Books March 1987
A review of The Counterlife by Philip Roth.
The Counterlife, according to its jacket copy, is “a novel unlike any that Philip Roth has written before.” The book reads “like a triumph” to William Gass in The New York Times Book Review; the author is “a comic genius,” writes Martin Amis in The Atlantic. Richard Locke’s Wall Street Journal article claims Roth has “quite transcended himself”; interviews with the author are spilling out of the pages of Vanity Fair, Elle, and the galleys of a new essay collection to be entitled Reading Philip Roth; the publisher has pronounced the book “a bestseller before publication date.” Fanfare, limelight, jubilee—despite promises that The Counterlife is not only new but improved, even unprecedented, all the signals...
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