Author(s): Howard Jacobson
'No man has ever loved a woman and not imagined her in the arms of someone else'. Felix Quinn calls himself a happy man. He owns one of London's oldest antiquarian bookshops. He is married to and adores the beautiful Marisa. But a childhood experience has taught him that loss is intrinsic to love, and Felix realizes that he can only be truly happy if his wife is sleeping with another man. Enter Marius into Marisa's affections. And now Felix must ask himself, is he really happy?
'The Act of Love is naked, haunting, unflinching. Its account of sexual obsession is frightening, painful and finally very moving. A tour de force' Harold Pinter
Jacobson's page-turning account of sexual obsession is replete with erudite flourishes and sophisticated insight Independent One of the author's most affecting, honest and brilliant works. It is a searingly well written piece by a ridiculously underrated novelist Sunday Telegraph The Act of Love, like Jacobson's other work, contains a rich vein of humour...Intelligent and erudite, Felix is a fascinating character Financial Times A umbustious account of sexual obsession...Jacobson went up in my estimation as a witty and ribald chronicler of the human heart Tatler An impressively sustained, and unusually intense, literary experiment Literary Review He is a master of the comedy of social awkwardness... Jacobson is playing a sophisticated literary game, in this most literate of novels Esquire It's Jacobson's genius that he uses Felix's perversion as a torture garden in which a hundred interlinked images, theories, arguments, stories and literary allusions flourish and blossom...Moving through this whirling phantasmagoria of ideas is like watching a conjuror keeping 42 multicoloured plates spinning...The Act of Love is a startling achievement: shocking, argumentative, funny, rude, querulous, intellectually bracing Independent The narrative is masterly. Entertaining as well as erudite, it prompts reflections upon art, obsession, masculinity, betrayal and the nature of the erotic...serves above all to confirm his creator's mighty individual talent. There surely cannot be a more vigorously intelligent novelist than Howard Jacobson writing in this country today Sunday Telegraph A gloriously literary, highly wrought narrative as darkly transgressive, as savage in its brilliance, as anything Jacobson has written The Times Mesmerising...also as delightfully funny a novel as one would expect from Jacobson, who revels in language and in the perverse spell it can cast... The Act of Love is spellbinding, not just in its characterisation, or in its simplicity of plot, in the flirtatiousness with which Jacobson courts language, or the stylish sardonic humour that seems to come so easily, but in its entirety Scotsman Howard Jacobson injects a kind of molten energy into English that makes it move like another language altogether...Obsession, hidden desires and the salacious thrill of voyeurism all play their part in this brawny tale of love's flagellant Daily Mail
Howard Jacobson is the author of nine previous novels and four works of non-fiction. He won the Everyman Wodehouse Award for comic writing in 1999 for The Mighty Walzer.