Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Goodbye, Columbus: And 5 Short Stories” as Want to Read:
Goodbye, Columbus: And 5 Short Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Goodbye, Columbus: And 5 Short Stories

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  12,275 Ratings  ·  646 Reviews
Roth's classic "Goodbye Columbus" is accompanied by five short stories that range from the iconoclastic to the the astonishingly tender, illuminating the subterranean conflicts between parents and children and neighbors in the new postwar America of the forties and fifties. Unabridged. 8 CDs.
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published July 1st 2006 by Phoenix Audio (first published 1959)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Goodbye, Columbus, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Stu Moore All of Goodbye, Columbus and then the American Trilogy - American Pastoral, The Human Stain, I Married a Communist. Then you might want to go back and…moreAll of Goodbye, Columbus and then the American Trilogy - American Pastoral, The Human Stain, I Married a Communist. Then you might want to go back and read the beginning of Zuckerman, The Ghost Writer, etc. He is really fantastic.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 21, 2008 Mac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is his first book. Screw him.
"Curiously, the darkness seemed to have something to do with Harriet, Ron's intended, and I thought for a time that it was simply the reality of Harriet's arrival that had dramatized the passing of time: we had been talking about it and now suddenly it was here — just as Brenda's departure would be here before we knew it." -Goodbye, Columbus

How often do I think of the passing of time in this way, as Roth describes it in this poignant, wistful and utterly beautiful book. "Goodbye, Columbus" alrea
Celeste Corrêa
«Goodbye Columbus e Cinco Contos» do conceituado e premiado Philip Roth foi o meu primeiro contacto com o autor.
Gostaria de escrever uma resenha bonitinha, mas falta-me o que sobra a Philip Roth: talento.
Como leitora, posso dizer, sem qualquer restrição, que adorei não só «Goodbye Columbus» , como também os cinco contos que lhe seguem, em especial , « A conversão dos judeus» e « Eli, o fanático.»

Todo o livro tem um elo de ligação – o mundo judaico americano.
A escrita é maravilhosa, inesperada e
If Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s is the New York novella about flirting with the city’s upper crust, then Philip Roth’s Goodbye, Columbus is the suburban story for the rest of us.

A coming-of-age story about a summer romance, it plumbs tensions from class, generational, religious, and educational differences, and it does so in a way that is instinctive and visceral. While not the most self-aware, sensitive, or rational, the story’s characters—Neil Klugman, a twenty-three year-old man fro
Aug 25, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: character, setting
This is probably the fourth time I've read this book and every time I do, it feels like I'm reliving falling in love for the first time all over again. I chose Goodbye, Columbus as a read aloud book to share with someone special and hearing or speaking Roth's words made me much more aware of the humor and the cadence of the New Jersey Jewish speech. Aunt Gladys is the Jewish aunt I never had and I want her to nag and fuss over me too.

It is a story about loss and longing, the ending of things, bo
May 29, 2011 Iris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
What's yr take on P-Roth? During the hubbub around the recent awarding of a Man Booker prize to Philip Roth, I was moved to revisit him by reading this novella, published when he was 26. "Goodbye, Columbus" was sensitive and fine, complicating my reaction to his prize. I initially sided with Carmen Calil, the Booker judge who abandoned the committee when the two-to-one vote favored Roth. Like Calil, I just can't take a writer seriously if he cannot and will not consider the lives of non-alter-eg ...more
Kathy Ahn
Dec 02, 2008 Kathy Ahn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
I wasn't really sure where "Goodbye, Columbus" (the title piece of the collection) was going at first and didn't like any of the characters, but Roth has a special way of making seemingly inconsequential things become transformative and meaningful. I still vehemently disliked the characters at the end, but was somehow touched by them.

Many of the other stories in this collection are similar in this way. The people in the stories themselves aren't significant or even sometimes, likable, but they a
Okay, so this is finally happening.


I assumed I'd have some overpowering reaction to this now that I was finally reading it (I only read the novella, not the other stories), but I didn't. Now I guess I get why people like Philip Roth so much: he's a terrific writer, and I enjoyed reading this book. I got a little bored halfway through, nothing serious, but I wasn't as crazy about it as I was at the start and didn't itch to pick it back up when I'd happened to set it down.

I feel embarrassed and
Apr 09, 2015 Shane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roths’s earlier books are fresh, humorous and vibrant compared to his recent work that is self-obsessed with aging, potency and dying. Goodbye Columbus is just such a vibrant collection that portrays, with humour, the angst of the Jews in New Jersey, transplanted from the recent Holocaust, and trying to find their place in the New World, hindered by a Socialist past, yet striving to become part of the Capitalist ideal.

In the title story—a poor-boy-meets-rich-girl (who was once poor but can’t re
Goodbye, Columbus: 3*
La prima storia, che da' anche il titolo al volume, è agro-dolce: l'innamoramento vissuto con tutte le paure del primo bacio, della "prima volta", dei primi screzi. La storia è appassionante e l'ho letta tutto d'un fiato per scoprire come andasse a finire (anche se durante la lettura i segni erano abbastanza premonitori).

