Sunday, January 24, 2010

Philip Roth, The Humbling

What a thoroughly, frighteningly unhappy book.

Or is it just me?

Perhaps, with The Humbling, I've read too much Philip Roth. Or not enough of his early works. Something.

Maybe I'm becoming too much of a moralist -- the death-rattle of the critic -- but it all seemed rather sordid. But even worse, as far as the novel (as a form) is concerned: rushed and unmoored.

Which is, of course, a large part of the story of The Humbling but... it doesn't feel artfully done. And while some of the worst of it all touched my lizard brain and excited a boiling discomfort, I suspect that it has little to do with Roth's skill or this little novel's artistry.

And maybe it's just me.

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