Why is everyone talking about Roth’s new novel?
In the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review this week, Martin Rubin asks, Why is everyone talking about Roth’s new novel? Part of his answer:
A considerable measure of its appeal is owing to the book’s unusual transparency. In writing about events that never happened and actions by real people that they never undertook — all of it done with an admirable sense of plausibility that somehow trumps the reader’s knowledge that none of this actually happened — Roth has connected with profound feelings that are, apparently, widespread. It seems ineluctably significant that this work was undertaken in the immediate aftermath of the most contentious and ill-resolved election in our history and that its enormous and coruscating success has much to do with its appearance in our midst as we went to the polls again, as fractious and polarized this time as last.
He goes on to discuss the distorted, candy-coated version of President Roosevelt that Roth portrays in the novel, while noting parallels between GWB and both Roosevelt and Lindbergh.