The Human Stain (American Trilogy #3)

The Human Stain (American Trilogy #3)

by Philip Roth
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The Human Stain 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 54 reviews.
E_Caine More than 1 year ago
Philip Roth is the modern master of the American novel and The Human Stain is a wonderful example of why he deserves that distinction. It is difficult and surly. Not to read, it is wonderfully written, but to digest. It casts a light on aspects of being both human and an American that few of us dare examine. It is a skeleton in everyone's closet that no one wants to reveal but that, once felt, must be confronted. It is a novel that will do what so few novels can, challenge you to examine the very notion of what you think you are. As uncomfortable as that may be, it is an experience that no person should forego.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Philip Roth is simply one of the best authors today. His novels, including this one, contain complex story lines and deal with a number of issues. A great read! but those that prefer easy reads, such as Dan Brown's DaVinci Code.
Orbit0 More than 1 year ago
I'm in awe of the authors command of the English language. The book haunts the soul long after you put it down. Don't be surprised if you're disappointed in humanity as a whole when you are done. I was. Still am.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book's plot was very interesting and exciting. However, the writing, although very well done and eloquent was not done so in a fashion as to captivate readers. The reading was actually tedious, and boring. However, a good story if you can get over the boredom.
MichaelTheAuthorMG More than 1 year ago
Philip Roth's The Human Stain is an excellent example of what T.S. Eliot described in his essay, "Tradition and the Individual Talent." First, let's note that "Roth" derives from the German word for red. And the surname of his petite French professor, Delphine Roux, whose interview costume of a mini-kilt and tights resembles the getup of a French poule, means reddish brown. The novel's hero, Professor Coleman Silk, aka Silberzweig, like Sammy Davis, Jr., is a pale-skinned Negro Jew who can and does pass as Caucasian. Like Hemingway's Robert Cohn, he is also an accomplished boxer. As dean of the fictional Athena College in the Berkshires, he comes to "Roux" having hired Delphine, who perversely has an unrequited crush on him. Her loneliness brings to mind the dictum of Zorba the Greek: "When a woman sleeps alone, it is a disgrace to every man." But at 71, Coleman, aided by Viagra -- whose properties I think Roth misconstrues and exaggerates -- prefers an uneducated but by no means stupid janitoress. The theme of overthrowing one's origins and succeeding in life on one's own terms seems like an illustration of Arthus Miller's essay, "The Family in Modern Drama." As in most novels, there are some improbable twists of plot, e.g., the narrator's naivete in thinking that by moving he can escape the story's villain, or the police department's failure to check Delphine's office for fingerprints after it has been trashed -- by her, not, as she claims, by the just deceased Coleman. The book contains one literary term not found in any dictionary I've consulted: diegetic; but its antecedent noun, diegesis, is defined in an online dictionary as a narrative explanation, i.e., a narrative exegesis, to which latter word it is obviously related etymologically. Roth's complex development of all the book's characters, his Jamesian sentences, and distilled wisdom render this work a tour de force well worth reading and highly recommended.
Persaus More than 1 year ago
The characters slide in one on you without you noticing that you not only like them at first, they seem familar to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At times this book was very verbose, which made for some challenging reading. Even so, I needed to get to what ended up being a very unfulfilling ending. On a positive note, I got to use the nook dictionary frequently.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a captivating book that remains with the reader long after the book is finished. This was my first Philip Roth novel and I look forward to my next one...The Human Stain was a mesmerizing experience
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