7 May 2007

ROTH, Philip - Everyman

Vintage 2006

Read April 2007

This excellent short novel starts at the end – the funeral of the protagonist. As with ‘American Pastoral’ it is a tale of a man of immigrant Jewish parents who grows up in post-war America, but in ‘Everyman’ the structure of the story is simpler and more accessible.

Essentially the protagonist is an egotistical character who is plagued by ill health and failing marriages. In old age he experiences the death of those around him as he is inevitably driven to his own end. The book is in many ways a simple tale whose brilliance lies in the detailed description and Roth’s slow build-up of the protagonist’s psychological make-up.


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