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あらすじ・解説

In quest of the unpublished manuscript of a martyred Yiddish writer, the American novelist Nathan Zuckerman travels to Soviet-occupied Prague in the mid-1970s. There, in a nation straightjacketed by totalitarian Communism, he discovers a literary predicament, marked by institutionalized oppression, that is rather different from his own. He also discovers, among the oppressed writers with whom he quickly becomes embroiled in a series of bizarre and poignant adventures, an appealingly perverse kind of heroism.

The Prague Orgy, consisting of entries from protagonist Nathan Zuckerman's notebooks recording his sojourn among these outcast artists, completes the Nathan Zuckerman series. It provides a startling ending to Roth's intricately designed magnum opus on the unforeseen consequences of art.

©2016 Philip Roth (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

The Prague Orgyに寄せられたリスナーの声

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  • 総合評価
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    4 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin8u
  • 2018/05/08

One’s story isn’t a skin to be shed...

“One’s story isn’t a skin to be shed— it’s inescapable, one’s body and blood. You go on pumping it out till you die, the story veined with the themes of your life, the ever-recurring story that’s at once your invention and the invention of you.”
- Philip Roth, The Prague Orgy

Today has been quite a Roth day. I went to Temple Solel in Paradise Valley this AM to hear Dr. Brian Goodman speak on the secret Czech files on Philip Roth. Roth visited Czechoslovakia four times between 1972 and 1976 and was eventually kicked out for good. He was kicked out primarily for 1) hanging with dissident Czech writers (Ivan Klíma, Milan Kundera, Ludvík Vaculík), 2) his work publishing dissident Czech (and other Eastern Block writers through Penguin's Writers from The Other Europe, 3) and his work getting money to Czech writers and attention to them through PEN.

Anyway, the Zuckerman Unbound tetrology (The Ghost Writer*, Zuckerman Unbound, The Anatomy Lesson, and The Prague Orgy) were all impacted with Roth's involvement with Czech writers and the post 1968 "Normalization" in Czechoslovakia. Roth's historical imagination was captured, and his writing was expanded. Roth might have been a completely different writer without his exposure and involvement with Czechoslovakia in the 70s.

As a reader of American fiction and a lover of Roth's writing, knowing what came after this period sent chills down my spine. Not only did Roth write his great navel gazing novels (see Zuckerman Bound, but he ended up writing some of the best American Fiction EVER. He grew, matured, and started hitting home runs (Operation Shylock: A Confession (93), Sabbath's Theatre (97), American Pastoral (98), The Human Stain (00)). Wow!

  • 総合評価
    2 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jay Jarvis
  • 2019/03/22

crude and boring

Roth is a great writer and I have enjoyed many of his books. But not this one.

  • 総合評価
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ナレーション
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ストーリー
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Convery
  • 2019/12/28

sketched Czechs. like notes for a better novel

After enjoying the first three short novels of the Zuckermann tetralogy, I eagerly began this one, especially after reading in a Roth interview that the idea for The Prague Orgy was the origin of the series.

However, this novella left me underwhelmed. While The Prague Orgy was the original idea for the Zuckermann tetralogy, by the time Roth reaches this epilogue, all of the energy built up over the previous novels has gone, but not because of a lack of interesting potential. Why is this book so very short? I'm not asking for War and Peace, but the material of the book could have easily filled another novel the length of The Ghost Writer, Zuckermann Unbound, or the The Anatomy Lesson. This novella skims by several characters, giving them each a poignant moment, but nothing else and barely even that. The reader meets nobody with the vitality of Lonoff, Amy Bellette, Alvin Pepler, Caesarea O'Shea...

In the The Anatomy Lesson, there is a wonderful section focused on the character of Jaga, an immigrant from communist Poland, which I thought was a preview for what The Prague Orgy would be, and I now think should have been. Go read that section in the Anatomy Lesson, and see if you can find a section in The Prague Orgy with comparable power. The sketched Czechs in this book deserved more .

As for the character of Zuckermann himself, he's barely there even though he's the main character. Gone is the hilarious Zuckermann near the end of The Anatomy Lesson, doped up on pain-killers and vodka, pretending to be a freedom fighting pornographer. Yes, it makes sense for Zuckermann to have been dialed down after having spent the previous novel trying to get away from himself and his life. But even dialed down as he was in The Ghost Writer or in Unbound, he was still a poignant funny character who could delight with short bursts of sardonic one line responses. In this novel, the main character could remain anonymous and the reader wouldn't know it's Zuckermann except for instances in which the other characters blunty say it.

All in all, this novella feels like notes for a potentially better Roth novel. The material was there, the set up was there, but Roth didn't give enough effort to bring it to life.