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Nemesis [Hardcover]

Philip Roth
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Review

"Roth's book has the elegance of a fable and the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama."--"The New Yorker"
"An artfully constructed, suspenseful novel with a cunning twist towards the end."--J. M. Coetzee, "New York Review of Books"
"Elegant. . . . Suffused with precise and painful tenderness. . . . Stands out for its warmth." --"The New York Times Book Review"
"Painful and powerful. . . . Somberly but vividly, [Roth] recreates the panic and fear triggered by polio." --"USA Today"
"A perfectly proportioned Greek tragedy played out against the background of the polio epidemic that swept Newark, New Jersey, during the summer of 1944." --"Financial Times"
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"Like a very well-executed O. Henry story. . . . A parable about the embrace of conscience. . . .and what its suffocating, life-denying consequences can be." -Michiko Kakutani, "The""New York Times"
"Yet another small triumph from one of our native artists largest in spirit. And by small Il --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

An absolutely brilliant new novel by one of the world's great writers. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

In 'the stifling heat of equatorial Newark', a terrifying epidemic is raging, threatening the children of the New Jersey city with maiming, paralysis, life-long disability, even death. This is the startling and surprising theme of Roth's wrenching new book: a wartime polio epidemic in the summer of 1944 and the effect it has on a closely-knit, family-oriented Newark community and its children.

At the centre of Nemesis is a vigorous, dutiful, twenty-three-year old playground director, Bucky Cantor, a javelin thrower and a weightlifter, who is devoted to his charges and disappointed with himself because his weak eyes have excluded him from serving in the war alongside his contemporaries. Focusing on Cantor's dilemmas as polio begins to ravage his playground - and on the everyday realities he faces - Roth leads us through every inch of emotion such a pestilence can breed: the fear, the panic, the anger, the bewilderment, the suffering, and the pain.

Through this story runs the dark question that haunts all four of Roth's late short novels, Everyman, Indignation, The Humbling, and now, Nemesis: what choices fatally shape a life? How powerless is each of us up against the force of circumstances?

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

'A mesmerically imagined work of realism...a shocking gem... a master class in literature and life, that reaches into the pits of the dead' Guardian

Summer, 1944. In the 'stifling heat of equatorial Newark', a terrifying epidemic is raging, threatening the children of the New Jersey city with maiming, paralysis, life-long disability, even death. Vigorous, decent, twenty-three year old playground director Bucky Cantor is devoted to his charges and disappointed with himself because his weak eyes have excluded him from serving in the war. As polio begins to ravage Bucky's playground, Roth leads us through every inch of emotion such a pestilence can breed: the fear, the panic, the anger, the bewilderment, the suffering and the pain.

'The genius of Philip Roth...back at his imperious best in this heartbreaking tale... The eloquence of Roth's storytelling makes Nemesis one of his most haunting works' Daily Mail

'Cantor is one of Roth's best creations and the atmosphere of terror is masterfully fashioned' Sunday Telegraph

'Very fine, very unsettling' Douglas Kennedy, The Times

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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, previously awarded to John Dos Passos, William Faulkner and Saul Bellow, among others. 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 'for a body of work...of enduring originality and consummate craftmanship' and in 2007 the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for achievement in American Fiction, given to a writer whose 'scale of achievement over a sustained career...places him or her in the highest rank of American literature.'

Roth is the only living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. The last of the eight volumes is scheduled for publication in 2013.

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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