Saturday, September 29, 2007

Hitchens doesn't like Philip Roth, either


Our good friend and chain-smoking grump Christopher Hitchens has a review of Philip Roth's Exit Ghost in the Atlantic, and it goes, in part, like this:

As with Exit Ghost's immediate predecessor, Everyman, one gets an ever-stronger impression that Roth has degraded the Eros-Thanatos dialectic of some of his earlier work and is now using his fiction, first to kill off certain characters and to shoot the wounded, and second to give himself something to masturbate about.

And this:

The dull reported speech with which Roth economizes (so much easier to do the background of WASP-dread secondhand, rather than evoking it directly as he used to do) is limpid and engaging when set beside the great swaths of soliloquy-as-dialogue in which the remainder of Exit Ghost is bogged down.

And it ends like this:

When Raymond Chandler felt things going limp in a story, he would have the door open and then it would be: Enter a man carrying a gun. When Roth is in the same fix, we know that some luckless goy chick is about to get it in the face. Exit reader.

And now you don't have to bother reading the review.

1 comment: