by Philip Roth
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Indignation by Philip Roth

National Bestseller. Now a major motion picture, directed by James Schamus!

In 1951, the second year of the Korean War, a studious, law-abiding, and intense youngster from Newark, New Jersey, Marcus Messner, begins his sophomore year on the pastoral, conservative campus of Ohio's Winesburg College. And why is he there and not at a local college in Newark where he originally enrolled? Because his father, the sturdy, hardworking neighborhood butcher, seems to have gone mad– mad with fear and apprehension of the dangers of adult life, the dangers of the world, the dangers he sees in every corner for his beloved boy. Far from Newark, Marcus has to find his way amid the customs and constrictions of another American world.

Indignation, Philip Roth's twenty-ninth book, is a startling departure from the haunted narratives of old age and experience in Roth’s recent books and a powerful exploration of a remarkable moment in American history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307388919
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/06/2009
Series: Vintage International Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 305,781
Product dimensions: 5.18(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.77(d)

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. 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.



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

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Indignation 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As funny and bitting as anything he has ever done, with a distinctly sad aftertaste. This easily the best of his four short novels.
theshippingnews More than 1 year ago
I had never read Philip Roth prior to reading Indignation and was pleased with this novel, though I found it an odd piece of writing. In spite of his youth and "seriousness," Messner is an engaging character, if a bit histrionic at moments. The "I am dead" revelation was a it surprising. Maybe more astute readers than I would have seen it coming, but I did not. I don't see what it did to help the novel along. It only served to minimize the sense of foreboding that Roth had been developing up to that point. It's certainly worth reading, though. And I am likely going to try another Philip Roth novel very soon.
piesmom More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed some of Philip Roth's writing but I often find it a little too much and this novel fits that category. I found the novel hard to put down but at the same time I found all of the characters to be more parodies of themselves than believable. I would caution readers to consider this novel more a stury of an odd teenager than a representation of the times or the life of a Jewish teen from Newark in the 50's. That is not to imply there was no anti-semitism but I think Marcus had many unlikeable traits that were the cause of his problems, not the fact that he was Jewish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A stark reminder of the prejudice alive and doing well in the US post WWII. I felt the desperation of the young men of the time to escape entrapment in yet another conflict, and how university leaders maintained the status quo. The description of the "panty raid" grounded the Jewish issue in the conservative morals or our country at the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I have always loved Philip Roth, I was not prepared for the emotional impact of this brilliant novel. What starts off as a fascinating character study of a teenage boy coming of age in the 1950's under the shadow of the Korean war, becomes a razor sharp dissection of the cultural milieu of that era and, sadly, its parallels in our own. As I began reading the penultimate chapter, I had a visceral reaction. The hair on my arms stood on end, and I literally gasped. I had to read it more than once as the emotional weight of Roth's story hit me like a ton of bricks. The end is both dark and jarring. This is a novel I won't soon forget. Highly recommended.
Maverick More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be an interesting character study of a college youth in the 1950's. I found that the plot in this short novel to be compelling. But don't expect to be cheered up by end of this sobering novel. But if you can handle the truth, I recommend this book.
TulaneGirl 9 months ago
Indignation is a coming of age novel cut short. So, Marcus Messner and his family were perfect, until they weren't. Marcus comes of age during the beginning of the Korean War and Marcus's dad becomes obsessed with keeping Marcus safe. Marcus can't take the suffocation of his dad's paranoia and so he transfers from a local college in New Jersey to a college in Ohio. There, almost from the beginning, Marcus experiences difficulties with people. Within weeks of arriving, he goes through two roommates because of his inability to contain his indignation against them. This attracts the attention of the dean who seeks him out to counsel him. Marcus, indignant that he would be called out on his inability to play well with others when he is such a good student, looses his cool and explodes. Mix in a suicidal girl, a disapproving mother, and two big "surprises" and you have a great novel. I gave it "only"4 stars because, afterall, there was only so much of a disgruntled, arrogant, teenager I could take.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the worst books I've ever read I am sorry to say, depressing, listened to it in the audio version and the narrator did a good job which was the only thing that kept me tuned in.
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MarkV More than 1 year ago
Heard a lot of great things about the author, but was unimpressed. Book was very "ok".
KenCady More than 1 year ago
A reader might be indignant to have purchased this book, only to be disappointed by what is a very uninvolving tale.