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Book reviews for "Roth,_Philip" sorted by average review score:

The Facts : A Novelist's Autobiography
Published in Hardcover by Farrar Straus & Giroux (September, 1988)
Author: Philip Roth
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Not Just The Facts
Leave it to Phillip Roth to take a traditional autobiography and turn it on its ear. The book begins with a brief letter from Roth to his fictional character Zuckerman, explaining that he (Roth) has written a brief autobiography and wanted to get Zuckerman's input. Then comes the autobiography, a concise version of Roth's history focusing primarily upon his childhood, his college years, and his marriage to a woman who he later describes as his "nemesis." Finally the book ends with Zuckerman's comments on Roth's text. Just the thought of it is enough to make you laugh, but there is value in this approach. Roth clearly feels uneasy discussing himself, and so the fictional character allows him to break down his own personality without appearing overly self-indulgent. This final Zuckerman section is very insightful and alleviated my doubts that perhaps Phillip Roth does not understand himself as well as he would like to think.

'The Facts' is a quick read and goes a long way in illustrating how a nice Jewish boy from a good family in the suburbs of New Jersey could find enough angst in his life to eventually line his desk with a Pulitzer Prize, two PEN/Faulkner Awards, and a National Book Award. I would recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed anything by this master of the literary realm. (If you haven't yet read any of his novels, try Portnoy's Complaint, American Pastoral, or Goodbye Columbus... but you really can't go wrong, everything he's written is terrific.)

An Autobiography Unlike Any Other
In this short, fascinating book Roth narrates the story of his life up to the publication of "Portnoy's Complaint." Then, in a long epilogue, Nathan Zuckerman (Roth's fictional alter-ego) critiques Roth's account, pointing out omissions and biases and attacking the "public relations tone" of the manuscript. If you have ever felt the sting of your outraged conscience, or laughed at how you trip over your own feet intellectually, Roth is the author for you.

Not the facts
This would be a ten, but it's only a nine because the facts aren't the facts. No, this isn't Roth. It's him pretending to be Zuckerman. But, when he asked Zuckerman if Roth should still write, happily he agrees.

Patrimony : A True Story
Published in Paperback by Vintage Books (June, 1996)
Author: Philip Roth
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Read this book in two seatings. First rate non-fiction from my favorite author. Vivid scenes put you in his shoes; sad and happy at the same time.

Just bought it for my father for father's day.

A slim and beautiful portrait of an old man at lifes end
With the possible exception of Goodbye Columbus when you undertake a Roth novel you are in for some heavy reading and a major time committment. No so with this novel. At almost novella length, Roth spins a somewhat possibly fictionalized story of the elder Roth's late life which despite being the father of a famous author, he is also a man full of memories and regrets.

The most moving of scenes which will touch anyone who has lost a loved one is the trip to the Mother graveside. Ultimately no matter how you behave during the visit; if you talk to the deceased, weed the plot or whatever, you walk away the same as you came in...alone... to paraphrase Roth. This an other flashes of the master make this and all Roth novels worth reading over and over.

This is an exceptionally fine book.
Patrimony is a non-fiction account of the last years of Philip Roth's father, Herman, covering as well the family history which was so important to Herman. Not only is Roth a fine stylist, but the sensitivity of this account transcends even the exceptional style. By turns tragic, sardonic, humerous and moving, this book is a window into the values of late twentieth-century America, both good and bad

Philip Roth Considered : The Concentrationary Universe of the American Writer (Making the Classics Contemporary)
Published in Hardcover by Garland Publishing (November, 2000)
Author: Steven Milowitz
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Milowitz Considered
It's high time someone wrote an insightful book about this Brilliant Jewish-American author, and Dr. Steven M. Milowitz has risen to the task. Milowitz whisks us away on a provocative and challenging magic carpet ride through the concentrationary Universe of the pulitzer-prize winning author. It is a masterpiece of modern literary critism: combining intensive scholarship with insightful anicdotes to bring us a work of such staggering genius one can not help but marvel. Hats off to you, Doc!

