For quite sometime now, I have been reading Classics and philosophers. Intermittently though, I have read some literary fiction too. However, given the fact that reading a book for me means investing quite sometime and that choosing to read a particular book is also a choice made not to read a lot other, I have been very careful about what book I am investing my time in. My interests are not limited by genre, but I am definitely more inclined towards fiction; literary fiction, to be precise.
I have devised a method to discover good books about which I have never heard. Whenever I feel like reading a random book, which is at least once every couple of months, I visit a bookstore and scan all fiction by Vintage Books on the racks. It may sound a wierd strategy but has worked brilliantly for me. I have discovered a number of interesting fiction work following this weird method. One of the most recent being the world of Philip Roth.
Following this very method, I picked up Roth’s The Ghost Writer. I am amazed at the ease with which he could grip his reader – no rhetorics, no mystery, just good and simple story telling – in his own style. You should read the book, if not for the sheer pleasure of it, then to see how Roth has cunningly incorporated Anne Frank as a character. There are many more reasons to read it – go figure!
The effect of Ghost Writer was such that I picked up the next in series, Zuckerman Unbound, immediately. I liked the former better, but this was not bad. Specially sequences relating to the death of protagonist’s father were masterpieces.
Since then, I have read another one of his – The Dying Animal. You could almost dismiss this as soft porn but for Roth’s magic. Roth is ruthless while playing with human sexuality and infidel relations.
Thanks to Vintage, I discovered this amazing and distinct voice i literature. I already have two unread Roth titles in my pile (Operation Shylock and Sabbath’s Theater) and am sure many more are coming soon.