Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Waiting of Wednesday: The Humbling

Jill at Breaking the Spine hosts Waiting on Wednesday. I look forward to this feature each week (finding so many new great books for my list). Why not join in the fun?

Title: The Humbling
Author: Philip Roth
Pub Date: November 2, 2009
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Product Description (Amazon)

Everything is over for Simon Axler, the protagonist of Philip Roth’s startling new book. One of the leading American stage actors of his generation, now in his sixties, he has lost his magic, his talent, and his assurance. His Falstaff and Peer Gynt and Vanya, all his great roles, "are melted into air, into thin air." When he goes onstage he feels like a lunatic and looks like an idiot. His confidence in his powers has drained away; he imagines people laughing at him; he can no longer pretend to be someone else. "Something fundamental has vanished." His wife has gone, his audience has left him, his agent can’t persuade him to make a comeback.

Into this shattering account of inexplicable and terrifying self-evacuation bursts a counterplot of unusual erotic desire, a consolation for a bereft life so risky and aberrant that it points not toward comfort and gratification but to a yet darker and more shocking end. In this long day’s journey into night, told with Roth’s inimitable urgency, bravura, and gravity, all the ways that we convince ourselves of our solidity, all our life’s performances—talent, love, sex, hope, energy, reputation—are stripped off.

The Humbling is Roth’s thirtieth book.
What book are you "waiting for"?


  1. Oooh.. Now I'm going to be waiting for this one, too. I was so impressed by Roth's last book (Indignation), given that it isn't even one of his best. I plan to backtrack and read most of his previous works.

    Which books by him have you read and recommend?

  2. I'm really looking forward to this one, too! I've already got it requested at the library!


  3. Claire...I have not read a lot of books by Roth. The one I liked best was Everyman.

  4. I haven't read Roth before, but this one sounds really good so I will have to check it out.

  5. Roth is on my list of famous authors I can't believe I've never read before (another of my past Top Ten lists!) I picked up one of his older paperbacks at the used bookstore recently - I'm determined to get to it soon!

    Any Roth books you'd especially recommend?


  6. Ooh... erotic desire, love, hope - sounds interesting :)

  7. This could be really good or really bad. Hoping for good!

  8. I haven't read any Philip Roth because I'm totally intimidated by him!

  9. The new AS Byatt. I can hardly wait!!!!

    Life by Candlelight

  10. I haven't read anything by Roth, but this one sounds good. I am waiting for the last book in the series by Diana Gabaldon and the new one by Margret Atwood.

  11. I haven't read any of Roth's books but this sounds good. To think about whenever we get that age who are we going to be. Are we going to lose ourselves. I think at times we all have to figure out who we are because we are always changing. Good WoW!

  12. Why do I feel intimidated by Roth??? I should probably at least try to read one of his books huh?

  13. I haven't read anything by Roth. He kind of intimidates me. LOL One of these days I'll get over it and give him a try.

  14. Sounds really interesting - like something definitely worth waiting for.


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