Wednesday, November 25, 2009

177 - The Humbling; Philip Roth


The Humbling; Philip Roth
Pub Date: Oct 21, 2009

In this latest book by Philip Roth, a mere 140 pages, the reader is introduced to Simon Axler. Simon is an accomplished stage and screen actor, who at the age of 66 finds his life coming apart.  He becomes a failure on the stage, and his wife, a dancer, has left him.  Depressed, he considers suicide, but instead checks himself into a psychiatric hospital.

After Axler's release from the hospital, he retires to his home in the country in New York, and begins an affair with a woman 25 years younger than him who spent the last 17 years as a lesbian.........need I say more??

My Thoughts: A strange novella, about an aging man, his failing career and his sexual escapades with a much much younger woman. Even though this was a short book, I was not exactly enjoying, I HOPED this story in some way was more like Roth's earlier book: Everyman, another story about an aging man, obsessed with regrets about his life ---that book I enjoyed.  Try it for yourself is you are a Roth fan, as long as your expectations are not too high.

10 comments:

  1. I have a feeling Roth would leave me feeling puzzled too.

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  2. I started to page through this one at work one day and it largely left me feeling cold and uninspired. I've never read any Roth, but I do have a copy of The Human Stain, and think that is probably the better place to start.

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  3. I was recently disappointed by Indignation, which was also a short book. It seems as though Roth has lost some of his magic now - The Human Stain may be a bit wordy, but it is far better than these short, light reads.

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  4. American Pastoral didn't do much for me, and I haven't read Roth since.

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  5. This book has some interesting themes, but the other Roth books I've read felt like an onion that one could peel. This one didn't have that feel. It seemed more simplistic, therefore not as intriguing.

    Lezlie

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  6. I haven't read any of Roth's work yet. When I do, maybe I'll start with Everyman.

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  7. I haven't read any Roth yet either - I do own The Plot Against America. Has anyone read it? He sounds interesting and I have heard good things about The Human Stain.

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  8. I have never read anything by Roth, but have heard that some of his books are amazing. Guess this one doesn't fit in that category. Sorry it was disappointing for you.

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  9. I have never read anything by Roth, but have heard that some of his books are amazing. Guess this one doesn't fit in that category. Sorry it was disappointing for you.

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  10. I love your graphic for this one ... the confused smiley face! I've felt like this sometimes. Did I like it? Did I hate it? I don't know!!!!

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