Zuckerman Unbound by Philip Roth returns us to the life of Nathan Zuckerman, now in his 30’s (The Ghost Writer introduced him in his 20’s). An author with new-found fame, he finds life a little too much to deal with. Between being recognized on the streets, hobnobbing with a famous actress, and humiliating his mother (and slowly killing his father), it’s amazing he has time to divorce from his 3rd wife, be stalked by a game-show contestant, and anger Jewish people throughout the country. It’s the last years of the 1960’s, and everything around Zuckerman is turbulent, but perhaps the most turbulence is within himself.
Zuckerman Unbound again showcases Roth’s comic abilities and his impeccable timing. I found myself laughing while shaking my head, unsure whether to be compassionate and understanding, or appalled and frustrated. I guess that’s what makes these “Zuckerman books” so entertaining.