Monday, September 25, 2006

The Middle of Everything

Mark Thwaite opens his lukewarm appreciation of the latest Philip Roth (Everyman, ambivalently received all around) with a speculation on what it means when, in a blogging life, a certain book never does make notice on the blog. This happened to me with Michelle Herman’s lovely, moving The Middle of Everything and not because I thought it a worthy secondary work. Instead, I loved it, thought about it, talked about it, and spent so much time describing its merits to some of my friends that by the time I turned to my blog, I was done. Paradoxically, then, a certain kind of book that really excites my enthusiasm might just escape mention here.

Sadly, reading around here is so slow, that I mention almost everything I read.


Richard said...

Michelle's book was a good read for me, too.

James Marcus said...

That a book by Philip Roth, currently one of our great literary untouchables, should be received with less than universal hosannas and backflips, is really okay. Nobody's perfect, and even Roth nods from time to time. But it's not accurate to say that "Everyman" got a tepid reception all around. Kakutani's cranky and clueless review was balanced out by Nadine Gordimer's rave in the Sunday NYTBR. And there were many other positive notices, including, er, mine (in the Los Angeles Times Book Review).

Michelle said...

Reading around here has been slow, too--I've resorted to listing books that I *intend* to read!