Friday, June 01, 2018

FRIDAY's FORGOTTEN BOOKS, June 1, 2018

(Something of a spoiler alert) (from the archives)

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. They didn't deserve it so it completely derails them. The bitterness poisons everything.

I have read many 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. Highly recommended.

Mark Baker, WATCHMAN, Robert Crais
Yvette Banek. ALIAS BASIL WILLING, Helen McCloy
Les Blatt, BATS IN THE BELFRY, E.C. R. Lorac
Brian Busby, ARCTIC RENDEVOUS, Keith Edgar
Martin Edwards, THE AFFAIR AT LITTLE WOKEHAM, Freeman Will Crofts
CrossExaminingCrime, THE STICKLEPATH STRANGLER, Michael Jecks
Curt Evans, THE CASE OF THE PLATINUM BLONDE, Christopher Bush
Richard Horton, COLD IRON, Melissa Michaels
Jerry House, THE OUTLAW OF TORN, Edgar Rice Burroughs
George Kelley, THE YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION, 4, Gardner Dozois
Rob Kitchin, NIGHT LIFE, David C. Taylor
B.V. Lawson, THE HANGING DOLL MURDER, Roger Ormerod
Evan Lewis, THE BODY LOOKS FAMILIAR, THE LATE MRS. FIVE, Richard Wormser
Steve Lewis, THE BROKEN ANGEL, Floyd Mahannah
Todd Mason, REEL TERROR, ed. Sebastian Wolfe, and Peter Haining
J.F. Norris, THE WEIRD WORLD OF WES BEATTIE, John Norman Harris
Margot Kinberg, INTO THE SHADOWS, Shirley Wells
Matt Paust, KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, David Grann
James Reasoner, PORTRAIT IN SMOKE, Bill S. Ballinger
Richard Robinson, WHAT I READ, Part 6
Gerard Saylor, SHOTGUN LOVESONGS, Nickolas Butler
Kerrie Smith, ROGUE LAWYER, John Grisham
Kevin Tipple, SHOTS FIRED, C.J.Box
TomCat, WOBBLE TO DEATH, Peter Lovesey
TracyK, A MURDER IS ANNOUNCED, Agatha Christie

4 comments:

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I agree on NEMESIS, an excellent book.

Yvette said...

Hi Patti, my post is up. Thanks again for your indulgence.

J F Norris said...

My author research and photo resizing and cropping took forever today. But my post is up. Please add me to the list of esteemed writers.

The Weird World of Wes Beattie by John Norman Harris

This is a very entertaining and fun book. Amazingly (for someone so obsessed with obscure books), it's very easy to get a copy of now since it was reprinted yet again only a few months ago. Enjoy! (and thanks Patti!)

Margot Kinberg said...

I need to read Nemesis - thanks for the reminder. And thanks for including my post :-)