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The Ghost Writer Audible – Unabridged

4.1 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Audible, Unabridged, October 24, 2008
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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 4 hours and 45 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • Audible.com Release Date: October 24, 2008
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001JDPXXQ

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on August 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
Philip Roth, in this first of the Nathan Zuckerman novels, published in 1979, introduces Nathan as a twenty-three-year-old graduate of the University of Chicago who has had four short stories published and is looking for a mentor. Having contacted famed writer E. I. Lonoff, a writer living in rural New England with his wife of 35 years, he has accepted Lonoff's invitation to visit, but a snowstorm arises and Zuckerman finds himself spending the night with Lonoff and his wife. His observations about the life of Lonoff leads him to imagine many stories--about Lonoff's past, his possible relationship with a young former student, and about his life in the countryside. In addition, Zuckerman also reminisces about his own past, his relationships with his family, his feelings toward his own writing, his possible obligations to Jewish history, and the imagined past of Amy, Lonoff's former student, who resembles Anne Frank.

Though Zuckerman is full of hopes for a broader relationship with Lonoff, he soon discovers that his idol is a petulant and insecure man who has used and, in some cases, emotionally abused, those around him, all in the name of "art." Spending a sleepless winter night on the couch in Lonoff's den, Zuckerman investigates Lonoff's library, especially Lonoff's collection of the writings of Henry James, whom Lonoff admires so much, tries to write a letter to his estranged father (who is appalled by one of Nathan's recent short stories, which, he feels, feeds anti-Semitic prejudice), and ponders the relationship between genuine creativity, editing and revision, and the possible responsibilities of a writer beyond his own creative impulse.
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Format: Paperback
I recently read "Exit Ghost," the last book in the Zuckerman series, and vowed I would read the first book in the series, "Ghost Writer," because I wanted to uncover whatever parallels I might find that would further my enjoyment and understanding. Let me say from the beginning that I thoroughly enjoyed both books. There is hardly a page of Roth's writing that doesn't amuse, fascinate, enthrall, or generally cause my brain to flare up with pure intellectual delight. Roth is surely a national literary treasure.

"Ghost Writer" is a novella about authors, the process of creative writing, and the nature, meaning, and techniques of fiction itself.

The overall plot of "Ghost Writer" is simple, but it masks layers of thematic complexity. The story concerns accomplished, successful 43-year-old author Nathan Zuckerman, reminiscing about his first meeting as a 23-year-old aspiring author with his idol, the famous, but reclusive writer E. I. (Manny) Lonoff. Zuckerman manages to get an invitation to the author's home in the Berkshire countryside. There he meets Lonoff, his wife, Hope, and Lonoff's beautiful young assistant, Amy Bellette. It is obvious from the conversations he hears directly, as well as those he overhears in private, that bald, hefty 60-plus-year-old Lonoff appears to be having some type of strange love affair with his beautiful college-age assistant, and that his wife is well aware of this fact. Zuckerman is strongly attracted to Amy and has wild fantasies about her past as a Jewish war orphan, as well as about her current relationship with Lonoff. During his visit, a winter storm arrives making travel difficult.
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By A Customer on November 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
In "The Ghost Writer", Philip Roth explores the tension between literature and life through the eyes of Nathan Zuckerman, who looks back to his younger days when as a budding writer, he meets for the first time his literary idol, E.I.Lonoff, his wife Hope and a young girl (Amy Bellette) who appears to be Lonoff's house guest. With great skill and imagination, Roth draws us into the intriguing debate on the responsibility of an artist towards society. Is Nathan morally on safe grounds to publish a novel about the life of his family when he knows that the dirty linen he exposes will cause offence to his relatives and his community ? Is Lonoff (a literary giant though he is) deserving of Nathan's worship when he is willing to spend his entire life "writing and rearranging sentences" but shamelessly neglects his long suffering wife and children ? Are the artist's rights in the name of truth and art ultimately a selfish privilege which asks that we blind ourselves to the larger costs, whatever they are ? These are difficult issues concerning the "madness of art" which Roth handles subtly and without seeming pedentic or preachy. The last section of the novel is an absolute gem. It develops unexpectedly into a teaser which sets up a head-on collision between art and life and leaves the reader wondering about the true identity of Amy. Roth has written a highly intelligent novel that will surely stand the test of time. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
A work of art. I devoured this little book that speaks straight to the matter of what it means to be a writer, a person with the creative spark. All the characters are interesting and also mysterious. You only touch at their souls.

I was indescribably moved by the Anne Frank section, which is imaginative and sad because she is a figure that speaks to the Jewish people but also to the part in each of us that can feel anger and compassion. Nathan's act of reimagining the Amy character IS bizarre but. . .brilliant.

This is only my second Roth book and I have so many questions. Very inspiring and lovely writing.
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