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RIP Phillip Roth

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  • RIP Phillip Roth

    The last of the American literary giants dead at 85. He was my favourite writer for many years. Hard to pick a favourite book but it has to be among The Counterlife, American Pastoral, The Human Stain, I Married a Communist, The Plot against America and Operation Shylock. The last book he ever wrote was Nemesis (2010) from 1934 Newark and the polio epidemic. This is the last paragraph of the book:

    He threw the javelin repeatedly that afternoon, each throw smooth and powerful, each throw accompanied by that resounding mingling of a shout and a grunt, and each, to our delight, landing several yards farther down the field than the last. Running with the javelin aloft, stretching his throwing arm back behind his body, bringing the throwing arm through to release the javelin high over his shoulder-and releasing it then like an explosion- he seemed to us invincible.

  • #2
    Reading Portnoy's Complaint when I was 18 was a painful experience because it was such an authentic story of adolescent angst - on a par with Catcher in the Rye.

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    • #3
      Roth dead, Wouk lives (and is 103 this weekend I think?)

      It was pretty shocking stuff in those days. Goodbye Columbus was an eye opener
      and around then I had just started to spend time at some ethnic country clubs and found that although people are basically the same, yes there are differences!

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