The Counterlife, according to its jacket copy, is “a novel unlike any that Philip Roth has written before.”[1] 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 from publicity headquarters...


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