Search Results: "Philip Roth"


BOOK REVIEW

Released: April 8, 1993

"No matter: rarely have fact and fiction, personal confession and wild imaginings, led such a deeply, unnervingly comic dance."
Roth has worked out so frequently and acrobatically with fictional versions of himself that his entanglement here with a doppelganger insisting that he's Philip Roth—a double whose visionary "diasporism" gets the hapless narrator tied up in plots engineered by the Mossad, the PLO, and God knows who else- -is as logical as it is frenetically funny. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE ANATOMY LESSON by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 28, 1983

"Still, if some readers will be lured (or put off) by Roth's roman clef specifics, others will be drawn to the Chinese-box ironies (Zuckerman yearning to escape 'self' in '73, Roth at the summit of 'self' in '83)—and to the squirming spectacle of a writer trying to find a bearable approach for fictional self-examination, trying to defend himself and crucify himself at the same time."
Zuckerman in pain—physical pain, psychic pain, existential pain—as Roth continues to follow his nakedly, overbearingly autobiographical alter-ego: what was high art in The Ghost Writer became a glossy, so-so hybrid in Zuckerman Unbound. . . and has now become something intermittently powerful or funny, strangely fascinating, yet grimly embarrassing, It's 1973. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

GOODBYE, COLUMBUS by Philip Roth
Released: May 7, 1959

"A Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award (and a good deal more literary than some recent choices) this is a must for all readers interested in the contemporary American literary scene."
The world of the American Jew provides the cultural milieu for the title short novel and five stories by a young writer familiar to readers of the New Yorker, Esquire, Commentary and the Paris Review. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

WHEN SHE WAS GOOD by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 7, 1967

"Well, When She was Good couldn't be better for what it is although it will probably be reviewed for what it is not; it's a consuming melodrama and even if it takes you unaware, it won't find you asleep."
Even though Roth has written only one collection of short stories and one novel, he was quickly established as one of the ablest writers to make the Jewish scene. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE COUNTERLIFE by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 1986

"Certainly Roth's most complex, ambitious work—and one of his best."
Much of the last two decades' metafictional nattering is made to look like so much sandbox-play by Roth's new novel; if the technique of ostensibly real characters imagining they're in books (and vice-versa) has a fatal flaw, it's that neither character nor book usually tackles the unbearable alibis, transgressions, and needs—and the punishingly naked absurdity—that both art and life seem to demand. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

I MARRIED A COMMUNIST by Philip Roth
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 22, 1998

"Despite its superb re-creation of the conflicted 1940s and the ordeal of the American Left, along with a plethora of sharply realized ideologues at verbal war, this very talky book is an example of Roth at his most forceful and eloquent, though perhaps rather less than his best."
Following the spectacular success of its immediate predecessor, American Pastoral (1997), Roth's ambitious new novel is another chronicle of innocence and idealism traduced—the demolition of what one of its characters calls "the myth of your own goodness." Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

INDIGNATION by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 16, 2008

"A twist in narrative perspective reinforces this novel's timelessness."
In a plot that evokes the author's earlier work, Roth (Exit Ghost, 2007, etc.) focuses on a young man's collegiate coming of age against the deadly backdrop of the Korean War. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE HUMAN STAIN by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 10, 2000

"Roth's late maturity looks more and more like his golden age."
Roth's extraordinary recent productivity (the prizewinning Sabbath's Theater, 1995, and American Pastoral, 1997) continues apace with this impressively replete and very moving chronicle of an academic scandal and its impact on both the aging professor at its center and his friend—alter ego novelist Nathan Zuckerman. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE BREAST by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 21, 1972

"70 pages — no bigger than an A-cup."
This is no more than a titbit by way of a diversion in the event that you divert easily as once again with downcast eyes Mr. Roth tells the story of David Alan Kepesh, poor nebbish David Alan Kepesh, who having observed the small pink stain on his glans penis suddenly finds himself transformed into a breast. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

ZUCKERMAN UNBOUND by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 1981

"So, though there's much that's engaging here—the superb dialogue, the deft comedy, the mostly seductive narration, the titillating recognition-factors for Portnoy's Complaint readers—those who responded to the subtler, fable-like connections of The Ghost Writer will be sorely disappointed by this much cruder, less daring, and largely redundant sequel."
In The Ghost Writer (1979), Roth explored the tensions between being-an-artist and being-a-human-being; he used the nakedly autobiographical figure of young (in the mid-1950s) writer Nathan Zuckerman; he compressed all the action into a few days; he wove his theme through sequences ranging from fantasy and farce to Chekhovian realism; and he came up with a magical novel, perhaps the best book of his career. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

OUR GANG by Philip Roth
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Nov. 8, 1971

"STEAL THIS BOOK from the Oval Room coffee table."
A string of put-on, put-down face the nation appearances of Trick E. Dixon from the time when his original (authentic) statement on abortion and the sanctity of human life leads to some uncomfortable questions about Vietnam, My Lai, and the conjecture that one of Caltey's 22 victims might have been pregnant. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 17, 1968

"Masterful in parts, phony in others, but obviously a 'hot' best-seller."
There are two voices in Portnoy's Complaint, Philip Roth's quasi-autobiographical tour de force, though both voices are the voices of the hero. Read full book review >