85°F
weather icon Clear

‘Indignation’ by Philip Roth

  indignation n. anger or scorn that is a reaction to injustice, ingratitude, or meanness; righteous anger

  Marcus Messner, son of a kosher butcher, begins his sophomore year of college in 1951 not in his hometown of Newark, N.J., but at conservative Winesburg College in Ohio.
  He decides on Winesburg mostly to get away from his father, who is so overprotective that his mental stability is questionable.
  The only child of the family, Marcus’ parents are supportive but meddling. His father sees danger around every corner and lives in fear that his son will be sent to Korea to fight and die in the Korean War.
  In “Indignation,” Philip Roth creates colorful and flawed characters.
  Marcus is angry at his dad, but still loves and respects him and reflects on what he learned while working for his father in the family’s butcher shop.
  “It was my job not just to pluck the chickens but to eviscerate them. You slit the ass open a little bit and you stick your hand up and you grab the viscera and you pull them out. I hated that part. Nauseating and disgusting, but it had to be done. That’s what I learned from my father and what I loved learning from him: that you do what you have to do.”
  At college, Marcus enjoys being free from his father’s worries, but he resents having to live with roommates he dislikes, being forced to go to chapel and being pressured to join a fraternity.
  Marcus is a likable character, if a bit spoiled and immature. He rails against what he sees as unjust treatment yet worries about being forced to go to war if he is kicked out of school.
  In the end, consequences catch up with Marcus, and the story has a twist, but you’ll have to read it to find out.
  Roth’s book is very well-written, sometimes sad, sometimes funny. BUT — the tiny hardback costs $26. It took me a couple of hours to read it. As enjoyable as “Indignation” is, unless you are a hard-core Roth fan, I’d get the book from the library.
  I hope that’s not an indignity.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Week in Pictures: April 28-May4

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Las Vegas Science & Technology Festival, Pirate Fest, weather and Canelo vs. Jacobs. Children play inside a hot air balloon provided by Las Vegas Balloon Rides during the Las Vegas Science & Technology Festival on Saturday, May 4, […]

Week in Pictures: April 21-April 27

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Golden Knights playoffs, Raiders draft and WBA lightweight championship bout. The Meadows School third baseman Sam Kaplan looks in a high ground ball during fielding practice, he will play at Cornell University next year on Wednesday, April 24, […]

Week in Pictures: April 14-April 20

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Golden Knights playoffs and Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. The Pink Moon, the nickname for April’s full moon, is not pink at all but yellow and sets in the west behind the Raiders Stadium early on Friday, April […]

Week in Pictures: March 17-March 23

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including Vegas Golden Knights, Cesar Chavez Day festival, prep baseball and El Cortez shooting. Brooklyn Ruiz, 10, center, of Redlands, Calif., jumps out of the pool while playing with her cousin, Analyce Lopez, 11, of Redlands, Calif., left, and […]

Week in Pictures: March 10-March 16

Take a look at some eye-catching pictures from Las Vegas Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including the West Coast Conference tournament, the Mountain West tournament and the Pac-12 tournament. The Stanford Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Oregon Ducks during a NCAA college basketball game in the final of the Pac-12 women’s tournament at the […]

Week in Pictures: Jan. 14-20

Take a look at some striking pictures from Review-Journal photographers in the past week, including weather features, a boxing match and the super blood wolf moon. Ronald Holmes plays the alto saxophone on The Strip as dark clouds move in on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, in Las Vegas. Clouds, rain and snow are expected in […]

7 ways autocomplete can get smarter

Autocomplete is one of the best (or depending on how hastily you push ‘send’ – worst) things in the world. We rely on it so much that Google plans to let us autocomplete whole emails. Here are seven ways predictive input can improve. 1. Recognizing names from previous emails Jakub Kokoszka has a tough name to […]

Movie posters might soon be based on your clicks

You may have thought you left Blockbuster behind, but the basic way we browse movies hasn’t changed all that much. We peruse poster after poster, kind of like walking the aisles of a ‘90s-era video store. That one poster image, meant to appeal to as many people as possible, is often all we see before […]

What I’ll be covering at NAB 2018

The National Association of Broadcasters show kicks off this weekend in Las Vegas.  The show focuses on new and emerging technologies and trends in relation to the media and entertainment industries. As it’s not open to the public, I’ll be at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday to share some of […]