A truly wonderful book
Steven Milowitz gives an in-depth analyses of the mind of one the greatest American authors ever. The book literally drew me in, I read it in one sitting. An informative and very well written book, I reccomend it to everyone.

Reading into Phillip Roth
Steven Milowitz takes us on an unforgettable journey through the mind of one of the greatest Jewish-American writers of all time. It has completely changed my Phillip Roth reading experience. This book is a must read, tour de force.

A Fanatic Heart: Selected Stories of Edna O'Brien
Published in Hardcover by Farrar Straus & Giroux (November, 1984)
Authors: Edna O'Brien and Philip Roth
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a fanatic heart, a painful heart
It is a collection of short stories already published under different titles; they are summoned now with a common objective: to show a deep and complete analysis of women's world. The presence almost overwhelming of feminine figures (rural and urban women, young or elder, married or single, raw and sophisticated...) is the leading thread of this collection. Their decisions, vital choices, their problems, the situations they have to face due to the fact that they belong to the so-called "weak sex" (the girl deserted by her boyfriend after the engagement, the doubts before birth, the anguish of the eldest girl, who has disappointed deeply her mother's expectations over her...etc) are portrayed in a sympathetic and honest way; you can't avoid feeling sorry for some of them: the heroine that has made the wrong choice, the mother submitted to an inebriate husband, the woman that can't escape from an adulterous love.... In this sense the last sentence of the first story, The Connor Girls, is revealing: "By such choices we (women) gradually become exiles, until at last we are quite alone", because it introduces what is going to be one of the main points of most of the stories: loneliness, women's loneliness in the face of men, in the face of other women integrated in the system, in short, in the face of this world of men. What is the result of all this? I think that the feeling that pervades the whole book is that of sadness, an acute pain with which the writer could be exorcising her own.

Fundamentals of Emergency Radiology
Published in Paperback by W B Saunders (15 January, 1996)
Authors: Philip W. Wiest, Paul B. Roth, and Sandra Valkoff
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Fundamentals for Emergency Radiology
An excellent, concise, yet thorough overview of the radiologic exams which medical students, residents and ER physicians order on a daily basis in order to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of acute illnesses/injuries in the Emergency Room. This is not intended to be an exhaustive discussion of everything radiological. It is purposefully focused on radiology for the specific needs of emergency medical personnel. The book contains many very good radiographs which are labeled and marked for educational purposes. Additionally it contains tables and algorithms for differential diagnoses which are extremely helpful. This book is a must for medical students and residents preparing for and going through an ER rotation, but could undoubtedly be valuable to a physician at all stages of his/her career as a review and reference text. Don't let the small size of this book fool you into thinking it must be inferior. It has everything you need to know to approach the issue of radiologic diagnostic testing of the acutely ill/injured patient.

Reading Myself and Others
Published in Paperback by Farrar, Straus & Giroux (01 January, 1975)
Author: Philip Roth
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Please, Mr. Roth, Update This Collection
Not only is Philip Roth perhaps America's greatest living novelist, he is one of the nation's very best literary critics as well. This book is a compilation of essays and interviews he published before 1974. Included is his piercing analyses of the accusations of anti-Semitism made against him as well as "Writing American Fiction", the classic essay where he declares that the novelist's imagination can't possibly keep up with the extravagance of American reality. Also included is the short story/essay "Looking at Kafka" which may be the best thing ever written about that quintessential modernist author. Roth has written enough criticism in the years since this book was published to assemble a whole new volume: please, we badly need an update!

