The Humbling by Philip Roth

the humbling

As can be seen from the following list, this is a relatively late Roth novel; along with Indignation and Nemesis and other late Roth novels it shows a mature master of the art of the novel at work. 

Goodbye, Columbus       1959

Letting Go                       1962

When She Was Good      1967

Portnoy’s Complaint        1969

Our Gang                        1971

The Breast                      1972

The Great American Novel 1973

My Life as a Man                      1974

The Professor of Desire  1977

The Ghost Writer             1979

Zuckerman Unbound      1981

The Anatomy Lesson      1983

The Prague Orgy            1985

The Counterlife               1986

Deception                        1990

Operation Shylock           1993

Sabbath’s Theater           1995

American Pastoral           1997

I Married a Communist    1998

The Human Stain            2000

The Dying Animal            2001

The Plot Against America                                        2004

Everyman                        2006

Exit Ghost                        2007

Indignation                      2008

The Humbling                  2009

Nemesis                          2010

A slight novel, it seems perfectly paced and structured, and the balance of all its elements is gloriously deft. It is another novel that deals with age, the end of life, in this case the end of the life of a great stage actor: what does it mean to come to terms with the end of your life? Roth shows us unflinchingly.

 

Mr A

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