Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories

Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories

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by Philip Roth
     
 

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Roth's award-winning first book instantly established its author's reputation as a writer of explosive wit, merciless insight, and a fierce compassion for even the most self-deluding of his characters.

Goodbye, Columbus is the story of Neil Klugman and pretty, spirited Brenda Patimkin, he of poor Newark, she of suburban Short Hills, who meet one summer

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Overview

Roth's award-winning first book instantly established its author's reputation as a writer of explosive wit, merciless insight, and a fierce compassion for even the most self-deluding of his characters.

Goodbye, Columbus is the story of Neil Klugman and pretty, spirited Brenda Patimkin, he of poor Newark, she of suburban Short Hills, who meet one summer break and dive into an affair that is as much about social class and suspicion as it is about love. The novella is accompanied by five short stories that range in tone from the iconoclastic to the astonishingly tender and that illuminate the subterranean conflicts between parents and children and friends and neighbors in the American Jewish diaspora.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A masterpiece." —Newsweek

"Unlike those of us who come howling into the world, blind and bare, Mr. Roth appears with nails, hair, teeth, speaking coherently. He is skilled, witty, energetic and performs like a virtuoso." —Saul Bellow

"Superior, startling, incandescently alive." —The New Yorker

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In 1974's My Life as A Man Roth examines how a writer revises his reality, compiling two stories ``by'' one Peter Tarnopol and a third in which Tarnopol is the fictional protagonist. Vintage will simultaneously reissue Goodbye, Columbus , Roth's National Book Award-winning first novel, together in a new edition with five short stories. (Sept.)
Library Journal
This release by the 1960 National Book Award winner will acquaint listeners with the world of American Jews in the 1950s and to Roths wit and insight into the problems accompanying assimilation. A widely respected American writer, Roth is the author of 22 books, including American Pastoral (Audio Reviews, LJ 10/1/97) and I Married a Communist (Houghton, 1998). Goodbye, Columbus features Neil Klugman, a young man from Newark living with his aunt, and Brenda Patimkin, an archetypal Jewish American Princess, whose summer romance illustrates the tension between old world values and the new suburb-based culture. Provocative and entertaining, the other stories tell of likable characters, mostly men, who embrace their Jewishness yet must face conflicts in family and community. Although written nearly 40 years ago, these stories illustrate truths about America and its relationship with Jews that remain relevant today. The readers, who include actors Theodore Bikel and Elliott Gould, are all excellent, capturing the particular characteristics of Jewish American speech. Highly recommended for all libraries.Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679748267
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/21/1993
Series:
Vintage International Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
142,857
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.97(h) x 0.77(d)

What People are saying about this

Saul Bellow
Goodbye, Columbus is a first book, but it is not the book of a beginner. Unlike those of us who came howling into the world, blind and bare, Mr. Roth appears with nails, hair, and teeth. At twenty-six he is skillful, witty, and energetic and performs like a virtuoso.

Meet the Author

In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians’ Prize for “the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004.” Recently Roth received PEN’s two most prestigious awards: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. Roth is the only living American novelist to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. In 2011 he received the National Humanities Medal at the White House, and was later named the fourth recipient of the Man Booker International Prize.

