The Counterlife

The Counterlife

4.5 4
by Philip Roth
     
 

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The Counterlife is about people enacting their dreams of renewal and escape, some of them going so far as to risk their lives to alter seemingly irreversible destinies. Wherever they may find themselves, the characters of The Counterlife are tempted unceasingly by the prospect of an alternative existence that can reverse their fate.
Illuminating these

Overview

The Counterlife is about people enacting their dreams of renewal and escape, some of them going so far as to risk their lives to alter seemingly irreversible destinies. Wherever they may find themselves, the characters of The Counterlife are tempted unceasingly by the prospect of an alternative existence that can reverse their fate.
Illuminating these lives in transition and guiding us through the book's evocative landscapes, familiar and foreign, is the miind of the novelist Nathan Zuckerman. His is the skeptical, enveloping intelligence that calculates the price that's paid in the struggle to change personal fortune and reshape history, whether in a dentist's office in suburban New Jersey, or in a tradition-bound English Village in Gloucestershire, or in a church in London's West End, or in a tiny desert settlement in Israel's occupied West Bank.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
One of Roth's "Zuckerman" books, The Counterlife follows protagonist Nathan Zuckerman from New York to Israel to London. "Along the way, monologues, eulogies, letters, interviews, and conversations ponder Judaism and Zionism, the nature of personality, the competing claims of imagination and life, and sex" (LJ 2/15/87).
From the Publisher
"Magnificent...splendid.... I hope The Counterlife felt, as Mr. Roth wrote it, like a triumph, because that is certainly how it reads to me." —William Gass, The New York Times Book Review

"Roth is a comic genius.... In this book (wonderfully sharp, worryingly intense) he is an electrifier." —Martin Amis, The Atlantic

"No other writer combines such a surface of colloquial relaxation and even dishevelment with such a dense load of mediating intelligence.... Roth has never written more scrupulously or, in spots, more lovingly." —John Updike, The New Yorker

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140097696
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/15/1987
Series:
Nathan Zuckerman Series
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Philip Roth is one of the most decorated writers in American history, having wonthe National Book Critics Circle Award twice, the PEN/Faulkner Award three times,the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, and many more. He also won the Ambassador Book Award of the English-Speaking Union and in the same year received the National Medal of Arts at the White House. In 2001 he received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction, given every six years “for the entire work of the recipient.”

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Connecticut
Date of Birth:
March 19, 1933
Place of Birth:
Newark, New Jersey
Education:
B.A. in English, Bucknell University, 1954; M.A. in English, University of Chicago, 1955

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The Counterlife 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This it seems to me is one of Roth's best books.It is alive all the way. I would even want to say that his power of insight into characters and situations is so great as to make the work a ' perfection of brilliance'.But unfortunately the 'political Roth' is far too left for me. He does not understand deeply enough the meaning of Israel, especially in religious terms. His lack of Jewish education means he misses much of the meaning of Israel. Still he sees understands a lot, and when he is really into it writes more brilliantly than anyone else that I know of.