Nemesis

Nemesis

Large Print - 2010
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A terrifying epidemic is raging, threatening the children of the New Jersey city with maiming, paralysis, life-long disability, and even death. This is the startling theme of Roth's wrenching new book: a wartime polio epidemic in the summer of 1944 and its effect on a closely knit community and its children.

At the center of Nemesis is twenty-three year old playground director Bucky Cantor, an athlete who is devoted to his charges and disappointed that his weak eyes have excluded him from serving in the war. Focusing on Cantor's dilemmas as polio begins to ravage his playground - and on the everyday realities he faces - Roth leads us through every inch of emotion such a pestilence can breed: fear, panic, anger, bewilderment, suffering, and pain.

Moving between the smoldering streets of Newark and Indian Hill, a pristine children's summer camp high in the Poconos - whose 'mountain air was purified of all contaminants" - Roth depicts a decent, energetic man with the best intentions struggling in his own private war against the epidemic. Roth is tenderly exact at every point about Cantor's passage into personal disaster and no less exact about the condition of childhood.

Publisher: Thorndike, Me. : Center Point Pub., 2010.
Edition: Center Point large print ed.
ISBN: 9781602858985
1602858985
Branch Call Number: LGPRINT MYSTERY Roth Philip 11/2010
Characteristics: 253 p. ;,22 cm.

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Jane60201 Apr 11, 2014

Not Roth's best in my opinion. A fast read but not that rewarding.

r
robhoey
Jan 29, 2013

Roth is an excellent writer and this book demonstrates it clearly. Polio is the antagonist (the Nemesis) and one young man has to deal with how it is effecting his life and those around him. Unlike Portnoys Complaint, this novel has no humor whatsoever, but is what I consider a very good read.

debwalker Nov 18, 2010

The 1944 polio outbreak is the backdrop for a tragic fall.

Roth returns to Newark in this story of how a young man, rejected by the Army, copes with the 1944 polio epidemic that ravaged New Jersey during Roth’s own childhood.

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