Roth Unbound Hardcover – 2 Jan 2014
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"Roth Unbound has two particularly strong selling points. It is the first full-length study to be published since Roth’s announcement that Nemesis would be his final novel. It is therefore the first to cover what currently looks to be his entire oeuvre... Secondly, Roth has made himself available as a commentator on – if not wholly a collaborator with – Pierpont's project, with the result that her account of his life and works is supplemented with marginal illuminations from her subject himself." (Bharat Tandon Literary Review)
"A celebration… an illuminating companion to Roth's work." (Economist)
"The first study of the complete oeuvre... Roth collaborated with [Pierpont], answering questions, contributing asides as she writes. The effect is surreal. Ten pages of Pierpont’s sparky prose can go by without interruption. Then she’ll say, “Speaking today about this encounter, Roth remarks...” as if the great man has been sitting by her side all the time, peering to see the sentences unfold, his breath in her ear." (John Walsh Sunday Times)
"[Pierpont] binds the books to the man not by mining them for nuggets of autobiographical information but by talking to Roth himself about what he put into them, by which she doesn’t mean the facts, but the territory of imagination and self that creates fiction... What Pierpont has achieved is to defeat speculation. Whatever we think we know, turns out to be wrong." (Linda Grant Independent)
"Pierpont knows her (somewhat inaccessible) subject and has punctuated her narrative with conversational snippets. A must for fans." (Rachel Cooke Observer)
A critical evaluation of Philip Roth – the first of its kind – that takes on the man, the myth, and the workSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
What I loved most was the author's ability to explain Roth's books without resorting to impenetrable literary criticism. A must for anyone who has loved Roth's American Trilogy, Portnoy's Complaint - or really anyone interested in the life and works of a great author
I got this book two days after I started the biography of Updike, another favourite. I read the first few chapters, felt a bit bored so I picked it up and read. I could not put it down. Roth actually helped with the book - that is pretty unusual, but it works rather well. He takes a more detached view of himself and his accomplishments than you might expect, and she is an honest and clever critic. She does not accept the idea of Roth's 'misogyny' - she points out his lifelong friendships with women, his ability to let everyone 'have it' and his real life experiences that abound in his fiction are undeniable. Roth writes best about his own colourful life, full of ups and downs, events and moods, illnesses and affairs.
The critical part is very good - she gets his early period, with its successes and failures. The middle period is her favourite - not mine - as it is too adventurous and self-referential. I prefer the later Roth - Sabbath's Theatre, American Pastoral, Human Stain especially - and enjoyed the horrific late, late show that is Nemesis, Everyman, etc. that drew Roth's writing to a close.
Roth's range seems very wide in retrospect. Certainly wider than Updike (who he revered) and Bellow (one core inspiration), if not as refined. He reminds me, at his best, of the smartest guy in the room, who collars you and verbally assaults you. You almost want to hit him to get him to stop, but it is all so compelling, you just shut up and take it all in.
He is a favourite of mine - and now, I appreciate him all the more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
workmanlike but rather dull writing style. IT gives the facts but little more. Disappointing.Published 16 months ago by queen esther
I FOUND IT A VERY WELL RESEARCHED BOOK WHICH GAVE ME MORE INSIGHT TO THE AUTHOR AND WHY HE WROTE AS HE DID.Published on 13 Mar. 2014 by Lucy
I thought this was pretty good, a book about his books, not amazing, but interesting enough and competently written, makes you want to read more rothPublished on 18 Jan. 2014 by Amazon Customer