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La humillación

3.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,673 Ratings  ·  445 Reviews
Todo ha terminado para Simon Axler, el protagonista del sorprendente nuevo libro de Philip Roth. Es uno de los principales actores teatrales norteamericanos, y ahora, ya sexagenario, ha perdido su magia, su talento y la seguridad en sí mismo. Falstaff, Peer Gynt, Vania, todos sus grandes papeles, «se han desvanecido en el aire, en el seno del aire impalpable». Cuando sale ...more
160 pages
Published March 2010 by Random House Mondadori (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paul Bryant
Nov 14, 2011 Paul Bryant marked it as assorted-rants-about-stuff  ·  review of another edition
John Crace over at The Guardian has written a beautiful parody of this and here's my favourite bit:

After his release, Axler had retreated to his farmhouse in upstate New York and it was there that Pegeen had visited him. Her parents were old friends and he had known her since she was a baby, suckling at her mother's breast. Now she was 40, a lesbian teaching at a progressive women's college in Vermont. "Have you ever slept with a man?" he asked.

"Not for more than 20 years," Pegeen replied. "But
Jan 15, 2016 Fewlas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana, ebraismo
Simon Axler è il patetico e anziano proseguimento dello Zuckerman de La lezione di anatomia. Anche ne L’umiliazione i temi centrali sono il conflitto tra la vita e l’arte e la guerra dell’artista col suo mestiere. In La lezione di anatomia il Percodan e la vodka rendevano Zuckerman un brillante uomo di mezza età che si tromba il suo bell’harem di infermierine e che vuole abbandonare la scrittura per iscriversi a medicina e riuscire, finalmente, a trovare la causa dei suoi dolori alla schiena. Ne ...more
Glenn Sumi
A famous 60-something classical actor loses his acting ability and becomes suicidal, then takes up with the 40-year-old lesbian daughter of some mutual friends and they embark on some kinky sex (I guess she was just waiting for an older man to “turn” her straight) in this brief, slight novel by one of America’s best novelists. (Seriously: a few weeks ago I read American Pastoral, and came away thinking it one of the most powerful novels of the past quarter century.)

I was initially interested in
Jun 06, 2009 brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
about one simon axler, a world renowned stage actor who is humbled by the fact that he's lost his gift. he doesn't know how to play a scene, his timing is off, the words come out sounding false, he cannot get out of his mind and lose himself in the role. so he lays around his house in the woods and contemplates suicide. 'all the world's a stage'/identity/and-other-important-themes aside, what is interesting here (and what, i suspect, certain reviewers will write about upon the release of this bo ...more
Carmo Santos
Jun 02, 2014 Carmo Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norte-americanos
Na linha a que já nos habituou Philip Roth, mais uma história à volta de um homem surpreendido pelos infortúnios da idade e que vai encontrar compensação na relação com uma mulher mais nova. Podia ser no álcool, podia ser nas drogas…mas não, sexo desvairado com uma mulher com menos vinte anos é muito mais apelativo.
O facto de aligeirar o assunto não desvaloriza em nada a obra. Gosto muito de Philip Roth, aprecio o modo como aprofunda situações que são comuns a qualquer pessoa a partir de certa i
Jan 15, 2011 §-- rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novella
"People go around killing people in movies all the time, but the reason they make all those movies is that for 99.9 percent of the audience, it's impossible to do. And if it's that hard to kill someone else, someone you have every reason to want to destroy, imagine how hard it is to succeed in killing yourself." (p. 42) Suicide is "the most unreal of all things." (139)

Roth's worst book. Eminently bad, but I actually enjoyed a pleasant evening reading it.

As with all Roth's protagonists, there ar
Feb 03, 2010 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jason by: Saw displayed at library, completely random choice
This is the first Philip Roth book I've ever read. I began it queuing at the DMV waiting to renew my driver's license; finished it the same day. Somebody tell me if The Humbling is the best introduction to Roth. Would you have recommended a different book to a newbie with a wild hair to overdose on his writing this month on a long work trip?

