Operation Shylock: A Confession

Odyssey Editions
10
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What if a lookalike stranger stole your name, usurped your biography and went around the world pretending to be you? In this tour de force of fact and fiction, Philip Roth meets a man who may or may not be Philip Roth. Because someone with that name has been touring the State of Israel, promoting a bizarre exodus in reverse of the Jews. Roth decides to stop him—even if that means impersonating his impersonator. Suspenseful, hilarious, hugely impassioned, pulsing with intelligence and narrative energy, Operation Shylock is at once a spy story, a political thriller, a meditation on identity, and a confession.

Like Pushkin and Dostoevsky before him, Philip Roth takes on the subject of the writer’s double, which for Roth is inevitably bound up in Jewishness and identity. This is a bold, inventive and energetic departure from his past novels, a meta-novel, and, like all of his writing, full of ideas, wit, humor and startling observation.

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4.4
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Additional Information

Publisher
Odyssey Editions
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Published on
Dec 26, 2012
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781623730055
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Philip Roth
The Counterlife is a novel unlike any that Philip Roth has written before, a book of astonishing 180-degree turns, a book of conflicting perspectives and points of view, and, by far, Roth's most radical work of fiction.

The Counterlife is about people enacting their dreams of renewal and escape, some of them going so far as to risk their lives to alter seemingly irreversible destinies. Every major character (and most of the minor ones) is investigating, debating, and arguing the possibility of remaking the future.
Illuminating these lives in transition and guiding us through all the landscapes, familiar and foreign, where these people are seeking self-transformation, is the mind of the novelist Nathan Zuckerman. His is the skeptical, enveloping intelligence that calculates the price that's paid in the struggle to change personal fortune and to reshape history.

Yet his is hardly the only voice. This is a novel in which speaking out with force and lucidity appears to be the imperative of every life. There is Henry, the forty-year-old New Jersey dentist, who risks a quintuple bypass operation in order to escape the coronary medication that renders him sexually impotent. There is Maria, the wellborn young Englishwoman, who invites the disdain of her family by marrying the American she knows will be lease acceptable in Gloucestershire. There is Lippmann, the Israeli settlement leader, who contends that "everything is possible for the Jew if only he does not give ground."

The action in The Counterlife ranges from a dentist's office in quiet suburban New Jersey to a genteel dining table in a tradition-bound English village, from a Christmas carol service in London's West End to a Sabbath evening celebration in a tiny desert settlement in Israel's occupied West Bank. Wherever they may find themselves, the characters of The Counterlife are tempted unceasingly by the prospect of an alternative existence that can reverse their fate.

The Counterlife was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.

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