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Nemesis (Vintage International)
Nemesis - Vintage International
Author: Philip Roth
In the "stifling heat of equatorial Newark," a terrifying epidemic is raging, threatening the children of the New Jersey city with maiming, paralysis, lifelong disability, and even death. This is the startling theme of Philip Roth?s wrenching new book: a wartime polio epidemic in the summer of 1944 and the effect it has on a closely knit, family...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780307475008
ISBN-10: 030747500X
Publication Date: 10/4/2011
Pages: 304
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 5 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
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It is 1944 in Newark. Draft-aged boys are fighting on two fronts. The youths are battling a polio epidemic that appears to be at its peak in the Jewish quarter. The story (told by one of the victims of the virus) centers on a post-adolescent gym teacher/camp counselor who faces several dilemmas. How can he keep the youths in his charge free from the epidemic, how can he satisfy his girlfriend, and why has God called down this plague on these children? There is a striking absence of sex in this bookunusual for Roth. The one scene is left almost wholly to the reader. Non of his usual innuendo towards acts that even in states that condone gay marriage the consummating act may be still illegal. Nonetheless, for those of us who remember the polio era, all of the frustration, uncertainty, fear, and panic are here. Definitely a book that should be required reading as it is easily transposed to more current medical crises.


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