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"A rich book, full of incident, wry and sad and even in its most desolating scene somehow amusing." —Elizabeth Hardwick, Harper's
"[Roth] has the finest eye for the details of American life since Sinclair Lewis." —Stanley Edgar Hyman
While this might not be his best work, "Letting Go" is still an impressive novel about a forgotten time period and the disastrous choices we can make in our youth. Worth reading if you don't mind a 620 page novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 27, 2011
Recently, i've been very into Philip Roth. I've read Portnoy's Complaint, Goodbye Columbus, and The Human Stain, and I loved all three of them. Letting Go, however, is not nearly up to par with Roth's other work, and while it did have enormous potential, I found many flaws in it.
First of all, the novel should have been about 200 pages shorter. There was a lot of unnecessary dialogue, followed by unnecessary prose. Many of the scenes were repetitive to the point of being annoying.
The book, mainly about how the conservative conformity of the 1950's was so against human nature, is one where you wait for something to happen, you yearn for that "AHA" moment, all to no avail. Nothing major ever happens, Roth, uncharacteristically, never shocks or surprises. The characters, for the most part, are miserable and unlikeable figures whom many will probably find unrelatable.
If the book does have one thing going for it, however, it is how Roth's lyrical writing shines throughout the 620 page novel. Perhaps if it were shorter and more concise, Letting Go could have been one of Roth's better works.
Posted November 27, 2000
Posted July 2, 2010
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