This may be a spoiler--don't know--it was only 140 pages, on 5x7, 13 font, with super wide margins, probably the same word count as my college thesis, so any
Krok Zero
Oct 17, 2009 Krok Zero rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fall-2009
I read the entirety of this short novel in a bookstore after coming out of a matinee of Where the Wild Things Are, which was kind of like eating a whole frosted vanilla cake and chasing it with a jigger of poison-spiked whiskey.

I'm still a relative novice when it comes to Philip Roth but even I can tell that this is basically a slight, minor effort from a master. It feels like it was tossed off quickly, which, given Roth's prolificacy in recent years, it probably was. But when you're as good as
Jan 09, 2010 Alecia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Humbling was given to me as a gift and I read it practically in one sitting. I had read the very negative reviews and probably would have skipped it. An article (about sex in novels now vs. then )that I read included this book. Supposedly, one woman was so disgusted by the graphic sex that she threw the book in the garbage. Well, I wouldn't go that far, but point taken. The problem with the sex scenes was, dare I say it, they seemed gratuitous.

I love Philip Roth! He may be my favorite author
Dec 12, 2009 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Advanced age, doomed sex, and impending death: just the kind of topics you enjoy exploring on a cozy winter night, right? Roth's frequent laments about the dark underbelly of the golden years may alienate some readers, but his literary skill keeps me coming back for more. The Dying Animal, Exit Ghost, Everyman -- I just can't stop, as evidenced by my recent one-night immersion his thirtieth book, The Humbling.
Roth's aging characters share one outstanding characteristic: they can't bear the thou
Matthew McCarthy
As anyone who follows my reviews will know, I am a HUGE Philip Roth fan. Since The Humbling just came out in paperback, I thought I'd treat myself after a long semester and start my first casual read of my winter break by reading Roth's 30th (!!!) book.

Yet, I have to say this—and I hope I don’t have to say it often: I was not overly impressed with Roth here. The Humbling is a novella, and in being a novella, I read it fairly quickly in about two sessions of voracious reading; these two segments
Nicholas Ochiel
Mar 29, 2015 Nicholas Ochiel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
Shelves: desire-love, suicide
I feel bad for Barry Levinson, whose passable and occasionally funny film adaptation of Roth's The Humbling came out in the same year as Alejandro González Iñárritu's hilarious, incisive masterpiece Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). It must have been terrible for Levinson to watch Iñárritu's film and realise that, though they are tackling the same thorny ass problem (masculinity in crisis; the triangular relationship between the fading male artist struggling for authenticity and ...more
Aug 05, 2011 Alex rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Cutting short of loud rumbling
I am not happy with "The Humbling"
I am afraid that Philip Roth
Went too far in this book's plot
(I'm so disturbed - that at this time
I've lost the urge for perfect rhyme )
Where health declined Hollywood's star ex
Acts as sex hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex,
Who's end of life obscurity
Is fought with .... well, promiscuity
(Please don't beat me with a wrench
For my Russian broken French )
Where "Cherchez la femme" for the carnal "Pa-De-Trua"
Gets arranged impromptu easy at any nea
Izetta Autumn
Dec 23, 2009 Izetta Autumn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
What is Philip Roth drinking? Because this man always manages to draw me into his novels and characters, even though 1.) the characters are not always (and very rarely) likeable 2.) almost always involve a white middle aged man coming to grips with aging and the decline of his sexuality (which I think is part of why the U.S. literary establishment loves Roth so very much)but never ever examining, say white heterosexual male privilege and 3.) the plots are so simplistic - there's hardly any actio ...more
John Beck
Mar 16, 2013 John Beck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, fiction

I have an irrational love of Philip Roth's work.

He writes simply and directly. His flourishes are carefully constructed, re-enforcing the themes of his novels: the internal life of the mind as an agent of story-telling; blurring the boundaries between the real and imagined world; the creation of identity (through story-telling and imagination) and our responsibility and dependance upon the people around us.

