Schlaefli’s #1: Everyman by Phillip Roth

This post will have a confessional tone- until this week I have never read anything by Roth. First impressions- he is supremely talented, just as I’d been told by my admonishing friends. The book is a subtle homage to the medieval story of the same name- an unnamed man travels towards death, reflecting on his virtues and vices, his victories and defeats. It is a very sober and bracing meditation on the regrets we take with us to the grave, and of the yawning emptiness that awaits the unbeliever (As Everyman and Roth presumably are). There is a scene at the end of the book with the main character at the cemetery that is one of the most beautiful passages I have read in a while. Good stuff. I’ll be reading more from Mr. Roth.

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