Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Everyman by Philip Roth


Philip Roth

182 pp.

Rating: 1

Everyman could have been a good book. If only. . . Had he not. . . I will get to those details later.

The book traces a 70-something man's history of his health problems, his three marriages, and his affairs. After doing some research on Roth, I wondered if it is a bit autobiographical. At the end of the novel, he regrets his life. His sons and his ex-wives hate him, and he doesn't get to spend time with the one person he does love, his daughter Nancy. He is even jealous of his brother's good health and stops calling him--a brother who has always been there for him. There are lessons to be learned from the novel, sure, but here is my objection to it.

He could have written this novel without the graphic s * x scenes. It really does border on p * r n. How such a le wd book could be awarded the PEN/Faulkner is beyond me. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

An NPR interview with Philip Roth about the book Everyman is here.

1 comment:

John Self said...

I enjoyed this book, though not as much as his American Pastoral. I was interested to see your reasons for rating it so poorly. Do you think the "graphic sex scenes" (I can't remember them myself) actually undid all the other qualities of the book (you say it could have been good but for...), so as to render it worthless? (I'm guessing one star is your lowest rating!) Do you object to any sex scene in a book, or just 'graphic' ones?