I would put Roth up
Jul 02, 2014 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Look, if this was anyone besides Philip Roth, it would get a strong four stars. Not five, mind you, but a strong four. But, because this IS Philip Roth, a literary genius capable of moving mountains with a pen, the novel gets only three stars. This is his last novel, and the one that led to his retirement. He said himself that it had become harder to write, and to write well, and I applaud him for this effort.

Actually, truth be told, I liked this novel in a lot of ways. I liked it's compactness
Jan 01, 2015 Offuscatio rated it really liked it
Cuando el libro elige al lector...

"Lo único que todo el mundo quiere hacer con el suicidio es explicarlo. Explicarlo y juzgarlo. Es algo tan espantoso para quienes se han quedado atrás, que tiene que haber una manera de considerarlo."
Feb 23, 2016 Alisea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tutto è finito per Simon Axler, uno dei più grandi attori teatrali della sua generazione. Ha superato i sessant'anni e ha perso la sua magia, il suo talento e la sua sicurezza. Quando sale sul palcoscenico si sente un pazzo e si vede un idiota. La sua fiducia nelle proprie capacità è evaporata; s'immagina che la gente rida di lui; non riesce più a fingere di essere qualcun altro. La moglie se n'è andata, il pubblico l'ha abbandonato, il suo agente non sa come convincerlo a tornare in scena....

-El fin de muchas cosas y en muchos sentidos.-

Género. Novela.

Lo que nos cuenta. Simon Axler es un maduro actor de teatro muy reconocido que siente haber perdido su don para la actuación y, lo que es más, cree que no estará a la altura de ningún papel ni sabrá cómo representarlo con profesionalidad. Axler se aisla cada vez más, piensa en el suicidio, su mujer le abandona y la ayuda profesional no parece estar funcionando.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

Feb 23, 2015 Jeremy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
There was always a sly voice inside me saying, 'There is no teacup.'

I've got a lot of of time for Roth, and I've had this book on the shelf, unread, since its release, and now I read a review of the film version telling me how it '...doesn't work as twenty-first century theatrical fare, as it's too impolitic to be celebrated in art-house theaters and too esoteric to be featured in today's sequel-driven multiplexes', and that's sort of like saying, to me, YOU, YOU SHOULD SEE THIS FILM, so I read
Jan 19, 2010 Caris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
My friend Bob told me this was a book for old people. He and I both like Roth (neither of us are enthralled by him, but we enjoy his books as they emerge), so I didn't take that as too harsh a criticism. I immediately saw what he was talking about, though.

"Then, starting around year five, she slowly drifted away into the computer, and I was left with no one to talk to but the cats."

Granted, folks do this all the time. It's turned into a real problem. People trade in their real lives in favor of
Sep 13, 2010 F.R. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This latest run of Phillip Roth novels – ‘The Humbling’, ‘Indignation’, ‘Exit Ghost’ and ‘Everyman’ (and one might even include ‘The Dying Animal’ on that list, even though it’s earlier) – all seem puny and insubstantial, both in terms of the slenderness of their length and the narrow subject matters they address. Maybe Roth has taken on Saul Bellow’s thinking that after a certain age there’s no point starting to write a big book in case you don’t live to finish it (although that reasoning, stra ...more
Anna Tan
May 01, 2013 Anna Tan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Humbling is the story of Simon Axler, a reknown actor, who wakes up one morning having lost his ability to act. Everything comes crashing down on him - he loses his career, his wife, his self-esteem and his will to live in a short span of time.

