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Exit Ghost

by

Exit Ghost Cover

ISBN13: 9780618915477
ISBN10: 0618915478
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Staff Pick

Exit Ghost continues the story of Roth's alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman, now back in New York and struggling with issues of old age, love, and illness. Roth once again gives us a character rendering that is tender, tough, and ultimately gratifying.
Recommended by Danielle, Powells.com

Exit Ghost continues the story of Roth's alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman, now back in New York and struggling with issues of old age, love, and illness. Roth once again gives us a character rendering that is tender, tough, and ultimately gratifying.
Recommended by Danielle, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"As with Exit Ghost's immediate predecessor, Everyman, one gets an ever-stronger impression that Roth has degraded the Eros-Thanatos dialectic of some of his earlier work and is now using his fiction, first to kill off certain characters and to shoot the wounded, and second to give himself something to masturbate about....Exit Ghost is billed as the last of the Zuckerman adventures, but it's as if Roth stops writing the book rather than finishes it." Christopher Hitchens, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Like Rip Van Winkle returning to his hometown to find that all has changed, Nathan Zuckerman comes back to New York, the city he left eleven years before. Alone on his New England mountain, Zuckerman has been nothing but a writer: no voices, no media, no terrorist threats, no women, no news, no tasks other than his work and the enduring of old age.

Walking the streets like a revenant, he quickly makes three connections that explode his carefully protected solitude. One is with a young couple with whom, in a rash moment, he offers to swap homes. They will flee post-9/11 Manhattan for his country refuge, and he will return to city life. But from the time he meets them, Zuckerman also wants to swap his solitude for the erotic challenge of the young woman, Jamie, whose allure draws him back to all that he thought he had left behind: intimacy, the vibrant play of heart and body.

The second connection is with a figure from Zuckerman's youth, Amy Bellette, companion and muse to Zuckerman's first literary hero, E. I. Lonoff. The once irresistible Amy is now an old woman depleted by illness, guarding the memory of that grandly austere American writer who showed Nathan the solitary path to a writing vocation.

The third connection is with Lonoff's would-be biographer, a young literary hound who will do and say nearly anything to get to Lonoff's "great secret." Suddenly involved, as he never wanted or intended to be involved again, with love, mourning, desire, and animosity, Zuckerman plays out an interior drama of vivid and poignant possibilities.

Haunted by Roth's earlier work The Ghost Writer, Exit Ghost is an amazing leap into yet another phase in this great writer's insatiable commitment to fiction.

Review:

"Philip Roth's 28th book is, it seems, the final novel in the Zuckerman series, which began in 1979 with The Ghostwriter. A 71-year-old Nathan Zuckerman returns to New York after more than a decade in rural New England, ostensibly to see a doctor about a prostate condition that has left him incontinent and probably impotent. But Zuckerman being Zuckerman and Roth being Roth, the plot is much more complicated than it at first appears. Within a few days of arriving in New York, Zuckerman accidentally encounters Amy Bellette, the woman who was once the muse/wife of his beloved idol, writer S.I. Lonoff; he also meets a young novelist and promptly begins fantasizing about the writer's young and beautiful wife. There's also a subplot about a would-be Lonoff biographer, who enrages Zuckerman with his brashness and ambition, two qualities a faithful Roth reader can't help ascribing to the young, sycophantic Zuckerman himself. As usual, Roth's voice is wise and full of rueful wit, but the plot is contrived (the accidental meeting with Amy, for example, is particularly unbelievable) and the tone hovers dangerously close to pathetic. In the Rothian pantheon, this one lives closer to The Dying Animal than Everyman. Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The prose is as assured and inviting as ever, but Philip Roth's latest — and perhaps last — novel about his alter ego, the writer Nathan Zuckerman, is in many ways a magnificent shambles, like old age itself. 'Exit Ghost' mixes reflections on physical decline, illness and the persistence of desire with an angry sadness over the 2004 presidential election, bitter opinions about biography, and praise... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[A]gonizingly real yet gorgeously rendered....This novel of renewal inevitably becomes a tale of acceptance of one's irreversible descent to oblivion." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"While not one of Roth's strongest works, this novel has all the elements: unreliable narrators, authorial games, meditations on the use and abuse of literature, and a firm grounding in the reality of post-9/11 New York. Recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Exit Ghost is among other things a poison pen letter to New York City, to the editors, journalists and commentators who make it hum....I do not know where I would be without Zuckerman. I often disagree with him. I ache for his failings, but in the end I love him, even if he does not love me." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"As the umpteenth recycling of Roth's obsessions, Exit Ghost will doubtless draw Roth admirers to explore and celebrate it....Less enamored readers may conclude that to the extent Roth possesses an imagination, it's an insufferable one." Philadelphia Inquirer

