Top positive review
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Who is allowed to have the American dream and at what price?
on 30 December 2016
I am giving 5 stars partly to offset the nonsense ratings being given here - may be some readers are being attracted by the "prize-winning" label to move off their normal territory. Roth is always interesting on the human condition and American mores even if (when?) tough to read. (Read my first at 13 - so he can't be that impenetrable). I chose to read this now partly as it is out as a film that may unleash plot spoilers and partly out of a need to have something to offset trite discussions around the rise of Trump. The central issue of the American dream: the degree to which it is real and who may partake of it seems no less relevant today than in the mid-90s. At the core of the book is the development and then decline of manufacturing industry -something that resonates strongly with the themes of the recent election. The narrative works on many levels - at its core a story of tragic destruction of a man trying to live the American way, but around that aspects of the impact of aging, death, frailty; the role of heroism; the place and value of memory; and the value of that American way. Rewarding and timely.