La conversione degli ebrei: 3*
Molto carina e divertente. Un giovane ragazzino ebreo alle prese con la scuola di religione (il "nostro" catechismo, immagino)
Jul 18, 2009 Rhonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-fiction
When I first read Roth's Portnoy's Complaint in college, I confess that I was socially unable to truly understand it. I wasn't Jewish, I didn't grow up in New Yawk and, lastly, I didn't understand why one wouldn't, apparently like most of the University of Miami population, just go elsewhere. Still the title story is by far my favorite of Roth's stories, one which talks about both social insecurities and mistrust. Unlike others, I saw this as a natural outgrowth of the world, but that's another ...more
Scott Rhee
The first-ever book by Philip Roth that I read, in college, for a course in Literature & Film, "Goodbye, Columbus" is a semi-autobiographical story about young love/lust. The movie version of this novella, by the way, kind of sucks. I fell in love with the book and Roth's prose style immediately. I understand why he has been accused of being misogynistic in his writing, and I don't totally disagree, but I am inclined to say that he strikes me more as someone who is simply being honest about ...more
Jul 16, 2012 Fernando rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este es el noveno libro de Roth que me leo. Hasta ahora siempre me había quejado de lo mismo, me daba la impresión de que no sabía cerrar bien las historias, de que sus finales nunca eran redondos. Goodbye Columbus, el relato que da nombre al libro, me ha hecho replantearme mi opinión. La historia termina de una manera incluso más abrupta que de costumbre. No se si Roth lo hace aposta o no, pero me doy cuenta ahora de que sus historias suelen empezar también de manera abrupta. Entramos en ellas ...more
Aug 25, 2016 Grant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a book of stories and one novella. the novella is the title piece, "goodbye, columbus" and i think the reason i did not give the book 5 stars is that the novella was not as strong as the stories. that said, it is funny. it is good writing. the characters and situation are relateable. but the stories are where roth shines in my opinion. the first two, "the conversion of the jews" and "defender of the faith" i'd read before, but like any good story, they are both deserving of a second, third, four ...more
Jun 30, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Paige Patterson
Shelves: fiction
I needed to read this because it's Roth's urtext, and because I seem to be reading through Roth intermittently but steadily. I didn't exactly enjoy it, though it's certainly well written. It has that youthful angsty atmosphere that permeates many debut romans à clef (like The Bell Jar, The Rachel Papers, The Catcher in the Rye) and it introduces sexual dilemmas which I'm guessing were quite cutting edge in 1959. The five short stories following the novella are severely Jewish (yeshivas and the l ...more
“Goodbye, Columbus”
“The Conversion of the Jews”
“Defender of the Faith”
“You Can’t Tell a Man by the Song He Sings”
“Eli, the Fanatic”
Jul 27, 2012 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rooney 1
Patrick Rooney
Professor Bruce Thompson
7 June 2011

Philip Roth’s debut novel, Goodbye, Columbus, is in part a window into secular Jewish life in the fifties era. Twenty-three year-old Neil juggles life and love while tolerating Jewish woes from the immortal (clinging, over-bearing mother figure) to the unique time period, which pits reactionary developments against the first hesitant stirrings of the sexual revolution to come.

Goodbye, Columbus follows Neil’s first love affair, a b
Aug 14, 2013 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
for some reason somehow I had received the impression that Roth wasn't really worth it, probably because of the whole misogynistic self-hating Jew thing, and now I feel like I've been lied to? because this was really good?
anyway I didn't mean to read this—I have very many books of my own I have yet to read—but I was inspecting one of my parents' bookcases to settle something regarding john cheever and after that I was pulling some books in and out of shelves as I am wont to do and this was one
Charles Clymer
Nov 08, 2014 Charles Clymer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my second Philip Roth book. My first was "Portnoy's Complaint", which, in retrospect, was a mistake to read first.

Don't get me wrong: "Portnoy's Complaint" is a classic, but it's not a masterpiece. "Goodbye, Columbus" is absolutely a masterpiece, and I was completely struck by the difference in tone and structure between the two.

