Der Menschliche Makel, (Spiegel-Edition, #17)
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Der Menschliche Makel, (The American Trilogy #3)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  18,089 ratings  ·  1,172 reviews
Ein paar harmlose Worte - böswillig als diskriminierende Bemerkung ausgelegt - kosten Coleman Silk Stellung und Ruf. Eine junge Kollegin versucht ihn als sexistischen alten Lüstling zu entlarven, der Exmann seiner Geliebten bedroht ihn, seine Kinder wenden sich von ihm ab. Der wahre Skandal jedoch ist ein anderer: 50 Jahre lang hütete Coleman sein großes Geheimnis selbst v...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published December 4th 2006 by Spiegel-Verlag (first published 2000)
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Katie Lynch
Sep 03, 2007 Katie Lynch rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not really anyone
Shelves: yuck
Hey Roth, I know you have a great vocabulary...Just tell me a damn story.

Let me explain: I just read a very positive review of this book stating that Roth has such an expansive vocabulary, and every word seems painstakingly chosen, etc. That is exactly what I hate about this book! A narrative is supposed to flow, not make you resolve to study the dictionary more fastidiously.

For the record, I have a pretty good vocabulary and I thorouoghly enjoy creative uses of the English language. But I des...more
Note to all relevant parties : This book made me laugh and cry. I absolutely fell in love with the characters!


So I watched the movie, and I really shouldn't have. To quote Pope Pius VII, it sometimes makes you wonder if you're on the right planet. Anthony Hopkins plays an extremely white black man! And the ever-crushingly beautiful Nicole Kidman plays an illiterate woman who's a janitor! Yes! And we're supposed to take this seriously! And the actor who plays the young Anthony Hopkins looks ab...more
The author sums it up perfectly on page 81
"You area a verbal master of extroadinary loquatiousness[P. Roth]. So Perspicatios. So fluent. A vocal master of the endless, ostentatious overelaborate sentence."


This book is the Jackson Pollock of our literary time. Just spatter everything all over the page and call it art. Roth goes on and on by using every single adjective he ever learned in his SAT class, in a row, then completely counters every argument he just made, so he can use all the oppo...more
oh, phillip roth! you CARD. you IMP. no one makes me laugh like you.

around this time last year i was on vacation on the cape reading american pastoral, another roth novella of fun and good humor! (read brinda's perfect description for an idea of that one.) i ended up forgetting the book there, with about forty pages left to read, and i never bought a new copy. i didn't care that i hadn't finished it because I WAS SO EXHAUSTED. the book wasn't bad. the book was great. but reading a roth opus is...more
Philip Roth at the top of his game. Each time I read one of his books I'm further impressed by his talent.

The Human Stain digs deep into racism and its attendant politics in the 20th century. A light-skinned negro decides to "pass" as white and to do so successfully, he separates himself from his family. He enlists in the Navy as "white", attends college as "white", and marries a white woman as "white". After a long, distinguished career as a college professor and dean, he uses the word "spooks"...more
Katie Abbott Harris
This novel was disappointing - I expected much more from it. The story details the life of an African American college professor who has been "passing" as white since he was in his late teens. He hid this fact from everyone he knew, including his wife and children. His secret begins to unravel when he refers to two absent students as "spooks." Because the students are black, the remark is deemed racist, when he had actually intended the word to mean "ghosts." The writing is extremely dull and ra...more
Vincent Saint-Simon
Jul 07, 2008 Vincent Saint-Simon rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Post-modern hipsters
Mr. Roth,

Your banal prose and elementary gimmicks do nothing to endear yourself to me, sir. If, in the future, a thought flies into your head and you would like to put it down on paper, I would first suggest that you hide or burn every John Updike novel you've been petting to sleep each night, get yourself a fistful of fresh adjectives, and wipe your nose. Far too much of you gets onto the page, sir, and none of it is to your credit.

Many people are impressed because you wrote American Pastoral....more
Marco Tamborrino
"Nel tentativo, senz'altro ammirevole, di crearsi, aveva l'impressione di essersi rovesciata."

Possiamo dire, non senza un briciolo di presunzione, che il male della società contemporanea sia l'adattamento. Ciò che un essere umano, per costrizione o per sua semplice volontà, ricerca ogni istante della sua vita. Si adatta per sopravviere. Smette di rimpiangere la società passata o smette di idealizzarne una tutta sua dove, al posto delle maldicenze, ci siano rose e fiori. "La macchia umana", ciò c...more
I always meant to read some Philip Roth, but I imagined him as the sort of uber-masculine, perhaps even sexist, writer who would turn me off. I was wrong. I deeply enjoyed this book, even though there were some parts that some people might think of as sexist. (The Monica Lewinski bit, for example.)

