Ruthless Roth

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.

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One response to “Ruthless Roth

  1. You mentioned precisely the Roth’s that I haven’t read yet! I don’t like his Zuckerman books very much, but The Human Stain and especially The Complot against America were very good. I’ve been in doubt about taking up Operation Shylock, so I’m looking forward to your thoughts!

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