karenology's Reviews > The Plot Against America

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
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's review
Mar 01, 2011

liked it

This is a curious novel - part memoir, part revisionist history. Like other reviewers have said, the memoir-like aspect of the book makes the revisionist history succeed, placing actual things (presumably) that happened in Roth's childhood in a fictional, slightly familiar, and increasingly horrifying universe. The result is that for 3/4ths of the novel, Roth lays out an entirely convincing universe in which America sided with the bad guys, the fascists, the Nazis. As the novel progressed, I kept thinking wow, this really could have happened, there could have been a Nazi America fighting against the commies, and perhaps it's a mere matter of luck that it didn't play out this way! I got really invested in this novel until (minor spoiler) towards the end, where Roth suddenly wrests the plot back into actual history. The last quarter of the novel reads off-pace and seems hastily thrown together, in contrast to the rest of the novel. Still, it's a mostly enjoyable read.

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