In fact, this book made me realize that some of my favorite writers--Kundera, for example--are masculine types accused of being sexist. This is perhaps odd considering that I have never, ever had a pro...more
The only Roth I'd ever read was Portnoy, back when it came out (practically), and the Plot Against America - which didn't impress me at all. So I came to this book, which I listened to on audible, with a prejudice against Roth. I didn't like him, thought he was a fake, he didn't "look" like much of a writer to me, etc. etc. I probably wouldn't have gotten very far if I had been reading -- listening being a very different experience. (I do so much driving, that I listen to these things in drive-t...more
Jun 19, 2007 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers
1. The amazing language. Philip Roth has such an amazing vocabulary, first off. Every word he uses seems painstakingly chosen and every sentence carefully constructed. Honestly, the writing itself is what kept me interested.
2. The idea of the educational playing field being decimated by politics. My favorite sections of the book were the few scenes that took place on campus.
3. I liked the parallels between Coleman and Clinton. Very clever. The title alone gave...more
[warning: spoiler!]

The thing that attracts me about this novel is quite simply how it is told. The narrator, Nathan Zuckerman, is also a character (albeit a relatively minor one although he grows in importance as the story continues). He is not, therefore, omniscient, although this becomes easy to forget. The novel is written as though he were omniscient, and then draws attention to this gap repeatedly at moments where Zuckerman explains who told him what, how he knows certain bits of informatio...more
So I read this book because I hadn't opened the covers of a Philip Roth novel since "Goodbye Columbus" (and that was more in homage to the film with Ali McGraw and Richard Benjamin) and decided it was time to punch this ticket. I have to admit I found the experience excrutiating. It was well written, at times fascinating, but there really wasn't a moment when I didn't want the experience to be OVER. It was like hearing nails scratching on the blackboard. One angry rant after another. Everybody i...more
My first out-loud-laugh in this read:

“When we drink Organic Livestock milk, our body, soul, and spirit are getting nourished as a whole. Various organs in our body receive this wholeness and appreciate it in a way we may not perceive.” Sentences like that, sentences with which otherwise sensible adults, liberated from whatever vexation had driven them from New York or Hartford or Boston, can spend a pleasant few minutes at the desk pretending that they are seven years old.

Nathan Zuckerman, back...more
K.D. Absolutely
Mar 22, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books and 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
Shelves: 1001-core
New Jersey. 1940's to 1998. The main protagonist is a 71-year old former boxing champion and Athena's dean of faculty, Coleman Silk. He was dismissed from the university, called Athena because he referred, though innocently, the two absent black students as "spooks." Prior to his dismissal, he was having an affair with Faunin Farley, a 34-year old janitress of the school.

This 2000 novel of Philip Roth won the PEN/Faulkner Award and said to be the best novel he has written. This is my 3rd book b...more
So I've given this five stars not because I was particularly blown away by the story, and not because Philip Roth is incredibly smart with a great vocabulary, because I wasn't that amazed by that either really. I just really appreciate how Mr. Roth has created these characters, how indepth he got, showing their incredibly human imperfections. The part that really made me think, Oh gracious, she's a person and she's scared and she's really messed up now, was when Delphine claimed Coleman broke in...more
How does he do it? The last book of the American Trilogy doesn't disappoint. I was sucked in pretty early and held captive by all of the beautifully written and insightful words. There were times when I was hideously laughing, hysterically cackling, but not from the humor. This is the laughter one blurts out in the face of danger and disgust. The kind of laughter you might remember emitting at your grandmother's funeral, or the snickering you let out in front of the bully that was poised to kick...more
Anche in questo romanzo parla Nathan Zuckerman, alter ego di Roth.Narra le vicende del professore Coleman Silk, insegnante di lettere classiche all'università di Athena, nel New England. Un uomo che si porta dietro e dentro per oltre 50 anni un segreto, "una macchia", sul quale fonda e costruisce la sua esistenza Poi, un giorno, all'apice della sua carriera universitaria,con la pronuncia di una banale parola, "spook", rivolta a due studenti di colore assenteisti, il suo mondo crolla, e si ritrov...more
الوصمة البشرية

عرفت فيليب روث في (سخط)، ولكني تعرفت عليه حقاً هنا، في هذه الرواية المذهلة التي ستهزك من الأعماق، وستلتقي خلالها بشخصية من أعظم الشخصيات التي أنجبها الأدب، (كولمن سيلك) الزنجي الذي تنكر لأصوله ولعائلته، وعاش حياته كلها كرجل أبيض، أبيض إلى درجة أنه ويا للسخرية يستقيل في أواخر عمره من الجامعة بعد اتهامه بالعنصرية، وضد من !!! ضد طالبين زنجيين !!