To the Desert and Back: The Story of the Most Dramatic Business Transformation on Record
Published in Hardcover by Jossey-Bass (07 May, 2003)
Authors: Philip H. Mirvis, Karen Ayas, and George Roth
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Required Reading for Leaders
Mirvis, Ayas, and Roth make an exciting story accessible to a wide range of readers. Not only are the lessons of this story applicable to the business world, they carry over to relationships of all kinds. The dramatic story of Unilever's turn-around had this reader turning the pages. It is rare to come across a book with the potential to have such a far-reaching impact on organizations and the people in them. "To the Desert and Back" ought to be required reading for leaders young and old.

Published in Paperback by Penguin Books Ltd (01 September, 1988)
Author: Philip Roth
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Philip Roth's The Counterlife - A Quest for Identity
Philip Roth is one of the most highly acclaimed Jewish-American writers of our time, and The Counterlife confirms his skill as a craftsman and a philosopher on Jewish matters. Roth creates perfect environments for the scrutiny of a subject one frequently encounters in his work: The intellectual secular Jewish male's search for and affirmation of his identity.

This theme is woven into each of the novel's five chapters, which are authored in first-person narrative by the fictional writer Nathan Zuckerman. Zuckerman defines identity by weighing secularity against religious fervor, masculinity against femininity, potency against impotency, and Jewish awareness against anti-Semitism.

While the novel is set in Zuckerman's fictional world, the chapters each tell separate stories. The situations Zuckerman creates vary, and thus three forms of Jewish identity between which he seems to be caught are examined. Zuckerman experiences the identities of the secular son of traditional Jewish parents, of being a militant Jew's brother, and of the son-in-law grappling with his mother-in-law's anti-Semitism which causes the failure of yet another attempt at family life.

Similar themes can be identified in Roth's other works, such as Goodbye, Columbus and Portnoy's Complaint. However, the post-modern structure of The Counterlife allows for their juxtaposition within one novel, thereby offering the reader a spectrum of the protagonist's issues of identity.

Roth's prose is explicit, witty, and even funny, making the novel a truely enjoyable and engaging read. In the interest of authenticity, he does not recoil from using obscenities. He mocks Jewish-American militancy and pseudo-religiosity by the creation of Ben-Joseph, the author of the "Five Books of Jimmy," who really misses baseball in Israel and later hijacks an El Al plane for hopeless ends.

Nevertheless, Roth does not lose sight of the danger inherent in this militancy. Zuckerman finds his brother's carrying a gun alarming. He detects a loss of "Henry's [his brother's] Henriness," and wonders whether Henry has "developed, postoperatively, a taste for the ersatz in life".

A well-rounded novel, and certainly a must for those interested in Jewish-American writing.

The Most Universal Piece of literature. A must for everyone.
The Counterlife - By Philip Roth My review: By Aglae Mizrahi.

I encountered Philip Roth's genius of intellect and understanding of social behavior by way of "The Counterlife", actually the unique of his titles I read. Moreover, I admit, the finest publication I have obtained.

Roth enchants with utterly well endowed vocabulary and prose. In addition, simultaneously conveying completely dissimilar philosophical perceptions, religious attachments, and life experiences. Line by line he describes Jewish people, in particular, The American Diaspora characteristics.

Seems as if Roth desire is to convey ideas about Jewish Secularism: American Jewish in particular.

He attains this by positioning side by side the extremes: Diaspora's Secularism against Zionism, meaning of real Jewish beliefs to American's or European's Anti-Semitism,ethnically self contemp against ethnic,and a lot more.Actually he tricks the reader. He leads one to think is only a Jewish title.

He is a universal writer. Everything told applies to theso well known compulsion into stereotipizing all people into this or that psychological category. This is universal. It relates to whites, Afro-Americans, Catholics, Hispanics, etc. It is a world tendency. Even to me, native of a country were prejudice does not go further that the semantics, since we are all creatures of a cocktail of very distinct groups of society.

