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Book Report

Just finished Philip Roth’s Nemesis—a short novel about a polio outbreak in Newark, New Jersey over the summer of 1944.

For a good two-thirds of the book it reads almost like a potboiler, complete with cornball dialogue and stock characters straight out of a Hollywood black-and-white. There’s a growing sense of dread, though, and when what you think is going to happen actually does happen, the novel takes a surprising turn—and before you know it, you’re in the middle of a philosophical throw-down between determinism and free will.

Highly recommended.

Bonus: the book jacket was designed by Milton Glaser!



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