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There are certain literary types that we think of as uniquely American. So, it is a surprise to find a Philip Roth protagonist living in England. Henry Nagle is a disgraced, middle-aged college lecturer. A pointless old feud has caused him to willfully destroy what was already a mediocre career. His Oedipal complex causes him to continue to argue with his dead father. It also causes him to date only married women. When Henry mysteriously inherits a luxury apartment, his whole life is called into question. Henry's new apartment comes with responsibilities to a quirky neighbor and a beautiful, divorced waitress. Henry's attempt to make peace with his parents and his life's failings is engaging, but less interesting are the late-in-the-book mysteries and revelations about his mother and aunt. Henry is not the most likable protagonist; however, his honesty and foibles make for a meaningful read. Marta Segal
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
“Jacobson is among the most exhilarating of intelligent contemporary novelists.”
“Painful, funny and highly readable. Jacobson is at the top of his verbal form here”
—The Evening Standard
“Page for page and sentence for sentence, it confirms Jacobson as, by some distance, the cleverest, funniest, sharpest writer we have”
—The Sunday Telegraph
“A rich, unrepentantly funny novel, full of vim and vigour and bolshie cleverness. Its prose pulsates with fresh images”
From the Hardcover edition.