"Goodbye, Columbus", at its heart, is a novella and collection of short stories that address the Jewish Diaspora. When the book premiered, Roth--who is Jewish hi
Jul 07, 2016 Pedro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mis lecturas se distinguen en dos bloques. Parece lo mismo pero no lo es. Leo libros y leo a autores. A veces me apetece mucho leer un libro por la trama, por la estética o por una suerte de intuición literaria que pocas veces se equivoca y descubro a un autor. Y quiero seguir leyendo su obra. Otras veces no sucede tal cual. La lectura se agota en ese libro. O se pospone sine die hasta que me vuelva a apetecer. No pasa eso con los autores. Administro su obra. Lo hago como un yonqui que pasara un ...more
Jake Cole
Feb 28, 2016 Jake Cole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not an outpouring of cultural self-loathing but a complex grappling with the pressures of assimilation placed upon a group of people given sympathy for recent historical events but still viewed as alien. This manifests in a variety of ways in the novella and stories: the WASP-y façade of the nouveau riche Jewish family in GC and how the desperate maintenance of their image pervades the admittedly over-self-conscious attitudes of the working class college grad who dates the perfect daughter; the ...more
Feb 22, 2016 Sorcered rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
E prima carte de Philip Roth pe care o citesc, și nu mi-a venit să cred că e și prima pe care a scris-o. E chiar ATÂT DE BUNĂ. Sunt gelos de moarte, dar mă consolez cu gândul că e imposibil ca Roth să nu fi scris măcar câteva mii de alte pagini (nepublicate...) înainte să ajungă să scrie atât de dezgustător de impecabil.
La revedere, Columbus e o colecție de 6 povești - o nuvelă (întinsă pe jumătate din volum) despre dragostea la prima vedere și trăinicia ei, dar și despre așteptări familiale, sa

At last, I am no longer a Philip Roth virgin. He broke out with this collection of the novella, Goodbye, Columbus and five short stories, for which he won the National Book Award in 1960.

The theme of all the pieces is second and third-generation Jews moving from the ghetto into assimilation as Americans. I liked the novella for its characters and plot, though he stole shamelessly from Herman Wouk's Marjorie Morningstar. I fell shamelessly into the love story between Neil Klugman, poor New York C
Jul 03, 2008 Alexandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Michael Chabon's early work, shiksas with a fetish, Franny and Zooey fans
Recommended to Alexandra by: Dustin K.
Tenderly rendered. Goodbye, Columbus is a bit exasperating, as I take issue with these young whiny East-coast Jewish male protagonists (Michael Chabon's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, I'm looking at you) who can't handle the women they're with and so bail on them like the big cry babies they are, but the short stories--especially and forever Eli, The Fanatic--are worth talking about.
I thought the short stories were stronger than the title novella. I listened to this one on my MP3 player, and especially enjoyed the story read by Harlan Ellison, "Defender of the Faith". I also enjoyed the other short stories, but thought "Eli, the Fanatic" was a little dark and didn't share the same comic tone as the other tales.
Macon Fessenden
Because I gave American pastoral a 5, I had to give portnoy a 4, and because I gave portnoy a 4, had to give this a 3. Still loved it tho
Anne Sanow
Dec 28, 2009 Anne Sanow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes young men don't shoot their wad all at once, and this smart, sharp, resonant, ballsy, evocative, emotive, terse, catchy, tuned-in, poetic, aching, EDITED book is one of those times.
Annie Grace
Dec 10, 2016 Annie Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, fall-semester
This is a really solid book. Quick and easy to read. Very funny and sharp. Examining from afar the relationships of wealth and class status to romance and religion in the late 50s. Really really enjoyed this one.
Everyone thinks Philip Roth, the American mid-century's Saul Bellow, wrote the same book over and over again throughout his career. Most people think that archetypal book is Portnoy's Complaint. I disagree. If each of his books were Portnoy's Complaint material, I would march myself right to my local bookseller and purchase every one of them. I read recently, in a curmudgeonly blog entry, disdaining overrated writers, that Goodbye, Columbus was the only good thing Roth produced, that he began ha ...more
Nov 25, 2009 Jamie rated it really liked it

So, after Stephen King talked about always having an audio book in progress even as he is reading other books, I decided to give it a try. I do not have the ability to listen to such material while I work, but I loaded Philip Roth's GOODBYE COLUMBUS collection onto my iPod and listened to it while I went to and fro, here and there.

I am a fan of Roth, and have read a handful of material from the various periods of his career. His earliest material, which this represents, has a youthful vitality t
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Philip Roth 1 1 Aug 26, 2016 09:38AM  
Around the Year i...: Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories, by Philip Roth 1 11 Mar 20, 2016 05:36PM  
  • The Magic Barrel
  • The Waters of Kronos
  • The Field of Vision
  • Blood Tie
  • Ten North Frederick
  • A Crown of Feathers
  • The Hair of Harold Roux
  • Paco's Story
  • Morte D'Urban
  • Victory Over Japan: A Book of Stories
  • A Frolic of His Own
  • Mr. Sammler's Planet
  • The Eighth Day
  • Chimera
  • In America
  • The Centaur
  • Ship Fever: Stories
  • World's Fair
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...

Share This Book

“Actually we did not have the feelings we said we had until we spoke them--at least I didn't; to phrase them was to invent them and own them.” 70 likes
“I did not want to voice a word that would lift the cover and reveal that hideous emotion I always felt for her, the underside of love.” 5 likes
More quotes…