The more one tries to hide what one is, the more propensity one is to fall into the stereotipized world. Using the Jewish example, the more secular Nathan, amid his principal characters, the more he says not to be observant, the more it bothers him to have a son uncircumsized. The Brit Mila has to be perfect. Moreover, the Bar Mitzva grandiose, even if the kid doesn't comprehend anything.

Isn't it right that there is an abnormal tendency to cataloguize us all into Freudian or not Freudian misbehabiour, self compulsion is universal in late generations.

I am certain the hint to the success of antidepressants around, all self compulsive persons, with thousands of drugs claiming to be the panaceas for us all is actually self hatred. Does not the media blinds or Brian-washes us to be perfect, beautiful, sexual, virile, thin, etc.

No wonder each and all of us desires to escape, and that is what "The Counterlife" brings us in each of his five chapters, escapism from reality.

Philip Roth employs sarcasm, irony, jokes, satire, euphemisms, and all grabbed to conceive this important peace of literature, That has to be read more than once. It owns magnetism and Excellency. I recommend it an open and honest hearth.

Excellent Piece of Literature, If it could be I would put Ten. Excellent read for anyone, and also for the price since one gets enchanted by this title. Buy it. It is also worth the money.

I have already become a fan of Roth, he has utterly beguiled me, I have got to get all his titles.


"An Australia for Jews" - a sad core amidst fine satire
This is a funny, satirical literary novel about the clownish mid-life crisis of a typical suburban Jewish New Jersey dentist - yes, it's Roth country! But at it's heart, in the Israel section of the book, the farce suddenly dies away: I found the sad, powerful tale of the character "Shuki" unexpectedly moving: Shuki, one of the original European settlers of Israel, who enthusiastically built Israel and fought in the front line through all the troubles, is now an exhausted, world-weary man. He sees all the talented Jews of the world settling in places like the USA, Canada, Britain and France, whereas forty years of unrelenting war have turned Israel (he says) into "an Australia for Jews," a place where the first rate don't emigrate to anymore, only the most hopeless come now, those without the skills or talent to get them into the First World, who must experience a day to day tension so profound it's like a recreation of the pogroms of Russia. Roth's stunning departure from the farcical aspects of his story and Shuki's blunt assessments hit the reader like a succession of boxer's blows, the reader lulled previously by all the fine satire and good story telling. Luckily, the farce returns quickly, and we're off for more crazy adventures with the suburban New Jersey dentist and his writer brother, but this is a unexpectedly a very powerful book, and though it came out a few years ago it is, of course, especially moving right now in these troubled times.

Don't miss Roth's other novels if you like this one. I also recommend Dawn Powell's *The Golden Spur*, Simon Raven's *Alms For Oblivion* series, Sandor Marai's *Embers*, the poetry of Philip Larkin and Paul Theroux's *Kowloon Tong*. And all of Shakespeare, Dickens and Austen.

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Published in Paperback by Penguin USA (Paper) (August, 1989)
Authors: Milan Kundera, Michael Henry Heim, and Philip Roth
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The poetic confessions of a once-upon-a-time circle-dancer.
This novel (a novel of fragments and variations on a theme) concerns those concerned with recovering history, in the literal sense of covering over. Made up of seven parts, with only Kundera and a character named Tamina the revisited positions, the novel plays with the notion of musical variation and gives it literary expression. Kundera takes the familiar cords, the exile, the rebel, the man and the woman with A Past, the photograph, and the supposed "innocence" of children, and he plays them in a variety of combinations and tempos to highlight the subtlety in each note and the infinite variety and depth of each life. This is a novel in which Kundera stares fully at his own culpability in Czech politics and he does so at the novelistic moment of watching his father die. One of the most poignant moments in the book, and one which underlines Kundera's notions here about Utopias, ideals, and aspirations, is that "while we seek the infinity of the stars, we lose the infinity of our fathers." The book circles around this notion of creating the ideal world and aspiring to the ultimate human organization, and sends in pointed and damaging attacks on the dehumanization of such processes and aspirations. It is, to my mind, the finest of Kundera's novels (though _Slowness_ comes a close second). It is seemingly non-linear, asks more questions than it provides answers, and will demand the acute attention of the reader, but, in the end, it is worth every strain of concentration

