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The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth

The Ghost Writer (1979)

by Philip Roth

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Zuckerman Bound (1)

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1,509287,637 (3.7)92
Recently added byKellyPetit, Kurcfeld, private library, Jaime29, cns1000, CongBethIsraelBham, macphear, jjsutcli, rehpii
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English (26)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I don't have anything particularity negative to say about this book. However, I found it a bit hard to get through. I didn't really care for the characters and there's not much of a plot. There are some interesting thoughts on the Jewish experience which I enjoyed pondering and it's about writers which is always interesting to me. ( )
  ZephyrusW | Jun 18, 2019 |
Concept was great. Writing was great. Ending? Not so much. (Apologies for not having read it sooner! Came out in 1979.) ( )
  DonnaMarieMerritt | Sep 9, 2018 |
Excerpts from my original GR review (Dec 10 '09):
-In this peculiar little novel from 1979, Roth introduces Nathan Zuckerman, here a 23 year old budding short story writer. The four chapters present essentially four distinct narratives, though the central story is Nathan's pilgrimage-like visit to his literary hero, E.I. Lonoff, at his rural New England home.
-Nathan is intimidated..,though his "maestro" is a bit self-effacing... They talk literature, mull over jewishness, and touch on Lonoff's path from Russia to New York to now. Nathan discovers a young woman (Amy Bellette) living with the married Lonoff's, and he's doubly intrigued - with her looks, and with what her true role is in being here...
-Too excited to sleep in his guest room, he ruminates on the current impasse he's entered with his family, .. over a story Nathan is soon to have published. The story could bolster negative jewish stereotypes, they contend, and this "subplot" is laid out in chapter 2.
-Returning to the present, Nathan drifts to sleep, and dreamily creates a bio of Amy Bellette, a kind of revised history involving a young girl and her diary (hint-hint). This is an exceptionally detailed imagining..
-The final scene, the next morning, is a jumbled melodrama, with a lone Nathan standing slack-jawed (along with this reader) at the Lonoff's front door. A pointless ending? Yes. But this may be one of those novels in which the parts work better than the whole.. ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Oct 3, 2017 |
Loved meeting Zuckerman. Wonder how much a trip to Connecticut to meet Philip Roth would feel like a visit to E.I. Lonoff. Pet theory: this book is an extended rewrite of Bob Dylan's great "Went to See The Gypsy." Thoughts? ( )
  benjaminsiegel | Jul 30, 2016 |
Eh! ( )
  brone | Apr 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Roth, Philipprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bofill, MireiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, Georgesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoog, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was the last daylight hour of a December afternoon more than twenty years ago - I was twenty-three, writing and publishing my first short stories, and like many a Bildungsroman hero before me, already contemplating my own massive Bildungsroman - when I arrived at his hideaway to meet the great man.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679748989, Paperback)

A middle-aged writer recalls his younger self. At 23, Nathan Zuckerman has had four stories published and a small, flattering Saturday Review up-and-coming-author profile (complete with a photo of him playing with his ex-girlfriend's cat), which he purports to scorn. As genuine and polite as he seems, Zuckerman has already hurt his family with his autobiographical art and ruined his relationship with adultery and honesty. Visiting his reclusive idol (famed for his "blend of sympathy and pitilessness") in the Berkshires, the writer watches himself watching himself and attempts to confront his work and life. Instead he finds himself turning reality into metafiction. A quote he happens upon from Henry James only complicates matters further: "We work in the dark--we do what we can--we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art." Events, however, have their revenge, weaving more out of control than even he can anticipate or ask for. Philip Roth is the master of the uncomfortable, and his alter ego a connoisseur of self-involvement, self-loathing, and self-examination. ("Virtuous reader, if you think that after intercourse all animals are sad, try masturbating on the daybed in E. I. Lonoff's study and see how you feel when it's over.")

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:16 -0400)

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An aspiring young writer visits the peaceful country home of his literary idol and discovers a hotbed of suppressed emotions and disappointments and discovers love with the legendary Anne Frank, or so he thinks.

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