Exit Ghost, By Philip Roth

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

The sequel to The Ghost Writer turns out to be Philip Roth's final farewell to his most celebrated character and literary alter ego, Nathan Zuckerman. Headed back to a post-9/11 New York to see a surgeon who holds out some hope of finding a cure for his incontinence, Zuckerman finds himself unexpectedly drawn to his home town. Inspired by two chance encounters, first with the mistress of his long dead literary hero, EI Lonoff, who is eating by herself in a neighbourhood restaurant, then with a languid lovely in a "little lingerie top", he decides to arrange an impromptu house swap. It is a novel that almost rises to the occasion – after all, this is Nathan Zuckerman's last outing – but one that offers only half-baked consolations for both the reader and for Nathan, an old man who is "dying to be whole again."

Comments