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The Ghost Writer - Philip Roth

A number of years ago I began reading a Philip Roth book called ‘American Pastoral’ and gave up on it. I felt I was missing something in the narrative. The reason for this I subsequently found out (and not through any helpful guidance on the back cover of the paperback) was because the book was the sixth of the ‘Zuckerman Novels’ by Philip Roth. The Ghost Writer is the first Nathan Zuckerman book. NZ’s early life is based heavily on Roth’s own experience of growing up as a Jew in New Jersey during WW2.

Nathan is in his formative years as a budding young writer in the late-1950’s and has an invite to stay with one of his favourite writers E.I. Lonoff at his home for the weekend. In under two hundred pages Roth takes us through the weekend spent with Lonoff, his wife, and another house guest the mysterious Amy Bellette. This book is as fulfilling as it is concise. Family, writing, the holocaust, and youthful hope are all covered in this brilliant short novel. I enjoyed Roth’s ‘The Human Stain’ and ‘The Plot Against America’ and will certainly be reading more of the Zuckerman Novels that chart Nathan’s life as he grows older.

Less than £4 for Kindle edition.
Sir Bulldog Craggwood

Finally finished the Plot Against America - proper writer

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