Nemesis

Nemesis

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
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A terrifying epidemic is raging, threatening the children of a New Jersey city with maiming, paralysis, even death. This is the startling theme of Nemesis , Philip Roth's wrenching new book: a wartime polio epidemic in the summer of 1944 and the effect it has on a closely knit, family-oriented community. Bucky Cantor, a vigorous, dutiful, 23-year-old playground director, javelin thrower, and weightlifter, is devoted to his charges and disappointed because his weak eyes have excluded him from serving in the war alongside his contemporaries. Focusing on Cantor's dilemmas as polio begins to ravage his playground--and on the everyday realities he faces--Roth leads us through every inch of emotion such a pestilence can breed: the fear, the panic, the anger, the bewilderment, the suffering, and the pain. And through this story runs the dark question that haunts Roth's most recent novels: what choices fatally shape a life? How powerless is each of us up against the force of circumstances?


 

Publisher: Toronto : Hamish Hamilton, c2010.
ISBN: 9780670064014
Branch Call Number: ROT
Characteristics: 280 p.

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Jane60201 Apr 11, 2014

Not Roth's best in my opinion. A fast read but not that rewarding.

r
robhoey
Jan 29, 2013

Roth is an excellent writer and this book demonstrates it clearly. Polio is the antagonist (the Nemesis) and one young man has to deal with how it is effecting his life and those around him. Unlike Portnoys Complaint, this novel has no humor whatsoever, but is what I consider a very good read.

debwalker Nov 18, 2010

The 1944 polio outbreak is the backdrop for a tragic fall.

Roth returns to Newark in this story of how a young man, rejected by the Army, copes with the 1944 polio epidemic that ravaged New Jersey during Roth’s own childhood.

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