One day, out of the blue, Henry Nagel receives a solicitor's letter telling him he has inherited a sumptuous apartment in St John's Wood. Divine intervention? Or his late father's love-nest? Henry doesn't know, but he is glad to escape the North, where there is nothing and no one to keep him. After nearly sixty years of angry disappointment, Henry's life is about to change. Not that the ghosts of Henry's past are prepared to disappear without a struggle - his old school-friend and rival Osmond Hovis Belkin, currently enjoying a spectacularly successful career in Hollywood, his tragic great aunt Marghanita for whom Henry once entertained a dangerous passion, and his father Izzi Nagel, upholsterer turned illusionist, fire eater and origamist, whose shade Henry interrogates relentlessly. But the present clamours as loudly as the past. His dyspeptic neighbour Lachlan wants his sympathy, Lachlan's sloppy red setter, Angus, wants a walk, and Moira, the waitress with the crooked smile and custard hair who serves him cake and cappuccino, seems to want him.
Kicking and screaming every inch of the way, Henry realises he might finally be falling in love. Will love be the making of Henry? Or will walking his neighbour's dog? Tender, funny and beautifully told, 'The Making Of Henry' is Howard Jacobson's richest novel to date. The writing makes you gasp with pleasure, the story builds effortlessly to its crescendo of revelations, and above all, it adds a new warmth to his reputation as the most exhilaratingly intelligent of contemporary novelists.