24 November 2012

The Ghost Writer; Philip Roth

The Ghost WriterThe Ghost Writer by Philip Roth
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Two words: not impressed. The first third(ish), with Nate Zuckermann worshipping at the table of Lonoff, wasn't bad. Reading about how he (Nate) felt about this icon, how he'd met him and getting his reactions to this time up-close-and-personal was all good. A bit wordy, perhaps, but good. The sections about Amy Bellette, on the other hand, bored me and my attention drifted.

The title is a little misleading, in that readers may assume this is about a ghost writer (one who is writing a book that will get credited to another author) when it's really about a writer who is... becoming a ghost? whose essence is ghostlike, ineffable? The tension about being a Jew, writing about Jews, and how that might be perceived by non-Jews (is it treason to air dirty family laundry? how would Nate's story have been received had he simply changed the religion of the characters?) is, I think, still somewhat relevant.

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