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Everyman

ISBN-10: 061873516X
ISBN-13: 9780618735167
Edition: 2006
Authors: Philip Roth
List price: $24.00
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Description: "I"m thirty-four! Worry about oblivion, he told himself, when you"re seventy-five." Philip Roth"s new novel is a fiercely intimate yet universal story of loss, regret, and stoicism. The best-selling author of The Plot Against America now turns his  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.00
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date: 5/9/2006
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 192
Size: 5.75" wide x 7.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

"I"m thirty-four! Worry about oblivion, he told himself, when you"re seventy-five." Philip Roth"s new novel is a fiercely intimate yet universal story of loss, regret, and stoicism. The best-selling author of The Plot Against America now turns his attention from "one family"s harrowing encounter with history" (New York Times) to one man"s lifelong confrontation with mortality. Roth"s everyman is a hero whose youthful sense of independence and confidence begins to be challenged when illness commences its attack in middle age. A successful commercial advertising artist, he is the father of two sons who despise him and a daughter who adores him. He is the brother of a good man whose physical well-being comes to arouse his bitter envy. He is the lonely ex-husband of three very different women with whom he has made a mess of marriage. Inevitably, he discovers that he has become what he does not want to be. Roth has been hailed as "the most compelling of living writers . . . [His] every book is like a dispatch from the deepest recesses of the national mind."* In Everyman, Roth once again displays his hallmark incisiveness. From his first glimpse of death on the idyllic beaches of his childhood summers, through his vigorous, seemingly invincible prime, Roth"s hero is a man bewildered not only by his own decline but by the unimaginable deaths of his contemporaries and those he has loved. The terrain of this haunting novel is the human body. Its subject is the common experience that terrifies us all.

"Goodbye, Columbus' is a first book but it is not the book of a beginner. Unlike those of us who come howling into the world, blind and bare, Mr. Roth appears with nails, hair, and teeth, speaking coherently. At 26 he is skillful, witty, and energetic and performs like a virtuoso"---so wrote Saul Bellow when Philip Roth made a loud entry onto the literary scene with Goodbye, Columbus (1960), a novella and short stories that won the 1960 National Book Award. Roth, born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, attended the public schools of that city and went on to Bucknell University before receiving his M.A. from the University of Chicago and publishing stories about contemporary Jewish life in such prestigious literary magazines as, Paris Review, The New Yorker, and Commentary. Of Letting Go (1962), a novel about young university teachers in the 1950s, the Atlantic said that "the sharply observant qualities of his first book have been expanded and enriched; he has become more probing, tentative, complex"; and "When She Was Good," his story of a gentile girl of the Midwest who in striving for moral perfection destroys her family and ultimately herself, was described by Raymond Rosenthal in the New Leader: "With a simplicity and modesty that are in the end lethal, Roth has written the most violently satiric book about American life since Evelyn Waugh's "The Loved One."' The bestselling Portnoy's Complaint (1969) caused a greater stir than any other novel of its time. Told in the form of a confession by Alexander Portnoy to his psychiatrist Dr. Spielvogel, this outrageous novel centers around the character of Alexander's archetypal Jewish mother. Virtually the apotheosis of the American Jewish novel, Portnoy's Complaint seems almost to have killed off the form it represents, and even Roth himself has been hard put to match or surpass this blackest of comedies. Our Gang (1971) is a clever political satire directed at President Nixon and his pre-Watergate associates, but those prominent targets of Roth's venomous scorn seem pale and feeble when compared with the formidable mother in Portnoy's Complaint. The Breast (1972) finds Roth rather pathetically groping for a subject equally spectacular. oth has continued to produce novels at the rate of about one every two years, but none has come close to matching the impact of Portnoy's Complaint . In fact, Roth has linked together several of his recent works by means of a central character named Nathan Zuckerman, who seems to be Philip Roth looking back on his literary career and wondering where he goes from there. Zuckerman is introduced in My Life as a Man (1974) and takes the central role in The Ghost Writer (1979), Zuckerman Unbound (1981), and The Anatomy Lesson (1983). In addition to the Zuckerman saga, Roth has produced several independent novels. Recent work, such as Deception (1991), deals further with the interplay of truth and fiction in the "author's" life. In his most recent work, Patrimony: A True Story (1991), winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award, Roth recounts his father's illness and death. Roth has also taken an active interest in the work of Eastern European writers, such as Milan Kundera, (see Vol. 2) and has helped bring their work to the West's attention.

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