أمريكا 1998 م، أنظار كل الأمريكيين متجهة نحو البيت الأبيض، فضيحة مونيكا لوينسكي تهز كرسي الرئيس، وفي جامعة أثينا يسقط كرسي الدكتور المحترم ك...more
This is just an incredibly written book. The first Philip Roth novel I read was "American Pastoral," and I remember thinking as I read it that I was consciously aware of how beautiful the writing was. Not the subject matter or anything, but the simple arrangement, placement, sequence, and flow of the words on the page. I cannot remember a book before I read "American Pastoral" that so swept me away with the language and dexterity of prose, simultaneously gripped by reading and yet with a part of...more
Pure genius! A modern-day Shakespeare (but probably better...). Yes, waaaayyyy too many words; but guess what: they all count! I'm even sad when the sentence (finally) ends, it's so good. This is not reading. It's thoughts (so smooth you think they are your own) flowing through your mind. Excellent !

"You can't just sit down and play the piano. You have to think of phrases, colors, intensities. That's the only way it can be. I have to become the piano." -- Oscar Peterson
Philip Roth doesn't write...more
رويس محفوظ
مقدمة المترجمة

هذا الورائيّ
نحن بصدد كاتبٍ داهية. ورواية داهية. أما الكاتبُ، فيعتبره النقّادُ شيخَ الرواية الأمريكية المعاصرة. "فيليب روث" Philip Milton Roth من مواليد عام 1923 مدينة نيوآرك بولاية نيوجيرسي الأمريكية. بدأ نجمُه في السطوع عام 1995 مع نوفيللاه الأولى "وداعاً كولمبوس"، التي فازت بجائزة الكتاب الوطني، وتمثّل بورتريه فاضحًا وساخرًا لحياة الأمريكان اليهود. ثم ذاعت شهرتهُ على نحو فائق مع صدور رواية "شكوى بورتنوي" عام 1969 تلك الرواية الفضائحية الساخرة التي حققت مبيعات جنونية. بعدها اعتادت...more
This is extremely well written, the characters, the narration, the dialogue, they all have this very thoughtful, measured quality that makes the whole thing seem incredibly believable. Yet the human stain feels, somehow, not exaclty dated, but maybe just too much of its time. The way it touches upon the fallout from the Lewinsky scandal and the often asinine identity politics of 90's academia struck me as just too concerned with the sort of petty moral dramas that seem almost laughable in light...more
Anyone who makes fun at academic community so brilliantly has my praise.( If anyone needs some reality check, it's that kind of snobbish professors.) Although that's not at all what the novel is about I just had to say it. Roth is so good at making fun of everything that it can be distracting. Nevertheless, there is truth in his humour- stuff that makes you think. Again not the most important aspect of novel, but something I really liked is an attractive amount of social commentary and political...more
Non so se c'è qualcosa, della miniera di perbenismo ipocrita che è la civiltà, che Philip Roth non abbia estratto per confezionare un romanzo così sporco di verità. I benpensanti e la loro morale, l'irresistibile convenienza di chi tace nel vedere un uomo ingiustamente accustato, il sottile sadismo di ciascuno quando una persona sufficientemente in vista può essere etichettata con una colpa, una macchia; quale sollievo per tutti gli altri, che possono invece sfruttare la sventura o l'errore altr...more
This book was just awful. I either threw it out or gave it away (hopefully to someone I don't like). I picked up it up because was a great idea for a story--unfortunately, Roth spends so much time showing off his prowess with language that he never gets around to telling it. I felt somewhat the same way about John Banville's The Sea--it was so beautifully written I had to (somewhat) excuse the fact that it was frankly boring--but the difference between that and the Human Stain was that Roth's wr...more
Debbie Robson
For sheer power of narrative Philip Roth is exceptional. I don't think I've read a writer, since I read William Styron's novels many years ago, that literally picks you up by the scruff of the neck and drags you along. You can kick and scream against the intensity and speed that you are travelling but somehow you just can't put the book down. This is an amazing look at the ridiculous, hypocritical society that is small town America, brilliantly done. Thank you, Cat. I hope to read Deception soon...more
Como La pastoral americana, muestra un retrato del ser humanos, sus odios, miedos y miserias.
Words could never adequately express how much I love Philip Roth's work. In my opinion, Roth IS the quintessential author— articulate, brilliant, funny, socially conscious. His sentences are so perfectly crafted that they belong in The Louvre. His first novel— Goodbye, Columbus— was published in 1959 & won the National Book Award. And for the past 50 years, he's published one masterpiece after another... winning a Pulitzer, as well as several National Book Awards, National Book Critics Circl...more
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Philip Milton Roth is an American novelist. He gained early literary fame with the 1959 collection Goodbye, Columbus (winner of 1960's National Book Award), cemented it with his 1969 bestseller Portnoy's Complaint, and has continued to write critically-acclaimed works, many of which feature his fictional alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman. The Zuckerman novels began with The Ghost Writer in 1979, and inc...more
More about Philip Roth...
American Pastoral (The American Trilogy #1) Portnoy's Complaint The Plot Against America Everyman Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories

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“Because that is when you love somebody - when you see them being game in the face of the worst. Not courageous. Not heroic. Just game.” 86 likes
“The pleasure isn't in owning the person. The pleasure is this. Having another contender in the room with you.” 78 likes
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