Shylock is My Name The Merchant of Venice Retold (Hogarth Shakespeare)By Howard Jacobson
`Who is this guy, Dad? What is he doing here?' With an absent wife and a daughter going off the rails, wealthy art collector and philanthropist Simon Strulovitch is in need someone to talk to. So when he meets Shylock at a cemetery in Cheshire's Golden Triangle, he invites him back to his house. It's the beginning of a remarkable friendship. Elsewhere in the Golden Triangle, the rich, manipulative Plurabelle (aka Anna Livia Plurabelle Cleopatra A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever Christine) is the face of her own TV series, existing in a bubble of plastic surgery and lavish parties. She shares prejudices and a barbed sense of humour with her loyal friend D'Anton, whose attempts to play Cupid involve Strulovitch's daughter - and put a pound of flesh on the line. Howard Jacobson's version of The Merchant of Venice bends time to its own advantage as it asks what it means to be a father, a Jew and a merciful human being in the modern world.