In the summer of 1944, a polio epidemic broke out in Newark, New York. (Poliomyelitis) It was the strongest epidemic in eleven years.
Philip Roth has written a very exciting and tragic story. You can follow the story breathlessly as a reader and ...more
... even long after I returned them to a library in a town from which I moved away some ten years ago? And why others just fade away to the extent that I could possibly read them again without ever recognising that I have actually met the characters before? Or to the extent that I buy a new copy because I have forgotten I own one already?
Philip Roth's "Nemesis" is one of those books I remember with force after ten ...more
“The meaning of life is that it stops”—Franz Kafka
In Nemesis, Eugene “Bucky” Cantor works as a recreation director at a park in Newark in 1944. Because he has bad vision he can’t serve in WWII fighting Hitler, but his battlefield (at the recreation center) becomes the largest Polio epidemic in the US since 1916, also affecting many Jews. Besides his eyesight, Bucky is otherwise fit an ...more
The gnomic sentence above could have served as the epigraph to Roth's masterpiece American Pastoral, a novel to which this absolutely gorgeous and deeply troubling novelette is, I believe, a terrific B-side. Like Swede Levov in Pastoral, protagonist Bucky Cantor is an upstanding citizen of his mid-20th-century Jewish New Jersey community, athletically gifted and respected by all; and like Swede, Bucky finds himself thrown into the kind of personal crisis ...more
If I could pick one author to study ---(read and discuss his books)---in a College University class---
it would be Philip Roth.
He gets to me 'Always'.....and "Nemesis" is a gem.
Rather than add anything else to the already wonderful 'other' 5 star reviews that several people also gave this book....
I'll just say--- I think Roth is one of our very best contemporary American writers we've got!
Love how this guys brain works!!!< ...more
The novel is a portrait of polio and its ravaging effects in 1 ...more
First of all "Nemesis" is much shorter than most of Roth’s other books, and it does not contain that complex composition, deeper str ...more
This is perhaps the weakest in the Nemesis series of Roth's more modern more briefer novels--Everyman and The Humbling offering a wider array of human emotion with more surprises/anecdotal acrobatics than here, were the sole surprise is that the title refers not to a human adversary.
I feel on dangerous ground describing any more of the story. The details of day to day life in Jewish Newark sound authentic and Roth, having been raised there, needed only to mine his m ...more
Alright, let’s see what this male Joyce Carol Oates has to offer. As a si ...more
Bucky, a physical education teacher, is an extremely conscientious and kind-hearted young man who sincerely cares for the children in his care and is well-liked and admired for his athletic ability and easy-going ways in return, but as his "kwar.Bucky, ...more
As war raged overseas in 1944, the U.S. was fighting against the polio epidemic, particularly in its largest cities, such as Newark and its large Jewish community. In this short novel, probably Philip Roth's last one, he explores the effects on a community when a lurking, unseen evil is the enemy: fear, panic, loss of faith in God. Polio is a virus, or infectious disease, that can cause severe weakness in muscles and paralysis. No vaccine ...more
Bucky Cantor is a college graduate, a phys-ed teacher in charge of a New Jersey playground. Cantor is 4-F because of his poor eyesight. He is ashamed to be seen on the street ...more
Expectations of Roth, Nemesis
Meets the demand of his faithful readers and delivers an
End to a prestigious career. It is a
Story of hysteria, sickness and sadness;
Intertwining reminiscence with a moral conclusion.
Simple, superfluous mostly, but still Roth-esque in nature.
Set in the Weequahic neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey (Roth’s birthplace), Nemesis tells the story of a Jewish young man, Bucky Cantor, who serves as playground director in a summer outdoor program for children. The story is told from the perspective of Arnie Mesnikoff, one of several children whose life is irrevocably changed by a polio epidemic in the summer of 1944, a time when a cure for polio is still six years ...more
This is the story of a 23-y/o Jewish orphan man Eugene "Bucky" Cantor who wants to go to war to defend his country but he is short and with poor eyesight. Instead applies to be the playground officer of the Jewish Weequahic section in Newark. The year was in 1944, eight years before the discovery of polio vaccine. While his friends are either in ...more
Bucky Cantor is an athletic young man of 23, battling personal handicaps. His poor eyesight has kept him out of the war (every eligible male in that time was hunkering to get a shot at the war, it seemed), his mother had died during childbirth, and his father was a crook; his much- loved grandfather had passed ...more
Case in point: the main character, Bucky Cantor, has this argument with his God, "an omnipotent being who was a union not of three personas in one Godhead, as in Christianity, but of two—a sick fuck and an evil genius"(265). To my memory that argument k ...more
Nemesis isn't a terribly important part of his oeuvre, but it does tug at the emotions. I started reading it while having lunch alone in a busy restaurant and within the first 40 pages, I found myself getting all teary-eyed and upset until my entrecôte de boeuf arrived and I was able to calm myself with a bit of red-meat mastication.
|non-fiction companion book about Polio||4||28||Mar 11, 2014 06:24PM|
|Book Pickings: Nemesis by Philip Roth - Summary||1||7||Mar 01, 2014 12:27PM|
|21st Century Lite...: Nemesis - General Discussion and References (March 2013)||12||62||Mar 29, 2013 09:37AM|
|21st Century Lite...: Nemesis - Chapter 2, Spoilers Allowed (March 2013)||5||29||Mar 21, 2013 08:55AM|
|21st Century Lite...: Nemesis - Chapter 1, No Spoilers Please (March 2013)||35||51||Mar 18, 2013 08:56PM|