John Dugdale

Zuckerman on a Zimmerframe

Exit Ghost


Jonathan Cape 292pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Artists’ late phases normally involve obsessive repetition, and modest variations on the same theme and form – Monet’s water lilies, Bellow’s curmudgeons. But not in Philip Roth’s case: his strikingly varied output since 2000 has consisted of an unsettling May-to-December love story (The Dying Animal); a counterfactual historical novel (The Plot Against America); a parable-like account of one man’s life from childhood to death (Everyman); and now the completion of a cycle he began twenty-eight years ago.

His final Nathan Zuckerman novel concludes a saga that is both longer than the other great American postwar sequences, John Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom quartet and Richard Ford’s Frank Bascombe trilogy, and set apart from them in that it falls into two distinct groups.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Why did the 'bold and determined' Empress Matilda never manage to become Queen regnant? Peter Marshall reviews a n… ,
    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,