The Plot Against America The Plot Against America question

intro to Philip Roth

It's actually his only one that I've read, and seems to get treated as lesser Roth, so I may not have a lot of insight into his catalog as a whole. I don't know if it gets short-shrift because it's considered weaker or just a bit outside his more standard stuff. I'll say I enjoyed it but wasn't blown away by it...if I had been I would have revisited him already since I read that a couple of years ago. I still plan to at some point, but it's not been a priority.

Reading it around the time of the US 2016 election was creepy and prescient, though.

I loved Plot Against America. The novel is very well written. Roth captures the voice of a young boy completely.

August (last edited Jun 05, 2018 12:08AM ) Jun 05, 2018 12:07AM   0 votes
The best way to memorialize Roth is by reading him! The Plot Against America is probably my favorite Philip Roth book that I've read, but it's a bit of an outlier in terms of style and content for Roth. Obviously it's a great read to help make sense of today's political climate.

Something like Portnoy's Complaint or any books from the Zuckerman series would provide a better portrait of Roth really writing in his prime and operating as a cultural force—discussing the Jewish experience and grappling with male sexuality and the male psyche.

So I guess, in a nutshell, my suggestion is to read The Plot Against America if you want a standalone great book, but read something else if you want a better idea of who Roth was as an author. Good luck!!

Rereading ‘Plot’ now and it maybe lesser Roth but lesser him is greater than nearly everyone else. Roth does amazing things with spot on descriptions connected to more opaque representations. I just read a passage where the main character (Philip) watches a newsreel of a White House dinner hosted by President Lindbergh. Great detail and yet tied to a figure - Lindbergh - who remains unknowable making the situation both experiential and eerie because so much is known and unknowable.

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