Thursday, December 13, 2007

Everyman by Philip Roth

I read this book in one afternoon it was that good.
Goodbye Columbus was my only experience with Roth and I didn’t care for it at all. This was way back in college, so, despite the fact that John Updike listed him as one of his important influences, I never read anything else by Mr. Roth. Silly me. I have moved Goodbye Columbus and Portnoy’s Complaint to my “To Be Read” shelf.
Before I began this book I was apprehensive. I knew what it was about – the deterioration of the human body – and since I am fast approaching the age of aches and pains myself, I did not want to be depressed.
My fears were unfounded. This novel reminded me of those pleasant voices that provide back ground at the beginning of a film. Never maudlin, never sentimental but realistic in all aspects, the author spins an absorbing tale of the physical and mental deterioration we all must face. As “Everyman” (the character is never named) declines, he reviews past decisions and mistakes and triumphs, and he has some regrets – “Just take it as it comes. Hold your ground and take it as it comes. There’s no other way.” He first received this advice from his father, and he passed it on to anyone who would at least listen to him for advice. Five stars.
--Chiron, 12/12/07

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