Book - 2006
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Philip Roth's new novel is a candidly intimate yet universal story of loss, regret, and stoicism. The best-selling author of The Plot Against America now turns his attention from "one family's harrowing encounter with history" (New York Times) to one man's lifelong skirmish with mortality.

The fate of Roth's everyman is traced from his first shocking confrontation with death on the idyllic beaches of his childhood summers, through the family trials and professional achievements of his vigorous adulthood, and into his old age, when he is rended by observing the deterioration of his contemporaries and stalked by his own physical woes.

A successful commercial artist with a New York ad agency, he is the father of two sons from a first marriage who despise him and a daughter from a second marriage who adores him. He is the beloved brother of a good man whose physical well-being comes to arouse his bitter envy, and he is the lonely ex-husband of three very different women with whom he's made a mess of marriage. In the end he is a man who has become what he does not want to be.

The terrain of this powerful novel -- Roth's twenty-seventh book and the fifth to be published in the twenty-first century -- is the human body. Its subject is the common experience that terrifies us all.

Everyman takes its title from an anonymous fifteenth-century allegorical play, a classic of early English drama, whose theme is the summoning of the living to death.
Publisher: Boston :, Houghton Mifflin,, 2006.
ISBN: 9780618735167
Branch Call Number: FIC ROTH
Characteristics: 182 pages ; 20 cm

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Jan 22, 2019

This starts with the funeral of the protagonist and then traces back through his life in the first person centered around his childhood, marriages, with some concentration on his old age especially his health challenges. It is honest and real and a in a short book culls down the lifetime of a man into the real important meanings of a lifetime. It is a little somber dwelling on the infirmities and mistakes of a lifetime but it holds together and is constructed well. I don't see the brilliant wit or crazy humor of some of his Jewish contemporaries like a Bashevis Singer or Leonard Cohen, but it is carefully constructed, unostentatious, and rings true, perhaps more relatable to from someone of my 70 year old vantage.

Sep 30, 2015

I enjoyed this book very much. When Philip Roth writes I always feels like we are sitting down and having a discussion. The subject matter is depressing I suppose but inevitable for us all and so well written. I also enjoyed his book The Human Stain very much.

May 17, 2013

Everybody dies. Everybody.
Roth takes a look at the life of one man as it ends in the inevitable. This is a wonderfully written book. It may seem a depressing subject but is really a rally call to life.

Jul 17, 2012

Listened to it on CD in the car, but my trip ended before the story concluded. Had to get the book and finish reading the next day (can only to audio while driving). Wonderful story. Makes me take a good look at my own life, at my age. Highly recommend.

Jul 13, 2012

This was my first Philip Roth book. I think I should have chosen a different one because I didn't like this one too much. Given the praises he has received, I will try another one. Everyman was a bit too depressing for my taste.

Sep 27, 2009

This is the 62nd of a series of titles selected by writer Yann Martel to provide to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, to encourage an appreciation of the arts and literature in particular in the PM, and to also help him with his stillness and thoughtfulness. Martel has regularly sent books from a wide range of literary traditions to Harper. Martel has devoted a Web site to the reading list and his kind and considered covering letters with each volume. (All of his letters can be read at http://www.whatisstephenharperreading.ca/.) Martel has never received a direct acknowledgement from Harper, and only recently some fairly form-letter responses from Harper's staff. He has, however, received a response (although not directly related to one of his book selections for Harper) from Industry Minister Tony Clement.

Jan 02, 2008

A small, well-written novel about "everyman's" life and death. Extremely contemplative. Like much good literature, "good for you" but perhaps not enjoyable in the sense of entertaining. I feel like I am damning with faint praise but I don't mean to. This IS good.


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