BOOK REVIEW: Indignation by Philip Roth

Indignation by Philip RothIndignation
By Philip Roth
Completed June 29, 2011

Indignation is Philip Roth’s 25th novel. Sit back and think about that for a moment. What an amazing writing career.

I like Philip Roth because he always sweeps me into his story, and that’s certainly the case in Indignation. In this short novel, we meet Markus – a straight-A Jewish kid from Newark who transfers to a small, conservative college in Ohio to escape his father’s neurotic fears. Markus’ dad worries that he will fall into harm’s way – that one little misstep will result in great harm. While, as a reader, you shake your head at Dad’s irrational thoughts, it provides an interesting foreshadowing of things to come.

While at Winesburg College, Markus is knee-deep in classic American ideals ala 1950’s America. Big cars, panty raids and required chapel attendance all mark Markus’ college experience. Markus has a hard time adjusting to Winesburg life. He’s successful at academics but entanglements with his roommates and a fling with a troubled girl all leave Markus reeling from the real-life aspects of being far from  home.

With subtle social and political undertones, Indignation is a fast read that is a feast to your mind’s eye. This may not be Roth’s best work, but it’s a good story. (  )

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Wendy
    Jun 30, 2011 @ 08:41:34

    Can you believe I have not yet read a Roth novel??! I really need to remedy that one of these days. I actually think I have 3 or 4 of his novels in my TBR stacks. *sighs* Too many books, definitely not enough time.

    Reply

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