James Schneider's Reviews > Everyman

Everyman by Philip Roth
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's review
Jun 26, 2011

it was amazing
Read on June 26, 2011

A stunning work of elegiac prose.

Roth was not, in his earlier work, an author whom I enjoyed. The literary fireworks read like signal to noise in the very least interesting way, and many of his larger observations felt ham-fisted at best.

While Roth will never be accused of subtlety, this work has the measured confidence of a master. There are brief passages of dizzyingly impressive prose, but most significantly, the themes at work seem much more interested in honesty then originality - Roth knows the ground upon which he treads has been trod before, and in titling the work as he did, he acknowledges as much.

There is no way for me to render my feelings on Everyman without resorting to adjective soup, but this novel has converted me from lifelong-doubter to eager admirer.

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Reading Progress

06/26/2011 page 44
23.0% "Finally! The Philip Roth that I've been so anxious to discover! For all my life I've heard his name spoken in reverent tones, and have been thus disappointed by the fruit of my investigations (P.'s Complaint, etc), wondering how everyone was so duped by base sexuality and anger wrapped in prose. Everyman is now the first work of his to truly connect for me, and boy has it."

Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-2 of 2) </span> <span class="smallText">(2 new)</span>

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message 1: by Eric (new)

Eric Steere Nice review James, I have struggled with Roth myself, finding Plot Against America a bit too ambitious even for this master of decisive prose. However, I remember enjoying Plot Against America, although I was higher than the trees when I read it, it was very satisfying. Maybe that's the best way to read him....?!?!

James Schneider I'm thinking that American Pastoral is next. I'm still vibrating in quiet parts of my soul almost 12 hours after finishing Everyman.

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