Invincible. Philip Roth’s new novel, Nemesis, displays that fine writer’s skill in packing so much into a short work. Set in Newark in summer of 1944, protagonist Bucky Cantor is changed forever by events and decisions that unfold with quick dispatch. Bucky’s eyesight made him unfit to join his pals in fighting in the war, but his life seems charmed as he becomes engaged to be married, and is a hero to the children he supervises at a playground due to his athleticism and skilled javelin throwing. A polio epidemic breaks out in the city, and Bucky’s choices about his job, his fiancée and his life become the core of the novel. It takes until close to the end for readers to learn who the narrator is, and by then we understand Bucky’s character and are left to think about the consequences of guilt, evil and the reality that no one is invincible.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
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