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Exit Ghost Hardcover – October 1, 2007
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Walking the streets like a revenant, he quickly makes three connections that explode his carefully protected solitude. One is with a young couple with whom, in a rash moment, he offers to swap homes. They will flee post-9/11 Manhattan for his country refuge, and he will return to city life. But from the time he meets them, Zuckerman also wants to swap his solitude for the erotic challenge of the young woman, Jamie, whose allure draws him back to all that he thought he had left behind: intimacy, the vibrant play of heart and body.
The second connection is with a figure from Zuckerman's youth, Amy Bellette, companion and muse to Zuckerman's first literary hero, E. I. Lonoff. The once irresistible Amy is now an old woman depleted by illness, guarding the memory of that grandly austere American writer who showed Nathan the solitary path to a writing vocation.
The third connection is with Lonoff's would-be biographer, a young literary hound who will do and say nearly anything to get to Lonoff's "great secret." Suddenly involved, as he never wanted or intended to be involved again, with love, mourning, desire, and animosity, Zuckerman plays out an interior drama of vivid and poignant possibilities.
Haunted by Roth's earlier work The Ghost Writer, Exit Ghost is an amazing leap into yet another phase in this great writer's insatiable commitment to fiction.
Exit Zuckerman: Talking with Philip Roth
When we talked with Philip Roth for the Amazon Wire podcast, we asked him about his long relationship with his fictional surrogate, Nathan Zuckerman, his decision to bring Zuckerman back (and say goodbye to him) in Exit Ghost, and the difficulties of aging for novelists, and we managed to touch on George Plimpton, Annie Dillard, Grace Paley, and The Tempest, along with nearly all of the nine Zuckerman books. You can listen to interview in the podcast above, or read the full transcript.
Zuckerman Returns to Manhattan: Philip Roth Reads from Exit Ghost
When Nathan Zuckerman returns to Manhattan from his self-imposed rural retreat for the first time in 11 years in Exit Ghost, what does he find? Along with his surprising and unsettling encounters with an aged and ill woman who had once been a young mystery to him, an aggressive biographer who won't take no for an answer, and an alluring young writer who tempts him back into the adventure of seduction, he is confronted with a city whose streets are filled with people behaving quite differently than a decade before. "For one who frequently went without talking to anyone for days at a time," he thinks. "I had to wonder what that had previously held them up had collapsed in people to make incessant talking into a telephone preferable to walking about under no one's surveillance, momentarily solitary, assimilating the street through one's animal senses and thinking the myriad thoughts that the activities of a city inspire." Listen to Philip Roth read an excerpt from Exit Ghost.
Looking Back on Zuckerman
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
At the same time, Roth indicates his feeling that we have reached the "End of the age of literature." During his stay in New York City to undergo his procedure, he becomes involved with a reporter who is planning to write a biography about a great, but all but forgotten master American short story author. It seems that the author may or may not have had a deep dark secret that he wanted buried forever. The biographer finds out what he believes is that secret, and plans to reveal it to the world.
Through the book, Roth becomes involved in great sexual fantasy with a beautiful lady half his age. Since he is unable to actually act on those thoughts, due to his physical malady, he fantasizes and creates imaginary dialogue around that particular lady and the wonders of her sensuality and sexuality.
Once again, Roth writes a wondrously autobiographical book which the reader can virtually insert himself, and feel as though he has become Roth in the text. This ability is Roth's special gift. He is able to capture his experiences and feelings and then turn them into words in a manner that is virtually universal. This ability has always characterized his writing throughout his entire career. This book is recommended for all readers, especially those over the age of 50.
Nathan Zuckerman, in this book, has decided to take a chance on a surgical procedure the will cure or at least improve his embarrassing urinary incontinence, one of the many reasons he has moved from New York City to a rural New England hideaway to write in solitude. But upon arrival in New York he meets a beautiful couple (Jamie and Billy), both writers, who are suffering from the after-effects of 911 and upon encountering their literary hero Zuckerman, coerce him into trading houses: Zuckerman will remain in their New York space and the couple will escape to his New England sanctuary. But other factors arise: Zuckerman meets his old friend Amy Bellette, once the lover of Zuckerman's hero writer E.I.Read more ›
way. And another thing: at first, I condemned Miller for his cowardice. I was very angry that a literary idol of mine had fallen of his pedestal. And then - I realized that the finger of judgment was actually pointing right back to myself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a sequel to Roth's Ghost Writer. Roth's alter-ego Zuckerman returns to NYC for a medical procedure. Read morePublished 8 months ago by FantasyCreature
what can you say about Philip Roth that already hasn't been said numerous times.Great read.Published 9 months ago by Irving Gellman
Roth is always a good read. This was no exception. The book arrived quickly in good condition. Carried it on work commute. Let fiends borrow it, too.Published 16 months ago by GingerH
As others have noted (surprisingly few I must say) this book is absolutely nothing compared to almost any of Philip Roth's past output. Read morePublished 18 months ago by T. A. Smith
Haven't read a bad book by Roth, but this one seems to be more for his fans. Very well written and definitely has many great moments. Read morePublished on April 13, 2014 by Wenn Schon
Roth's special gift in capturing a moment in reference to our time. His story telling technique is outstanding. His only sin is his overstating some of his positions. Read morePublished on March 2, 2014 by Renate Halliday
Of the ten or so Roth novels I've read, this one ranks in the lower half. I'd only read it if you're a Roth fan or want to complete the Zuckerman series. Read morePublished on August 26, 2013 by Dodd V. Attisani