Beverly's Reviews > Nemesis

Nemesis by Philip Roth
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Feb 14, 11

bookshelves: literary, historical-novel
Read in February, 2011

This short narration has a fable-like quality. It is the story of a man's downfall through guilt and displaced anger set off by a severe polio epidemic in Newark in 1944, during the war and before the vaccine. Like American Pastoral, the story is told by an observer of the protagonist. And like The Plot Against America it covers the past of the author's childhood. All three of these novels also cover the theme of Jewishness, variously the relations of Jews with God, among themselves, and with the rest of the world. In this story the victim suffers as greatly through his own guilt as through his injuries, perhaps suggesting something about the war in Europe and the atrocities visited on Jews and others by the Nazis.
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