Sunday, February 13, 2011
Coleman Silk has a secret, one which has been kept for fifty years from his wife, his four children, his colleagues, and his friends, including the writer Nathan Zuckerman. It is Zuckerman who stumbles upon Silk's secret and sets out to reconstruct the unknown biography of this eminent, upright man, esteemed as an educator for nearly all his life, and to understand how this ingeniously contrived life came unraveled. And to understand also how Silk's astonishing private history is, in the words of The Wall Street Journal, "magnificently" interwoven with "the larger public history of modern America." -- Vintage
A few days ago, my book club met to discuss THE HUMAN STAIN by Philip Roth. I have to be honest -- it wasn't my favorite book. It was a terribly difficult read for me and I'm still debating if I will even review it. I'm kind of done with it already, but I will say that I'm very proud of myself for finishing it when I really wanted to quit.
Because THE HUMAN STAIN was such a tedious book, I was very curious to see how many of us would actually finish it. I was pleasantly surprised that the majority of us did. (I think that's really saying something about the awesomeness of my friends!) Most of us didn't really appreciate Mr. Roth's writing style; however, two members kind of liked the novel -- or at least liked parts of the story.
Despite my misgivings about THE HUMAN STAIN, I thought our discussion was excellent. There is no doubt that there is a great deal to discuss within the pages this novel. And maybe that's the beauty of this story -- it did make us think about human nature. Having said that, I still didn't enjoy the book. But I did enjoy our discussion!
Next month we will be reading a book that I'm very excited about -- MAJOR PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND by Helen Simonson. I have been wanting to read this book for quite awhile and I love that I now have an excuse to read it! I'm pretty sure it will be a hit with our group and I have to think that it's a lighter read than THE HUMAN STAIN. For that reason alone, I'm pretty sure we'll all appreciate it!