumpism is a reflection of the post-literate world we increasingly inhabit… Bullseye, Mr Jacobson. This is a novel that has much to say about how Mussolinis like Trump coerce others into succumbing to their profoundly myopic, Manichaean world-view."

    New Statesman
  • "Howard Jacobson's reaction to the recent US election is viciously sharp, and almost too close to the bone to be funny… After the result, Jacobson… churned out 50,000 lacerating words in the form of a fable, one filled to its margins with viciously sharp humour and gossamer-thin allusions to reality… While delirious in its excoriations, Pussy can be hard to laugh at at times as it is so on-the-nose, in much the same way many rock bands find This is Spinal Tap too accurate to be outright comedy… A seething little nugget of a book."

    Irish Independent
  • "What immediately stands out is how different this is from most of Jacobson’s fiction. This is all-out political satire, a punchy attack on President Trump… Fracassus is a Nero for our times. Monstrous. Larger than life. Jacobson captures him with some excellent turns of phrase."

    Jewish Chronicle