NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Saturday, January 31, 2009

INDIGNATION

by Philip Roth



Perfect student and model son Marcus Messner leaves his New Jersey home to attend college in Ohio in an effort to escape his over-protective father. All Marcus wants is to study and graduate as class valedictorian, but circumstances conspire to snap all of his good intentions.

I usually have an issue with books that feel like they dwell on teenage sexual obsession and anxiety -- or anyone's sexual obsession and anxiety for that matter. It's just not my thing, and they tend to bore me to tears. Those sections of Indignation did set my mind to wandering, but the book did have more going for it overall, so I was able to get passed my personal prejudice. I ended up enjoying it quite a bit, but it didn't speak to me the way some of my previous reads this year have.

The message that did come through was how a person's inability to compromise can drive them into the arms of the very thing they fear most. It's the old adage, "Pick your battles wisely." Every once in a while our most firm beliefs are challenged in a manner that requires more malleability than we are comfortable with if we are to avoid a worse fate than bending just a little bit. Flexibility is not only good for the body. It's good for the mind and the soul, too.



10 comments:

Literary Feline said...

Great review, Lezlie. I agree about flexibility. It's almost a necessity really, if a person wants to survive and move forward in life.

Lezlie said...

Literary Feline ~ Thank you! Sometimes it's a fine line between compromising and being pushed around, but a person has to know themselves well enough to know and understand the difference.

Lezlie

Charley said...

Well, if you are not a fan of sexual obsession and anxiety then I would recommend you stay FAR AWAY from Roth's Portnoy's Complaint! That book traumatized me.

Literate Housewife said...

LOL! When I read the title of your post I was expecting a rant about something. I agree with Charley. If you are put of by sexual obsession and the like, don't read Portnoy's Complaint. I read another of Roth's books (title is escaping me at the moment) and it had a similar theme.

Lezlie said...

Charley ~ I had a suspicion about that one! I have some other of Roth's work that I want to read, so it will depend on how I feel about those if I give Portnoy's Complaint a go or not. Thanks for the warning though! It's good to know for sure before I start in. :-)

Lezlie

Lezlie said...

Literate Housewife ~ This was my first book by Roth so I don't know a lot about his work as a whole, but some of the things I'm hearing lead me to believe it's a relatively common subject with him. Despite my issues, if there is a deeper theme woven in I can generally work with it. I just roll my eyes a lot. :-)

Lezlie

Dar said...

Sounds interesting Lezlie. I agree on flexibility-it's really something I need to learn more of.

Lezlie said...

Dar ~ Me, too. I can definitely be unnecessarily bullheaded at times. :-) But I also let people push me around too much. In fact, I probably have more of a problem with that.

Lezlie

Terri B. said...

My first Roth read was Portnoy's Complaint and I didn't think I'd ever read another of his books, but I read A Plot Against America last year and thought it was very good. I have American Pastoral on my TBR pile, so apparently I haven't given up on him yet!

Lezlie said...

Terri ~ That's good to hear! This is something like his 29th book, so he has a lot to explore before I would give up on him.

Lezlie