Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Everyman - kookiejar's review

I must admit here and now that I am somewhat fascinated by old men. They seem obsessed with death and sex and are unable to do anything about either.

The unnamed main character in 'Everyman' is no different. The bulk of the story is a look back on his life, as the opening scene is his funeral. We learn he has been married three times, has two grown children and has battled various physical ailments most of his life.

I got the impression that his inability to maintain a healthy relationship had a lot to do with his life long dance with death. His poor physical health seemed strongly linked to his emotional health.

My favorite part was where our hero tried to 'put the moves' on a pretty, young woman some 40 years his junior. She rebuffs him in the nicest way possible, but I wondered at what age does a man stop being a viable sexual partner and start being a dirty old man.

At times the descriptions of his various medical procedures seemed endless, and I found his sexual conquests to be rather coldly clinical, but all-in-all this was extremely well-written and I was pretty much engrossed from page one.

I have only attempted one other of Roth's novels ("The Plot Against America") and I didn't really like that, but I will try some of his others now that I've read 'Everyman'.

7 comments:

Joy said...

LOL...you're kidding, right? I know you're not...that's the real funny part. I think it goes like this: anything I like, you don't and anything you like, I don't. :) I'm fine with that, Kookie, it just makes me laugh. Actually, I find our differences very endearing.

kookiejar said...

LOL, Joy. It is pretty funny. Maybe you should just mail me any book that you didn't like and I'll do the same for you. :)

3M said...

I wouldn't have been as disgusted with Everyman as I was if he hadn't referenced "the hole" --meaning the one used for a n * l s * x. That's where it crossed the line, in my opinion. Some people might not have caught that, but that was what he was referring to.

kookiejar said...

Yeah, 3M, there was a lot of that, and I didn't find it at all necessary, but he was kind of a nasty, horrible person. So, it was in keeping with his personality.

Dewey said...

I only skimmed this and the comments because this is coming up soon on my reading list!

Teodoro said...

good book, i guess; i'm starting to read the portuguese translation... embrace. André Benjamim

Dewey said...

I enjoyed rereading your review now that I've finished this book. I had the same thought about when a man crosses the line from potential partner to dirty old man. It was frequently mentioned how easy it was for him to attract women, so I could potentially imagine him still being attractive at 70 (I mean, Meryl Streep is still hot!), but even if that young woman (her 20s, right?) had been attracted to him, I think she'd be aware that getting involved with him could mean that she'd be spending her 30s and 40s being a caretaker for an increasingly helpless partner.