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I Married a Communist (1998)

by Philip Roth

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The American Trilogy (2), Zuckerman Bound (7)

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1,867247,728 (3.68)45
During the McCarthy era, a wife revenges herself on her husband by denouncing him as a Communist. It happens to Iron Rinn, a radio commentator, after he told her he did not want her daughter in the house.
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» See also 45 mentions

English (17)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (2)  Danish (1)  French (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Roth is a fantastic writer. Imo, not as good as American Pastoral, but loved it. Can't wait to read the final in the series. ( )
  btbell_lt | Aug 1, 2022 |
I guess I'm reading Roth's American Trilogy in reverse order, and years apart. Like The Human Stain, I Married a Communist offers a rich tapestry of characters and you will delve deeply, very deeply, into each and every one of them. Woven together they tell the story of a troubled time in American history-- early McCarthyism, and present some timeless truths about human nature.

The story spans nearly a century and is narrated by Nathan Zuckerman. It tells quite a bit of Nathan's history but the central, if not "main", character is Ira Ringold, a troubled youth turned Communist spokesman and radio star who marries into money, fame, and the NY elite-- until his downfall.

The novel is full of intellectual references to literature, philosophy, economics, etc. At times is seems that Roth had a bunch of random semi-essays laying around and figured out how to weave them into the novel. While I generally enjoyed these off-topic rants they could be distracting from the plot. The book was longer, denser, and more pedantic than it needed to be. But for the patient reader the finale was worthwhile. Overall a profound story, timely history lesson, full of memorable characters. ( )
1 vote technodiabla | Dec 21, 2020 |
Der Radio-Star Iron Rinn und die einstige Hollywood-Größe Eve Frame gelten als Traumpaar, doch in Wirklichkeit ... Nachdem ihre Ehe in Trümmern liegt, schreibt Eve einen Enthüllungs-Bestseller, um ihre eigene Haut und die Karriere ihrer Tochter zu retten. Gesellschaftlich und beruflich ruiniert, schwört Rinn seiner Umwelt Rache.
  Fredo68 | May 14, 2020 |
Captures the McCarthy era well, but not with quite as much humanity as Roth is capable of. The narrator keeps threatening to be the most interesting character, but never quite emerges. ( )
  sometimeunderwater | Aug 10, 2015 |
I like the way Philip Roth uses words. I'm often interested in the subject matter he chooses - in this case McCarthy-era America. I suspect our perspectives on the events he writes about are similar. So why is it I often struggle through his novels? I Married a Communist is no different: though I'm interested in the US repression of the early 1950s, this plot didn't engage me. The story was related through the medium of one brother telling the life story of his sibling, the communist in question, to a mutual friend. Perhaps because of this, the writing was almost pedestrian; despite the subject matter, there was a lack of drama. I felt little, if any, emotional interest in the characters. Frankly, the communist and his wife were both ludicrously naive. Yet despite this, I kept reading, enjoying the writing in parts despite my overall frustration with the novel. Perhaps I should conclude that Roth is very good essayist, but not a natural storyteller. ( )
1 vote YossarianXeno | Oct 12, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Philip Roth beweist mit "Mein Mann, der Kommunist" erneut seinen hohen literarischen Rang. Er zeigt nicht nur seine Fähigkeit, ein auf historischen Tatsachen basierendes politisches Buch zu schreiben, sondern verknüpft dies darüber hinaus mit der psychographischen Darstellung eines exemplarischen linken Lebenslaufes. Roth versöhnt den Leser nicht mit der Welt des Machbaren, schafft keine Kongruenz zwischen Realität und Möglichkeit, deckt vielmehr schonungslos Dummheit, Verleumdung, machtpolitisch motivierte Kommunistenhetze und die selbstzerstörerische Gesellschaft in einer der schwärzesten Epochen des modernen Amerika auf; einer Epoche, die in einem Land, das so stolz ist auf seine liberalen, freiheitlichen Werte, noch immer gerne verschwiegen wird. In diesem hervorragenden Werk zeigt sich Roths künstlerische Klasse sowohl als politischer Autor als auch als Meister der psychologischen Literatur.
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roth, Philipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fibla, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kamoun, JoséeTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mantovani, VincenzoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rikman, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Silver, RonPerformersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Many songs have I head in my native land-

Songs of joy and sorrow.

But one of them was deeply engraved in my memory:

It's the song of the common worker.

Ekh, lift up the cudgel,

Heave-ho!

Pull harder together,

Heave-ho!

- "Dubrinishka," a Russian folksong.

In the 1940s performed and recorded,

in Russian, by the Soviet Army Chorus

and Band.
Dedication
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
To my friend and editor

VERONICA GENG

1941-1997
First words
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Ira Ringold's older brother, Murray, was my first high school English teacher, and it was through him that I hooked up with Ira.
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During the McCarthy era, a wife revenges herself on her husband by denouncing him as a Communist. It happens to Iron Rinn, a radio commentator, after he told her he did not want her daughter in the house.

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