• Philip Roth
  • Genre: Fiction Thriller
  • Rating: 8/10
  • Review Type: Book Review
From the cover: It is 1998, the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town an ageing classics professor, Coleman Silk, is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist. The charge is a lie, but the real truth about Silk would astonish even his most virulent accuser.
Coleman Silk has a secret, one which has been kept for fifty years from his wife, his four children, his colleagues, and his friends, including the writer Nathan Zuckerman. It is Zuckerman who stumbles upon Silk's secret and sets out to reconstruct the unknown biography of his eminent, upricht man, esteemed as an educator for nearly all his life, and to understand how this ingeniously contrived life came unravelled. And to understand also how Silk's astonishing private history is, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, 'magnificently' interwoven with 'the larger public history of modern America'.

Review: This is the second book by Philip Roth I have read and the second book in a row about the life of a struggling academic. The Human Stain is considered part of triptych of novels that all deal with the Big American Social Issues. The Big Issue in this book being racial segregation. What I liked about this book is the fact that Roth doesn't shy away from writing something complicated. His writing style is quite dense, a tad confusing at times, but in this case the writing style supports the theme and story. Roth manages to keep Coleman Silk hidden in the shadows and even though he is the focal point of the entire novel, at the end of the book we still cannot really pinpoint his character. Over all, this book is a good read and it definitely deserves its place on my bookshelves.

#2 03-12-2013
Ok, you have talked me into it, I will read this in December Big Grin

#3 03-12-2013
Me too, I've already purchased the kindle version for my e-reader and will be reading it as soon as my winter vacation starts. I can honestly say that I'm looking forward to it, and I don't usually say that about contemporary literature.


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