Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Nemesis by Philip Roth

Philip Roth is one of the great describers of sickness. Was it The Anatomy Lesson that was almost entirely concerned with Nathan Zuckerman's back problems? Here he takes on polio, It is a very good book indeed, a book of Job for a Job who does not believe in God, and the tragic consequences of that unbelief. And, as always with Roth, the evocations of place are wonderfully done. This, I sometimes think, is his great trick: he puts us into a place so thoroughly (and without what you might call 'descriptive writing') that one has no choice but to believe. It is rhetorical genius, and therefore a joy to read, however sad the subject.

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