Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Human Stain by Philip Roth

This novel was substandard and I expected a lot more from it. The story details the life of an African American college professor who has been passing as Caucasian since he was in his late teens. He hid this fact from everyone he knew, including his wife and children. His secret begins to unravel when he refers to two absent African American students with what is perceived as a racist name. Calling the students “spooks” is deemed racist, when he had actually intended the word to mean "ghosts." The writing is particularly boring and long-winded and the writing style is too intense for me. The commentary is blurred, shifting between a narrator and events. The subject matter, however, is maddening and stimulates debate. All in all a good non-fiction book.

3 Stars

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