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Zuckerman Unbound Paperback – 2 Jun 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (2 Jun. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099477564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099477563
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 348,732 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

"It is a) funny, b) sparkling prose, c) to-the-point short, d) genuinely moving. Between two thin covers Roth manages to combine personal sexual satire...and a troubling moral story about his last encounter with his dying father" Financial Times "Zuckerman Unbound is masterful, sure in every touch, as clear and economical of line as a crystal vase" New York Times Book Review "It was bold of Roth to write a novel about being famous...a comic stroll in the hall of mirrors" Newsweek "Fluent, funny" -- Nick Laird Daily Telegraph, Christmas round up "[Roth's] narrative hand is wonderfully sure, his comic timing worthy of the Ritz Brothers... Not since Henry MIller has anyone learned to be as funny and compassionate and brutal and plaintive in the space of a paragraph" Village Voice

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William on 29 April 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
How Alvin Pepler would have loved Amazon for the opportunities it gave him to post reviews (probably in dozens of different names) of Zuckerman's novel Carnovsky. He would have been able to call him the Proust of Newark and get away with it.
OK, this won't make much sense to anyone who hasn't read this comic masterpiece, but Zuckerman Unbound is great place to start if you want to find out why Roth is one of the world's greatest living writers. This short, accessible novel has everything: humour, uncompromising truth and humanity. Now I really do sound like Pepler...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
Philip Roth's novel "Zuckerman Bound" tells the story of novelist Nathan Zuckerman in the immediate aftermath of Zuckerman's great popular success with his novel, "Carnovsky". Roth's novel is the second of three novels and an epilogue dealing with the life of Zuckerman which Roth would group together as "Zuckerman Bound". The novels each have strongly autobiographical components, but it would be a mistake to consider Zuckerman as a simple stand-in or alter ego for Roth.

Told in the third person narrative voice, "Zuckerman Bound" is set largely in New York City in 1969 during the early part of the Nixon presidency. The violence and protests of the Vietnam era form an important backdrop to the book. Zuckerman's book sounds much like Roth's own novel "Portnoy's Complaint" which brought him notoriety, wealth, and fame. In discussing the writer's life and the writer's relationship to his characters, the book uses a mirroring effect. There is first Philip Roth, his relationship to his novel, "Portnoy's Complaint" and his relationship to the character he created, Zuckerman. Then, there is the character, Zuckerman, and his relationship to his fictitious novel "Carnovsky". At one point in the book Zuckerman reads a draft review of "Carnovsky" for a character who, among other things, is a wanna-be writer and reviewer; and critiques it for the benefit of both character and reader.

This book is entertaining and relatively staightforward to read. There are long ranting speeches and scenes and much detail about persons and places. Yet the book is also highly serious. Roth explores the nature of the writer's life and the isolation it requires and enforces. The book also is a story of background and family, of the difficulty in any life in setting out on one's own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GlynLuke TOP 100 REVIEWER on 28 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
By the time he wrote this second in the Nathan Zuckerman series of novels in 1981, Roth had been famous for about twenty years, and notorious for twelve of them. Such notoriety came as a consequence of his now almost proverbial Portnoy`s Complaint.
In the multiple-punning, suggestively titled Zuckerman Unbound, the eponymous protagonist is the (reluctantly?) notorious author of the sexually explicit, scabrous "Carnovsky", and is forced to suffer the approaches, demands and come-ons concomitant with fame in all its random fickleness and downright madness.
Like most of Roth`s shorter novels, this one`s a breeze to read, jaunty, witty, full of the stuff of life, and I polished it off like a snack. However, like a snack, it isn`t (at least for this reader) quite as substantial as some of the more nutritious books Roth has written, such as its predecessor in the Zuckerman sequence, The Ghost Writer, or a later masterpiece like The Human Stain. The problem for me is that it feels like it`s all over the place, as though Roth wrote it in a bit of a hurry. Perhaps he did. It doesn`t cohere as well as the best Roth, and the last of the four lengthy chapters, concerning his father`s funeral, at which we see the Zuckermans gathered together, seemed a letdown, with the pathological irritant Alvin Pepler - a finely characterised `fan` and a celebrity`s worst nightmare - pretty much discarded.
Recently, I`ve abandoned three novels (by distinguished writers, too) half-read, for reasons of style - too mannered or simply overwritten - but I can`t imagine that happening with a book by Roth. I don`t want to give the impression that this one isn`t worth your time.
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