Philip Roth, Indignation (Viking Canada, 2008)

untitledLesser Roth is still Roth: vital, ribald, deeply human.  Without the profound insight of the Zuckerman novels, Indignation is still a bildungsroman of depth and charm.   The narrator enters a local New Jersey college just after the beginning of the Korean War (1950), only to find that he must move far away to escape his stifling parents.  He chooses a small mid-western school where is a decided oddity: poor, Jewish, ambitious and confused about his desires for the future.  A story of courage, uncertainty, and very bad choices.  As usual, Roth pillories American naiveté, but he does so with a sadness that I found moving.