Search Results: "Philip Roth"


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

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

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

READING MYSELF AND OTHERS by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 30, 1975

"This time anyone can play Dr. Spielvogel."
This is an act of self-vindication, an expression of Philip Roth's "continuing need for self-analysis and self-justification," a valiant defense of the naked and exposed "moral flank" some critics have found obscene. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

THE DYING ANIMAL by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 18, 2001

"'This need. This derangement. Will it never stop?,' Roth's most sexually importunate figure demands of himself. Probably not—and we'll probably be treated to further ruminations on why this should be so in a future David Kepesh novel."
The recent creative surge that has produced some of Roth's best fiction continues with this intense short novel narrated by David Kepesh (protagonist also of The Breast and The Professor of Desire), who's a more highly eroticized counterpart of Roth's other serial alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

MY LIFE AS A MAN by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 3, 1974

"So Nu, 'Let's begin."
The opener here — one of two stories which goes by the name of "Useful Fictions" — is by Peter Tarnopol and about Nathan Zuckerman who is of course Peter Tarnopol who is of course Philip Roth recording his life as a man already only too recognizable as that of the mensch manque — the Jewish boy from New Jersey who was such a public nuisance in the public library and such a misfit in the Army and who became "the golden boy of American literature" (1959 — hello, goodbye) and then went on to teach in a midwestern college where he became hopelessly entrammeled with two women. I.e. — the basis of what will be shamefully appropriated as useful non-fiction (a case study) by Dr. Spielvogel who also reappears and considers him "among the top young narcissists in the arts." 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

THE FACTS by Philip Roth
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 19, 1988

"Zuckerman finds the memoirs too 'kind, discreet, careful' to be truthful; he mocks the idyllic 'romance of your childhood,' distrusts the portrait of Josie ('Everything you are today you owe to an alcoholic shiksa'), and wonders why Roth's sexual compulsions get so little attention, it's a slightly precious gimmick—but a neat, corrosive windup to a semi-absorbing semi-autobiography that raises as many questions as it answers."
Roth—the most relentlessly and trickily autobiographical of major American novelists—now offers "to demythologize myself and play it straight, to pair the facts as lived with the facts as presented." Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

SABBATH'S THEATER by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 12, 1995

"Roth here creates one of contemporary fiction's great characters—and manages the Herculean feat of containing him in a savage, spectacular novel that may well be his best."
If Chaucer's Wife of Bath had been a male Jewish sexagenarian, she might have sounded a lot like Morris "Mickey" Sabbath. 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

THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 14, 1973

"As for the G.A.N., it is as much a dream as the 500 hitter, a goal made mythical by an arbitrary set of rules for a game which we (both writers and readers) now find tiring."
A book with this title just had to be written, and who is better qualified (if not Norman Mailer?) than Philip Roth, who's been doing his damnedest ever since Goodbye Columbus got the National Book Award back in 1959 when Ike was President. Read full book review >

BOOK REVIEW

AMERICAN PASTORAL by Philip Roth
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 12, 1997

"American fiction."
Roth's elegiac and affecting new novel, his 18th, displays a striking reversal of form—and content—from his most recent critical success, the Portnoyan Sabbath's Theater (1995). Read full book review >