Synopsis:

Nathan Zuckerman, the indomitable literary adventurer of Roth's nine Zuckerman books, finds himself involved — as he never wanted or intended to be — with love, mourning, desire, and animosity.

About the Author

In 1997 Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House, and in 2002 received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction, previously awarded to John Dos Passos, William Faulkner, and Saul Bellow, among others. He has twice won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Roth's recent work includes The Human Stain (2000) and The Dying Animal (2001). In 2005 The Plot Against America won the Society of American Historians' award for "the outstanding historical novel on an American theme in 2003–2004." Also in 2005, Philip Roth became the third living American writer to have his work published in a comprehensive, definitive edition by the Library of America. The last of the eight volumes is scheduled for publication in 2013.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Bookwomyn, January 31, 2008 (view all comments by Bookwomyn)
I love Mr. Zuckerman ...and certainly hope there are many more volumes in his and my future. I wish I knew someone like him who was so tender and vulnerable ... with an intellect and soul. He's a mighty fine fellow and I love peeking into his life at regular intervals to see how he's doing. As a women it's also interesting to get a glimpse of a man's take on such things as declining health, incontinence and impotence. I'm familar with women's issues and men are not often as willing as Zuckerman to share the insults that illness and age carry with them. I trust Mr. Zuckerman to speak for those men who are silent on such matters and thank him for the insights. The book is a wonderful character study and highly readable.
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(10 of 15 readers found this comment helpful)
Grady Harp, November 14, 2007 (view all comments by Grady Harp)
Exit Ghost: Perhaps the Passing of Nathan Zuckerman/Philip Roth

One can only hope that EXIT GHOST is not the final page in the multiple books on the life of Nathan Zuckerman (the thinly disguised author Philip Roth). Though the principal character of nine books since 1979 is now aged 71, leading a reclusive life after the ravages of prostatic carcinoma treatments have left him incontinent and impotent, there is more than a little life in the master storyteller. Philip Roth continues his eloquent writing style in this latest book and still struggles with the enigmas of sexual obsession, distaste for current politics in this country, and the Don Quixote stance against aging and dying. And in doing so he has created a novel with fascinating characters, satisfying plot, propulsive reading style, and much food for thought!

Nathan Zuckerman, in this book, has decided to take a chance on a surgical procedure the will cure or at least improve his embarrassing urinary incontinence, one of the many reasons he has moved from New York City to a rural New England hideaway to write in solitude. But upon arrival in New York he meets a beautiful couple (Jamie and Billy), both writers, who are suffering from the after-effects of 911 and upon encountering their literary hero Zuckerman, coerce him into trading houses: Zuckerman will remain in their New York space and the couple will escape to his New England sanctuary. But other factors arise: Zuckerman meets his old friend Amy Bellette, once the lover of Zuckerman's hero writer E.I. Lenoff, and discovers Amy's resistance to allowing a young writer Richard Kliman to finish and publish a manuscript containing a dark secret of Lenoff, a manuscript he never wanted published; Zuckerman has limited success in his first incontinence surgery; Zuckerman's self imposed sexual exile is awakened in fantasies about the married Jamie, a wondrously written series of imaginary dialogs between the two. All of these complex components are succinctly woven into this 300-page book that doesn't really end, but instead tapers off into an elegy about aging.

