Exit Ghost

Exit Ghost

by Philip Roth
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Overview

Exit Ghost by Philip Roth

Like Rip Van Winkle returning to his hometown to find that all has changed, Nathan Zuckerman comes back to New York, the city he left eleven years before. Alone on his New England mountain, Zuckerman has been nothing but a writer: no voices, no media, no terrorist threats, no women, no news, no tasks other than his work and the enduring of old age.

Walking the streets like a revenant, he quickly makes three connections that explode his carefully protected solitude. One is with a young couple with whom, in a rash moment, he offers to swap homes. They will flee post-9/11 Manhattan for his country refuge, and he will return to city life. But from the time he meets them, Zuckerman also wants to swap his solitude for the erotic challenge of the young woman, Jamie, whose allure draws him back to all that he thought he had left behind: intimacy, the vibrant play of heart and body.

The second connection is with a figure from Zuckerman’s youth, Amy Bellette, companion and muse to Zuckerman’s first literary hero, E. I. Lonoff. The once irresistible Amy is now an old woman depleted by illness, guarding the memory of that grandly austere American writer who showed Nathan the solitary path to a writing vocation.

The third connection is with Lonoff’s would-be biographer, a young literary hound who will do and say nearly anything to get to Lonoff’s “great secret.” Suddenly involved, as he never wanted or intended to be involved again, with love, mourning, desire, and animosity, Zuckerman plays out an interior drama of vivid and poignant possibilities.

Haunted by Roth’s earlier work The Ghost Writer, Exit Ghost is an amazing leap into yet another phase in this great writer’s insatiable commitment to fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547345338
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 10/01/2007
Series: Nathan Zuckerman Series
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,107,249
File size: 365 KB

About 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 ‘for a body of work . . . of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship’ and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, given to a writer whose ‘scale of achievement over a sustained career . . . places him or her in the highest rank of American literature’. In 2011 Roth won the International Man Booker Prize.

Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America.

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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Exit Ghost 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading the review in USA Today and not inspired by anything else I gave this book a shot. Wow what a treat this was. Philip Roth is an amazing author whom I had not read. The story of Nathan Zuckerman is what I presume to be the last book in the series and is not the ideal place to start. Roths amazing ability to tell his story and make it relative to now, made it an easy read. Nathan Zuckermans story takes you from the Berkshires and his life of total seclusion to New York and his past. This story is a sort of love story that is funny, sad, and infectious. It's a fast read that will make you go back to the bookstore to explore his earlier works. In a time of mostly disposable literature I am excited about the prospect of filling my shelves with a great American author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nathan is in the twilight of things. Against his will he drags himself from hiding and once again enters the world the rest of us live in. Dragged back into society, not by a lust for life, but rather a lust to be continent and not peeing in pools. That said, this is a wonderful book especially for a reader like myself who has skated into middle age and sees only a hole and broken ice in the path ahead. Roth is a magician with words and though this book has an air of sadness, it also a book of endurance, written by a master at the height of his powers. Nathan is as real and as vital as any character in fiction could be. Roth is a genius, an artist.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One can only hope that EXIT GHOST is not the final page in the multiple books on the life of Nathan Zuckerman (the thinly disguised author Philip Roth). Though the principal character of nine books since 1979 is now aged 71, leading a reclusive life after the ravages of prostatic carcinoma treatments have left him incontinent and impotent, there is more than a little life in the master storyteller. Philip Roth continues his eloquent writing style in this latest book and still struggles with the enigmas of sexual obsession, distaste for current politics in this country, and the Don Quixote stance against aging and dying. And in doing so he has created a novel with fascinating characters, satisfying plot, propulsive reading style, and much food for thought! Nathan Zuckerman, in this book, has decided to take a chance on a surgical procedure the will cure or at least improve his embarrassing urinary incontinence, one of the many reasons he has moved from New York City to a rural New England hideaway to write in solitude. But upon arrival in New York he meets a beautiful couple (Jamie and Billy), both writers, who are suffering from the after-effects of 911 and upon encountering their literary hero Zuckerman, coerce him into trading houses: Zuckerman will remain in their New York space and the couple will escape to his New England sanctuary. But other factors arise: Zuckerman meets his old friend Amy Bellette, once the lover of Zuckerman's hero writer E.I. Lenoff, and discovers Amy's resistance to allowing a young writer Richard Kliman to finish and publish a manuscript containing a dark secret of Lenoff, a manuscript he never wanted published Zuckerman has limited success in his first incontinence surgery Zuckerman's self imposed sexual exile is awakened in fantasies about the married Jamie, a wondrously written series of imaginary dialogs between the two. All of these complex components are succinctly woven into this 300-page book that doesn't really end, but instead tapers off into an elegy about aging. The story is great reading: the style is pure Roth. 'The end is so immense, it is its own poetry. It requires little rhetoric. Just state it plainly'. 'Reading/writing people, we are finished, we are ghosts witnessing the end of the literary era - take this down'. Reading Roth is an enriching pastime, one to savor and relish. This is not a book to rush - this is a book to treasure, and once read, to reflect...Grady Harp
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CharlieDitkoff More than 1 year ago
I always wanted to know what happened to the characters in Ghost Writer. Glad Mr. Roth brought the situation to a resolution for me.