A Truly Great Book
This work by Franco-Czech writer (not a combination one sees everyday) is best if read quickly before or after his other great work, The Unbearable Lightness of Being. All of Kundera's works take a post-modern approach to the novel's themes and style, liberally sprinkling philosophical and metaphysical questions throughout the text; this one is no exception. It's constant and enduring image is that of the Circle Dance, as shown on the cover, and its power to allow the human spirit to rise into the clouds. The classical opinion of what a novel should be must be abandoned, or at least silenced, in order to thoroughly enjoy this work, but it makes any trouble well worth it. HIghest recommendation.

Life- Changing! Read it young!
This book totally blew my mind when I first read it, maybe more than any other book since. Kundera has a way of looking at the world that is totally unique and pretty enlightening, and although I didn't understand everything he said at the time, I feel like his sharing that view with readers is an incredible gift. None of his other books grasp it quite as completely (although several other people I've talked to also say that the first one of his they read was the best, whatever it was). Read it, read it young, and let its ideas float around in your mind forever- you'll be a more complex thinker, I guarantee it. (I'm not sure how much my guarantee means to you, but it means a lot to me)

Our Gang
Published in Paperback by Knopf (08 May, 2001)
Authors: Philip Roth and Martin Asher
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Yes, this is very dated, but that makes it an interesting historical artifact. Yes, this is over-the-top, but it's over-the-top in an entertaining way. It's a light piece of comic fluff you'll finish easily in one sitting. I disagree, by the way, that one could in this manner satirize convincingly any American president. There has to be some core truth to exaggerate. In particular, I don't think Bill Clinton could be successfully subjected to this kind of treatment. There are only so many yucks you can squeeze out of Monica, and nobody ever REALLY cared about the affair anyway except (presumably) the principals and those vicious Republican corporate stooges (worthy of Nixon's Watergate henchmen) out to get Clinton by hook or by crook. It would also be difficult to subject Bush II to this kind of treatment, but for a different reason. Nearly everything Bush II does and says is ALREADY an exaggeration. The satirical Madison, Wisconsin weekly, The Onion, for example, ran a piece about Bush II immediately after he, let's say, the presidency with this headline: "Our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over". Okay, nice try, but, where's the exaggeration? The economy is in a tailspin; the surplus was handed over to the very, very wealthy and large corporations; pretty much all environmental protections are being systematically dismantled; and we are perpetually and permanently, it seems, at war. That's just not funny. In any case, read this book, but don't assume it typical of Philip Roth. It's very much a "one-off", as they say.

Scalding Satire
This is wild, satirical look at the Nixon administration and it is hilarious. Roth scalds Nixon and his felonious cronies with absurd scenarios and commentary. Ultimately every presidential adminstration could receive similar literary treatment for their vapid pronouncements and high and mighty attitude, but the Nixon persona lends itself perfectly to such an exercise. Clinton is a likely candidate for a future effort. If you are a political junky you particularly should enjoy this presidential farce.

Tricky for those who don't get it...
I have a great affinity for this book for a few reasons, the biggest being there is no longer such scathing political satire that is created in so many layers like this little missive from Roth. The media, literary world, and even the OpEds in many newspapers forget the power wielded and the passion invocked by a well-crafted satire instead of mud slinging and innuendo. The story of Trick E. Dixon and his fervent and funny fight for the sanctity of human life as well as the right to kill anyone who disagrees is the perfect paradox of politics. The persona of Richard Nixon, love him or hate him, is the perfect foil for this kind of dialogue/novel and it is an eerie historical note when so very much of the spirit of Trick E. Dixon was soon to be exposed in our own president. If you vote, read this book. If you don't, shame on you!

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