Philip Roth — Indignation | Book Review

This book gave me some weird feelings. During the Korean war Marcus Messner, a youngster in New Jersey, wants to get away from his father who is smothering him with constant worries about making small mistakes that could lead him to lose everything that he has achieved in his very promising student life.

The book griped me and also made me dreary. The thing is that Marcus goes trough what you could think is a seemingly normal transition from being home to being on your own, yet his father’s fears seem to be justified when things unravel. It is a classic example of how things snowball from sudden choices to unexpected consequences, an example of inexperience of naivety.

I would describe this read as sour, it makes you feel uneasy and hopeless. At least that is what happened to me.

Published: 2008


Find below the description of Goodreads and the link to it:

It is 1951 in America, the second year of the Korean War. A studious, law-abiding, intense youngster from Newark, New Jersey, Marcus Messner, is beginning his sophomore year on the pastoral, conservative campus of Ohio’s Winesburg College. And why is he there and not at a local college in Newark where he originally enrolled? Because his father, the sturdy, hard-working neighborhood butcher, seems to have gone mad — mad with fear and apprehension of the dangers of adult life, the dangers of the world, the dangers he sees in every corner for his beloved boy.

As the long-suffering, desperately harassed mother tells her son, the father’s fear arises from love and pride. Perhaps, but it produces too much anger in Marcus for him to endure living with his parents any longer. He leaves them and, far from Newark, in the midwestern college, has to find his way amid the customs and constrictions of another American world.

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