Roth strikes at a deep fear - the fear of losing your sense of self when you grow old, when your hands and body can no longer do what you have made yourself into over the length of your years. What would you do then? Axler finds solace in the embrace o
May 07, 2013 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having only read one other book by Roth—the equally-short late novel Everyman —I’m not as weighed down by Roth’s oeuvre (he’s been writing novels for as long as I’ve been alive) as some reviewers have been. I’m also a big fan of novellas which helps. Actors suffer from stage fright, writers from writer’s block. It was not hard to relate to the protagonist in this book even if he does have a few years on me. Like a play (obviously) the book follows a straightforward three act structure and the c ...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Regular readers know that I am currently in the process of reading all 13 of the "Zuckerman" books Philip Roth has written over the decades (in fact, book two of the series, Zuckerman Unbound, will be reviewed here in just a few weeks), mostly as a way of learning more about the Postmodernist period of th
Apr 20, 2016 Diletta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Credo di aver un grosso problema di comunicazione con Philip Roth.
Ne "L'animale morente" almeno mi piaceva quello che voleva dirmi. anche se non riuscivo a capire bene come stesse cercando di comunicare, in questo caso proprio non ho capito niente.
Una caduta infinita che non mi pare trovi fine. E poi insomma, Roth sa scrivere l'erotismo? Dite? A me qui non pare proprio.
Aug 27, 2013 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
started strong, with Axler's loss of nerve/talent/confidence, but lost its way with the arrival of the vixen. Axler becomes a passive character until she leaves, right at the very end and without any warning. If she were a muse instead of a fantasy (with excellent recall for conversations!) to build on the initial promise, then it might have worked... now that Roth has retired there's some intrigue in wondering how much Axler's creative anxiety is that of Roth; for his sake I hope the tawdry cli ...more
Barry Bass
Jan 31, 2015 Barry Bass rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading this Philip Roth book which I wanted to read first before seeing the Al Pacino film based upon it. I thought it was curious that the back cover and inside fly leaf of the book were plastered with kudos and rave reviews from reviewers representing just about every major newspaper and magazine in the country--except for the New York Times. Then I went to the NY Times archives and saw why. Both of the Times' reviewers, the one who wrote her review for the daily Times and the ...more
Τζαζίλας Μπάμπης
Αναλογιζόμενος τη φήμη και τις βραβεύσεις που χαίρει ο Φίλιπ Ροθ θα είμαι πολύ αυστηρός, αν και είναι το πρώτο που διαβάζω απ' τα βιβλία του, και όσο το δυνατόν πιο περιεκτικός και σύντομος - αρκετό χρόνο σπατάλησα ήδη. Δεν θα το πρότεινα σε κανέναν, παρά μόνο αν "ξέμενε" από βιβλία και ήταν το μοναδικό αδιάβαστο που θα 'χε στη βιβλιοθήκη του.

---- Πιθανά Spoilers----

Το πρόβλημα του βιβλίου δεν είναι η γραφή του -απεναντίας ειναι αρκτετά ευανάγνωστο και διατηρεί μια χρυσή τομή μεταξύ επιτήδευσης
Kalli Meisler
May 18, 2014 Kalli Meisler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very quick read; I'm glad I picked this book up, yet again, more great lessons learned (thanks, Philip Roth):

- There are people and places for different times and spaces.
- "Do one moment. We're only dealing with the single moment. Play the moment, play for whatever plays for you in that moment, and then go on to the next moment." (P. 34)
- is Pegeen working in LA? "The twenty-five years register with me as twenty-five years more experience than someone would have if I were trying this with a m
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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
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“Όλοι οι άλλοι κάθονταν εκεί καταθλιπτικά σιωπηλοί, σε εσωτερική υπερένταση, προβάροντας κατά μόνας -στο λεξιλόγιο της λαϊκής ψυχολογίας ή της περιθωριακής αισχρολογίας, της χριστιανικής οδύνης ή της παρανοϊκής παθολογίας- τα πανάρχαια θέματα της δραματικής λογοτεχνίας: αιμομιξία, προδοσία, αδικία, σκληρότητα, ζήλεια, ανταγωνισμός, επιθυμία, απώλεια, ατίμωση και πένθος.” 1 likes
“Play the moment, play whatever plays for you in that moment, and then go to the next moment. It doesn't matter where you're going. Don't worry about that. Just take it moment, moment, moment, moment.” 1 likes
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