The story is great reading: the style is pure Roth. 'The end is so immense, it is its own poetry. It requires little rhetoric. Just state it plainly'. 'Reading/writing people, we are finished, we are ghosts witnessing the end of the literary era - take this down'. Reading Roth is an enriching pastime, one to savor and relish. This is not a book to rush - this is a book to treasure, and once read, to reflect...Grady Harp
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(24 of 34 readers found this comment helpful)
Patrick Day, September 19, 2007 (view all comments by Patrick Day)
Sure, the chance encounters of Nathan Zuckerman, returned to NYC after a decade of reclusion in the Berkshires, would seem contrived, but these are the kinds of things that happen all too often in spite of their improbability. Roth has his erstwhile narrator and his other characters muse on a variety of subjects--the ubiquity of cellphones, the debacle of George W. Bush, the literary canon, our prurient interest in public figures, physical and mental decline, and ultimately, death. Fearless, hilarious, and sad--vintage Roth.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780618915477
Author:
Roth, Philip
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Location:
Boston
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Self-actualization (psychology)
Subject:
Novelists
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
October 1, 2007
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.20x5.82x.94 in. .89 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Exit Ghost Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Houghton Mifflin Company - English 9780618915477 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Exit Ghost continues the story of Roth's alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman, now back in New York and struggling with issues of old age, love, and illness. Roth once again gives us a character rendering that is tender, tough, and ultimately gratifying.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Exit Ghost continues the story of Roth's alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman, now back in New York and struggling with issues of old age, love, and illness. Roth once again gives us a character rendering that is tender, tough, and ultimately gratifying.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Philip Roth's 28th book is, it seems, the final novel in the Zuckerman series, which began in 1979 with The Ghostwriter. A 71-year-old Nathan Zuckerman returns to New York after more than a decade in rural New England, ostensibly to see a doctor about a prostate condition that has left him incontinent and probably impotent. But Zuckerman being Zuckerman and Roth being Roth, the plot is much more complicated than it at first appears. Within a few days of arriving in New York, Zuckerman accidentally encounters Amy Bellette, the woman who was once the muse/wife of his beloved idol, writer S.I. Lonoff; he also meets a young novelist and promptly begins fantasizing about the writer's young and beautiful wife. There's also a subplot about a would-be Lonoff biographer, who enrages Zuckerman with his brashness and ambition, two qualities a faithful Roth reader can't help ascribing to the young, sycophantic Zuckerman himself. As usual, Roth's voice is wise and full of rueful wit, but the plot is contrived (the accidental meeting with Amy, for example, is particularly unbelievable) and the tone hovers dangerously close to pathetic. In the Rothian pantheon, this one lives closer to The Dying Animal than Everyman. Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "As with Exit Ghost's immediate predecessor, Everyman, one gets an ever-stronger impression that Roth has degraded the Eros-Thanatos dialectic of some of his earlier work and is now using his fiction, first to kill off certain characters and to shoot the wounded, and second to give himself something to masturbate about....Exit Ghost is billed as the last of the Zuckerman adventures, but it's as if Roth stops writing the book rather than finishes it." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
"Review" by , "[A]gonizingly real yet gorgeously rendered....This novel of renewal inevitably becomes a tale of acceptance of one's irreversible descent to oblivion."
"Review" by , "While not one of Roth's strongest works, this novel has all the elements: unreliable narrators, authorial games, meditations on the use and abuse of literature, and a firm grounding in the reality of post-9/11 New York. Recommended."
"Review" by , "Exit Ghost is among other things a poison pen letter to New York City, to the editors, journalists and commentators who make it hum....I do not know where I would be without Zuckerman. I often disagree with him. I ache for his failings, but in the end I love him, even if he does not love me."
"Review" by , "As the umpteenth recycling of Roth's obsessions, Exit Ghost will doubtless draw Roth admirers to explore and celebrate it....Less enamored readers may conclude that to the extent Roth possesses an imagination, it's an insufferable one."
"Synopsis" by , Nathan Zuckerman, the indomitable literary adventurer of Roth's nine Zuckerman books, finds himself involved — as he never wanted or intended to be — with love, mourning, desire, and animosity.
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