Letting Goby Philip Roth, Luke Daniels (Read by)
Letting Go is Philip Roth’s first full-length novel, published just after Goodbye, Columbus, when he was twenty-nine. Set in 1950s Chicago, New York, and Iowa City, Letting Go presents as brilliant a fictional portrait as we have of a mid-century America defined by social and ethical constraints and by moral compulsions conspicuously different from those of today.
Newly discharged from the Korean War army, reeling from his mother’s recent death, freed from old attachments and hungrily seeking others, Gabe Wallach is drawn to Paul Herz, a fellow graduate student in literature, and to Libby, Paul’s moody, intense wife. Gabe’s desire to be connected to the ordered “world of feeling” that he finds in books is first tested vicariously by the anarchy of the Herzes’ struggles with responsible adulthood and then by his own eager love affairs. Driven by the desire to live seriously and act generously, Gabe meets an impassable test in the person of Martha Reganhart, a spirited, outspoken, divorced mother of two, a formidable woman who, according to critic James Atlas, is masterfully portrayed with “depth and resonance.”
The complex liaison between Gabe and Martha and Gabe’s moral enthusiasm for the trials of others are at the heart of this ambitious first novel.
“[Roth] has the finest eye for the details of American life since Sinclair Lewis.” — Stanley Edgar Hyman
"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
- Brilliance Audio
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.30(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)
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, previously awarded to John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, and Saul Bellow, among others. 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 prizes: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America.
- Date of Birth:
- March 19, 1933
- Place of Birth:
- Newark, New Jersey
- B.A. in English, Bucknell University, 1954; M.A. in English, University of Chicago, 1955
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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.
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.
This book is the best i have ever read