My Review | Everyman

EverymanEveryman by Philip Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I’m a sucker for old guys who have been through it all, making mistakes, trying to make amends, but not being that great at it; the passage of time, regret, reminiscing, fathers, etc. The main character has all kinds of medical and relationship problems and you already know he dies, because the book begins at his funeral. The hero is a father and a philanderer, married three times. He was a successful ad man, who becomes an art teacher, following his passion through painting, but ultimately that is unfulfilling. A 71-year-old who has had all kinds of medical issues, but still thinks he has game with the ladies. He is still looking down the road, making plans. I could relate to Everyman. His experience of physical deterioration felt real to me. Very personal moments. “Aimless days and uncertain nights.” He was self-centered and now alone. Old colleagues are dying. My dad was the last to survive of his siblings and friends, and outlived his wife, two sons and a daughter. There are a lot of shitty things that happen if you’re lucky to live a long life. Everyman ponders his contributed to the world, if anything. He retires at the same beach where he used to play as a kid with his mom and dad and brother. The story is bleak, but thoughtful and beautifully written. The New Yorker wrote, “Our most accomplished novelist … (With Everyman) personal tenderness has reached a new intensity.”

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