Friday, August 18, 2017
Friday's Forgotten Books, August 18, 2017
(Something of a spoiler alert)
Nemesis by Philip Roth.
Nemesis is the story of a polio epidemic in Newark in 1944 and especially about its impact on a Mr. Canter, who runs a playground program and is about to become engaged.
Roth does an excellent job of showing the effects of polio on this small neighborhood, in relaying the horrible progression of the epidemic, which cruelly was most often contracted by kids.
But at Nemesis' end and despite my interest in this polio epidemic plot, I realized it wasn't really about polio. What it was about was the way in which individuals deal with the onslaught of horror in their lives. How some people can go on fairly effectively, not let things like disease or war or economic disasters corrupt their lives. But others cannot get past their terrible luck, and the idea that this turn of events was unjust. The idea that they didn't deserve it completely derails them. The bitterness poisons everything.
I have read perhaps half a dozen books by Roth but apparently his last four books have dealt with this theme and I am most interested in seeing how his other characters deal with the fall of the sword.
When I wrote this little did I know
how the sword would fall on so many of us in the next few years.
Sergio Angelini, NINE AND TEN MAKES DEATH, Carter Dickson
Yvette Banek, DESTINATION UNKNOWN, Agatha Christie
Les Blatt, CONTINENTAL CRIMES, ed. Martin Edwards
Brian Busby, CAUGHT IN THE SNARE, Mary Agnes Fleming
Bill Crider, TURN ON THE HEAT, Erle Stanley Gardner
Scott Cupp, THE VINYL DETECTIVE: THE RUN-OUT GROOVE, Andrew Cartmel
Curt Evans, TRIO FOR BLUNT INSTRUMENTS, Rex Stout
Richard Horton, RECALLED TO LIFE, Robert Silverberg
Jerry House, THE BARON IN FRANCE, John Creasey
Nick Jones, "Science Fiction from the Lewes Book Fair"
George Kelley, A CENTURY OF GREAT SUSPENSE, ed. Jeffrey Deaver
Margot Kinberg, THE CEMETERY OF SWALLOWS, Jean-Denis Bruet Ferreols
Rob Kitchin, THE DUST OF DEATH, Paul Charles
B.V. Lawson, NAKED VILLAINY, Sara Woods
Evan Lewis, THE GUNSLINGER, Stephen King
Steve Lewis, THE PUNCH AND JUDY MURDERS, Carter Dickson
Todd Mason, NEW FANTASY SHORT FICTION, 1976
J.F. Norris, MURDER CANCELS ALL DEBTS. M,V. Heberdon
Scott D. Parker KILLER'S DOOM: A Walt Slade Western by Bradford Scott.
Matt Paust, THE THANATOS SYNDROME, Walker Percy
James Reasoner, SENORITA DEATH, Phil Richards
Gerard Saylor, EIGHTH CIRCLE, Sarah Cain
TomCat, THE MANSFIELD MYSTERY, J.C. Lenehan
TracyK, DEAD SKIP, Joe Gores