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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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Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Jessica Wiseman More than 1 year ago
Fix many typos that detract from Roth's brilliance!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is Roth's first book, a collection of stories including the novella which gives its title to the collection. Along with the sharp social observation, and quick ironic intelligence there is a real feeling for the American Jewish world and characters . Here already too is his famous moralizing and implicit criticism of the world and people he writes about . A large imagination and a brilliant feel for language are already present in this enjoyable and readable debut work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
So much beneath the surface here! Vivid story-telling, there is much to make one smile wistfully or laugh outloud! Irony and humor abound. Recommended by a friend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The writing is great. Obviously Roth is an excellent author, and other, more qualified people have reviewed his work so I'll forgo that, and instead address the actual production of this book. The publisher should be ashamed, and the editor fired. This version of the boom is rife with misspellings, errant capitalizations, and incorrect grammar. So much so that it's a slap in the face to Roth. It pains me to pay the $10 bucks, or whatever it was I paid, and have to deal with the fact that the publisher seems to have hired an editor who has not yet completed elementary school. In short, the book is worth reading, but maybe get the print edition as I imagine slightly more attention was paid to it.
Jefferson_Thomas More than 1 year ago
This book was required reading in high school. I remember thinking, "OK, but so what? Why did they make us read this?" While I still don't have much of an answer, I did like the book even more the second time around.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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likesprovocativebooks More than 1 year ago
Roth is a great stylist and his stories are quite good... and the characters in "GB Columbus" are ver interesting.
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LeButterfly More than 1 year ago
I love this collection of short stories.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It¿s a literary masterpiece, realistic as it can be, Goodbye Columbus makes you feel as if you were 19 again. Neil¿s way of looking at life makes him a very interesting protagonist. Roth really scored a hundred whit this book, he makes the reader relates to the selfish feeling of a typical collage student, like Brenda. It makes you laugh going into two different mentalities such as Neil¿s and Brenda¿s. Intriguing enough not to let the reader know every detail, but to give him the opportunity of drawing your own conclusion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Goodbye Columbus is a good book about love, the lack of love and the gaps between society. It talks about the relationship between a middle class Jew and an upper class Jew. Phillip Roth exposes the differences between classes and uses the characters to show in a great manner the way of living and thinking of each part of the society. It also shows the lack of commitment that some teenagers may have and the problems that this may cause. Not to spoil the whole book for the readers the last thing that should be said is that the book is entertaining, even though some of the characters are not likeable; especially Neil. Everyone should read this book if they want to pass a good time and if they want to know about social conflicts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Indeed a book worth reading. Neil and Brenda `s love affair is a clear example of materialism in love affairs. They also show a great amount of common sense as developed by Roth, which is very representative of his own life. Although brief, the characters are well developed, their attitudes are representative of the temporal setting (around the 60¿s), which sets the mood effectively. At first, we thought that the story was a bit slow, but near the end, the finale is magnificently narrated, showing the characters more humane than in any other part of the novel. We would recommend this story because you might feel connected to any of the main characters. Finally, don¿t forget to take a look at the title¿s symbolism; this can be a key factor in determining the true meaning of the novel (Tahiti-Gaugin-The Patimikin¿s fridge filled with exotic fruit-Christopher Columbus?-New World?-Neil¿s New World?).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this is a good book even though I enjoy reading other kinds of books (like science fiction.) However, what I found special about this one is that it is very realistic. The characters and the situations in the novel makes you feel this happened in real life. The book is about the summer romance between two teenagers: Brenda Patimkin (one rich girl) and Neil Klugman (a poor boy). Neil sees her for the first time swiming in a pool, and falls in love with her. After that, they begin to love each other romantically; but after awhile they start having problems with each other, which will make you wonder if they'll stay together as a couple (but that's for you to read.) I'd say it is an entertaining book; it has funny parts, sad parts, happy and romantic. I haven't read other Roth novels, but this one is well written. If you enjoy realistic novels, then it's a good choice.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Goodbye Columbus is a book that shows reality about love. I really recommend it to everyone, specially the teenagers who want to learn a tough lesson about life. I think the deal with Neil and Brenda is that they were in love at some point of their lives but still their relationship was not so strong to handle a long distance relation, neither a problem with parents. Both were still immature, especially Brenda who could not take her own decisions because, as a little child, she was influenced by her parents, no matter what she felt. On the other side, Neil ran out of love so, at the end, he was not interested on fighting for their love. I believe that the idea of the story is sad but is still has some humorous parts that will make you enjoy the book at the same time it teaches you a lesson.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It¿s a literary masterpiece, realistic as it can be, Goodbye Columbus makes you feel as if you were 19 again. Neil¿s way of looking at life makes him a very interesting protagonist. For example the way he relates to the little black kid of the library. Roth really scored a hundred with this book, he makes the reader relates to the selfish feeling of a typical College student, like Brenda. It makes you laugh going into two different mentalities such as Neil¿s and Brenda¿s. What makes it the best is that at the end the reader can make his own conclusions about what happened in the story and why it is name like that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it was a ok written book. the story was very dissapointing. i would tell people to read it but i will never read it again.