Today’s recommendation is a book by Philip Roth, the prolific 20th century American author who died last year in the month of May. Now I’m sure some of you might be ready to sign off my post, since you’ve seen I’m plugging a book by Roth. I beg of you to stay with me and hear me out. The book I’m plugging today is The Plot Against America. I read it in 2017 as a buddy read with a few Booktubers I enjoy reading with: mementomori, Mel’s Bookland Adventure, Britta Böhler, Garden Scriptorium. Go check them out! We really enjoyed it. So much so that we continued on a buddy read in October of the same year of American Pastoral. Sadly I hated it, but The Plot Against America was so intriguing and its storyline was ingeniously written. It’s one that also gave us vibes of Trump’s America. Scary. I was happy to be introduced to Roth’s writing through The Plot Against America. It’s not sexually provocative like some of the other novels he’s known for which put readers off. Even though I didn’t like American Pastoral, which is the first book in the the American trilogy, we continued on and read book two called I Married a Communist this year in March. So we only have The Human Stain left to finish the trilogy.
Roth often wrote from a semi-autobiographical stand point, which is the case for The Plot Against America. It’s historical fiction turned on its ear. We’re following the story from a young boy’s (Roth) point of view. It’s a story about a Jewish American family in an America being led by a white supremacist, Lindbergh.
Roth carefully maps out the before and after Lindbergh’s arrival as president. The story becomes more and more sinister and will continue to remind the reader of what can happen when a country becomes totalitarian – how do people treat each other, how do people live life and react to the political changes that are affecting their friends, family, neighborhood, country. I won’t give away any more but the book is brilliant and will make you think about a lot of things. We had great discussions while reading this one. For me the story didn’t falter at all. It was well told and I loved the voice of the young boy throughout. I recommend The Plot Against America to readers who have never read a Roth novel before (great place to start), love reading Philip Roth novels and historical fiction (with an alternate history base). Check out the video below where Roth gives some interesting answers to Katy Couric’s questions. Have you read any Roth novels? It so, which one(s)? What did you think of it/them?
“In an astonishing feat of narrative invention, our most ambitious novelist imagines an alternate version of American history. In 1940 Charles A. Lindbergh, heroic aviator and rabid isolationist, is elected President. Shortly thereafter, he negotiates a cordial “understanding” with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism.
For one boy growing up in Newark, Lindbergh’s election is the first in a series of ruptures that threatens to destroy his small, safe corner of America – and with it, his mother, his father, and his older brother.” (The Plot Against America, back cover)
The Plot Against America – Philip Roth
Publisher: First Vintage International
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
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