Cate's Reviews > The Plot Against America

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
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's review
Nov 02, 2007

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Read in September, 2007

My closest book-swapping sidekick disliked this one, and another friend began but put it down soon after, so I started reading with a bit of hesitation.

I should say at this point that Roth's American Pastoral is one of my all-time favorites. It starts incredibly slow (i.e. I didn't expect to read in excess of 50 pages about the inner workings of a glove factory), but knowing that the build-up in this book was well worth it, I stuck with The Plot...

The quality of the writing itself didn't strike me as particuarly exceptional in the way that it did with American Pastoral. In that novel, Roth's deft wizardry conveyed the dissolution and madness confined in the father's own head in a way that felt much more violent and moving than did the oblique violence and racism in The Plot. I also had problems connecting with the characters and with the pedantic feel of the book.

That said, I actually did enjoy this one, the primary reason being that I was pretty much taken by Roth's imagination. I didn't have any previous knowledge of Lindbergh or the related events of the time, so as I started to read the historical facts section at the end of the book, the novel began to grow on me. I really haven't read much historical fiction, but this one's leading me to seek some out.
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