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Indignation Hardcover – 5 Sep 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape; First Printing edition (5 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224085131
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224085137
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.3 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 625,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In 1997, Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and in 2002 the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has won the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 2005 The Plot Against America received the Society of American Historians' Prize for "the outstanding historical novel on an American theme for 2003-2004". Recently Roth received PEN's two most prestigious prizes: in 2006 the PEN/Nabokov Award and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction. Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America.

Product Description

Review

'Lovers of Roth will find much in Indignation to enjoy...he is streets ahead of what passes for competition'
-- Sunday Herald

'indignation ought to be required reading for presidential candidates.'
-- Evening Standard

...each book now so finely honed it will find its way to the heart like an arrow to a bull's-eye'
-- The Herald

[Roth] reasserts his fictional mastery ... a great novelist writing at the height of his powers' -- Sunday Times

`If I had...one word to sum up Indignation I'd go for classy. If were allowed two: very classy'
-- Sunday Telegraph

`Roth's novels abound in comic moments...so does Indignation...[Indignation] seethes with outrage...a deft, gripping, and deeply moving narrative' -- New York Review

`a gratifying novel in its won right ... Indignation is, unquestionably, seriously "good" Roth' -- The Times

`a superbly realised novel' -- The Spectator

`brief, compelling and rather curious novel - a late-period oddity that requires more than one reading'
-- Daily Telegraph

`written in elegant, economical prose' -- TLS

Review

`drivingly readable'

`a gratifying novel in its won right ... Indignation is, unquestionably, seriously "good" Roth'

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hamsun on 20 Nov 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While this may not rank against the American trilogy this is nevertheless a masterpiece. The writing is faultless and the narrative is constantly engaging. Above all Roth is, as ever, capable of creating a state of mind that is coherent and compelling.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William on 17 Oct 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The isn't, of course, the only Roth novel that will still be read in 50 years time, but its brevity and accessibility might make it one of the most popular. A young Jewish student is crushed between his upbringing, his intellect and life at a provincial college. Meanwhile, The Korean War, the humanist's hell, waits for him to fail. Oh yes, make no mistake, this is certainly grim stuff but Indignation is also full of humour with some genuinely hilarious moments. Work that one out. Better still, read this marvellous, short novel at one sitting. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. H. Bretts VINE VOICE on 18 Oct 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is one of Philip Roth's best novels, the funny and poignant story of a young man's journey to adulthood in the 1950s. Although short, it manages to pack so much in - stifling mid-Western conformity, New Jersey Jewishness, first love and the horrors of war. It is a shame the critics now take Roth for granted because he is so prolific.He is still at the top of his game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Reader on 5 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a poignant and compelling novel on a young man getting of age in the early 1950's. Several themes impact the reader in a very strong way: the cultural difference between the East Coast and the mid-West, the clash between atheism and religious beliefs and the difficulties between two generations to understand each other. Furthermore the tense relationship between a father and his son are very interesting as are the different characters that will intertwine in the Ohio university campus.
The greatness of this novel lies in the fact that the author goes directly to the point and focuses on the feelings of his characters; it reminded me of books I red by Coetzee that have the same power to get the attention of the reader. Thank you very much for such a powerful book Mr. Roth, I will remember this novel for a long time.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Doc on 23 Sep 2008
Format: Hardcover
Some are suggesting that Roth has become too prolific, with the implication that quality begins to dip, but Indignation refutes that. This is a tightly written, evocative and moving novel. It's the story of Marcus Messner, a young man dealing with an overbearing father and the strangeness of moving away to college, set as America is fighting the Korean War. Messner is also dead and from this vantage point, he is reviewing his short life. Such a device can be clumsy or silly, but Roth employs it to incredible effect. The characters are all vivid and memorable (the scene between Messner and the dean of men is a wonderful example) and the narrative is beautifully structured.

At the denouement, when Roth's purpose comes into final focus, I was left with the feeling of having experienced something simple and wise and powerful. I can't recommend this novel highly enough.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Daniele Sgaravatti on 26 Sep 2008
Format: Hardcover
I got this yesterday afternoon, I finished it this morning at four. It's simply great. It is, as the title of another review has it, a novel about "the way one's most banal, incidental, even comical choices achieve the most disproportionate result." In this respect it resembles Milan Kundera's best novels. But it also is a novel about a bunch of complex, realistic characters, and about an important piece of History of the 20th century, and even more about the sincere, intelligent, passionate, and yet frustrated efforts of the protagonist to understand all that: History, people, and the way our choices can influence them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By unlikely_heroine VINE VOICE on 14 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback
"Indignation" follows college student Marcus Messner as he struggles against his overprotective father to establish his own life, identity and place in the world. Roth writes Marcus as a lively and engaging narrator and conversations and descriptions that could have become banal and repetitive leap off the page here to entertain and amuse. This is Philip Roth at his most accessible and readable and there is no doubt that this book is a thoroughly enjoyable read.

As usual, I have a slight pause for thought in Roth's depiction of female characters and sexuality. I appreciate that I am a female reader, and that Roth is male and writes from a man's point of view, but "Indignation" again shows this author failing to properly capture the sexuality of women, somehow.

Nevertheless, this short novel is great fun: playful, satirical, cruel in places and thoroughly entertaining. The pace never sags and even though the plot and characters are relatively straightforward, this is still a very complelling story and one I very much enjoyed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Harris on 8 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback
This brief novel was one that I found poignant and irresistibly compelling. Set in 1951 with the spectre of the distant Korean War overshadowing events, Marcus Messner is a 19 year old sophomore from Newark. A good Jewish boy, and the only child in a family of butchers, he is desperate to escape the cloying claustrophobia yet well meant concerns of his somewhat neurotic father - whose greatest fear is that his son, so clever and full of promise, will do something to land himself in immense danger. After his first year, Marcus switches from his local New Jersey college to a conservative former seminary, Winesburg, out in distant Mid-Western Ohio.

Determined to avoid social frivolities, work hard at his studies and graduate as Valedictorian, the plan is to make sure he gets drafted as an officer in the Intelligence Corps, rather than as a misfortunate Private in the front line. And so, much to his consternation, and accompanied in his head by the Chinese national anthem's dramatic intonation of "In-dig-na-tion, in-dig-na-tion", Marcus' troubles begin... Unable to settle in with his room-mates, unwilling to join in with fraternity life, and unprepared for falling in love with the beguiling and complex Olivia Hutton - the once suicidal and hospitalised 'blow-job princess'- the 'expert'; he struggles to refrain from walking away from it all and heading back to Newark. What with Winesburg's compulsory chapel attendance, the Dean of Men making him physically sick, and the cigar-chomping Republican college President, at least back home he'd only have his father to make his life a misery!

But this is no simple coming-of-age tale, or rite of passage story. Roth's great skill lies with disguising the difficult and the thought-provoking as a basic story, familiar to many of us.
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