Tuesday, September 30


In recent days I have read a couple of negative reviews of Philip Roth's new novel, Indignation. This disappointed me because I've been excited to read it. It's been described as a return to the Roth's old days, a move away from the geriatric set, back to the world of Portnoy, or something close to it (read: excessive masturbation). This is the kind of Roth I enjoy most. Perhaps it's not his best writing but it's his most fun. I wanted to see if the bulk of reviews had been equally cool towards Indignation as those I had read. I went to Metacritic, whereupon landing on the Books page I was met with the following notice: "Metacritic's regular coverage of Books has concluded with the final Harry Potter installment." That's exactly how I felt: "Books has concluded with the final Harry Potter installment." Over. Done. Nothing more to say on the subject.

Anyway, I visited to The Complete Review and it appears that the two reviews I read were, in fact, the most negative. As with other recent Roth efforts it seems this book is generating a wide spectrum of responses from the critics.

Here is a sampling from the Independent:
So the story rushes heedlessly and humourlessly on. Like a miner who puts up no pit props, there is always a danger of the story collapsing behind him, and it does. (...) The book is a tragedy, but not in the way Roth intended.

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