A new book | Philip Roth’s Indignation

This is a tired book. It casts only a dim and distorted light on the 50’s, a corny view, really, and isn’t worth reading for that. This isn’t “history” as some are saying — it’s Roth setting history up as a straw man, easy to knock over. Old age and death have been his recent preoccupations and it’s as if he said to himself his readers might tire of decaying old men so he wrote about a young one, but that’s just a mask and — speaking of decay — the college boy protagonist is dead, too. Literally. A weak conceit.

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