Nothing much happens in this book about a communist radio actor caught in the grip of McCarthyism. At his best Roth imparts narrative drive and suspe..Show More »nse to works that are primarily analytical and linguistic as opposed to being plot driven. In his less successful works this can come across as page after page of "blah, blah, blah". I think the American Trilogy is great. But this book is the weakest of the three. I read where it was Roth's personal favorite. Hmmmmm. To be sure there are very strong sections but all in all I was underwhelmed. Although the great George Guidall remains my favorite narrator of all things Roth, Ron Silver is nearly as good. If you love Roth's writing, as I do, you will undoubtedly get around to reading/listening to IMAC. It's just not the place I would want to start.
Reading Roth is almost a spooky, sexual experience. I say that knowing this will sound absurd, trite and probably hyperbolic. But with Roth, his words..Show More » are imbued with an almost carnal power, a spectral courage, energy and life. IT is like watching an absurdly talented musician do things with an instrument/with sound that bends the edge of possible.
Reading Roth, I can understand how the audience in Paganini 's time wanted to burn the man for witchcraft, feared the man for his deal with the Devil. I'm not sure who Roth sold his soul to, but Roth's run of novels: Operation Shylock (1993) Sabbath's Theater (1995) >> American Pastoral (1997) >> I Married a Communist (1998) >> The Human Stain (2000) can only be thought of as the greatest series of novels produced by ANY writer at anytime. Maybe Shakespeare had a better run. Maybe Proust. Maybe. For me, these five novels, ending with 'The Human Stain' are the apex of 20th Century writing. Spooky.