Friends, we beg indulgence - we'll still grappling with this stubborn head cold that we picked up in NY and we're just not clear headed enough to focus on blogging duties. We swear on a stack of Banvilles that we have interesting stuff in the hopper, and it will begin to find its way here any day now. Please just hang in as we heal. Equilibrium will return.
In the meantime, Charles Simic has taken a look at Indignation for the New York Review of Books, and comes to a much different conclusion than ours:
His powerful new novel, Indignation, seethes with outrage. It begins with a conflict between a father and son in a setting and circumstances long familiar from his other novels going back to Portnoy's Complaint, but then turns into something unexpected: a deft, gripping, and deeply moving narrative about the short life of a decent, hardworking, and obedient boy who pays with his life for a brief episode of disobedience that leaves him unprotected and alone to face forces beyond his control in a world in which old men play with the lives of the young as if they were toy soldiers. Roth's novels abound in comic moments, and so does Indignation. His compassion for his characters doesn't prevent him from noting their foolishness. "Sheer Playfulness and Deadly Seriousness are my closest friends," Roth said in an interview with Joyce Carol Oates back in 1974. Every tragic action casts a comic shadow, is how one may describe his view of life. His new novel, despite its many funny scenes, moves with the pace and inevitability of a tragedy.