Everyman by Philip Roth

07May07

 

http://www.amazon.com/Everyman-Philip-Roth/dp/061873516X

Philip Roth’s writings remind me of some of Ethan Canin‘s best works. Depressing and uplifting at the same time. It’s a very personal work yet eminently relateble.

The story (if you can call it that) begins at the unnamed protagonist’s (everyman if you may)  funeral and ends at his death. The book explores memories (mostly of regret) from his childhood, youth and middle age. These memories are mostly of family, friends, desires,  loves,  infidelities, career, illnesses etc…but they all touch upon the fragility of life. The protagonist looks back on most things in his life with regret and remorse. He’s been married three times but the only love that he still has to call his own is that of his daughter. He sacrifices his love for painting early in life by settling into a more secure job as an advertising executive. Retirement forces him to take up painting again but things don’t turn out all that great.

Everyman doesn’t have a plot per se but instead portrays a slice of life and goes on to dwell up on the one common experience that terrifies most people; death.

The book has already garnered a lot of praise and has won the PEN/Faulkner award this year.

9.5/10 One of the few books I managed to finish in a single sitting.

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