Jacob's Folly by Rebecca Miller
A Novel

73%

6 Critic Reviews

..."luscious," is the one word I'd use to characterize Jacob's Folly: Miller's writing style is sensuous, and her individual stories expand, opulently, in scope and emotional impact.
-NPR

Synopsis

A luminous novel-funny and moving in equal measure-that shines with the author's unique talents

Jacob's Folly is a rollicking, ingenious, saucy book, brimful of sparkling, unexpected characters, that takes on desire, faith, love, acting-and reincarnation.
In eighteenth-century Paris, Jacob Cerf is a Jew, a peddler of knives, saltcellars, and snuffboxes. Despite a disastrous teenage marriage, he is determined to raise himself up in life, by whatever means he can. More than two hundred years later, Jacob is amazed to find himself reincarnated as a fly in the Long Island suburbs of twenty-first-century America, his new life twisted in ways he could never have imagined. But even the tiniest of insects can influence the turning of the world, and thanks to his arrival, the lives of a reliable volunteer fireman and a young Orthodox Jewish woman nursing a secret ambition will never be the same.
Through the unique lens of Jacob's consciousness, Rebecca Miller explores change in all its different guises-personal, spiritual, literal. The hold of the past on the present, the power of private hopes and dreams, the collision of fate and free will: Miller's world-which is our own, transfigured by her clear gaze and by her sharp, surprising wit-comes brilliantly to life in the pages of this profoundly original novel.

 

About Rebecca Miller

See more books from this Author
Rebecca Miller is the author of the short-story collection Personal Velocity, her feature-film adaptation of which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (FSG, 2008), which she also adapted for the screen. Her other films include Angela and The Ballad of Jack and Rose. She lives in New York and Ireland with her family.
 
Published March 5, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 385 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Jacob's Folly
All: 6 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 2

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Laura Miller on Jul 25 2013

There are fewer intrusions from fly-Jacob and Jacob's Folly clicks into gear; if you can get past the intermittent clumsiness of the first 10 chapters...If only Miller had trusted enough in the story she has to tell and swatted that meddlesome bug away.

Read Full Review of Jacob's Folly: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Zoe Green on Jun 15 2013

The comte's experiment has a serious intention: to prove that all humans are essentially the same...It is this key idea that Miller explores in a novel that is deft, beguiling and humorous.

Read Full Review of Jacob's Folly: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Mar 06 2013

..."luscious," is the one word I'd use to characterize Jacob's Folly: Miller's writing style is sensuous, and her individual stories expand, opulently, in scope and emotional impact.

Read Full Review of Jacob's Folly: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

Financial Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Rebecca Abrams on Jun 21 2013

Jacob’s journey from egocentric start to elemental finish is the one we all make. Between lies the glorious, folly-ridden, unavoidable challenge of being.

Read Full Review of Jacob's Folly: A Novel | See more reviews from Financial Times

National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Mar 08 2013

The novel leaves unanswered the question of whether art and secular culture with its undoubted triumphs can coexist with religious cultism.

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Mar 08 2013

Miller is particularly tactful in his depiction of the Edelman’s way of life. The tendency of many a novelist today would be to make members of that family fanatical and obnoxious, thereby heightening Masha’s drama of escape. But her parents, and particularly her mother, with her 11 children, are genuinely loving...

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Reader Rating for Jacob's Folly
76%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 103 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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