I loved The Human Stain when I read it a few years ago, so have been wanting to read another one of his books for a while. When I saw that his latest book had just arrived at my library I decided to take the opportunity to be the first person to borrow the copy.
Indignation is a coming of age story. It is set in the early 1950s, when the possibility of being enlisted as a soldier in the Korean War was on the mind of every teenage boy in America. The central character, Marcus, struggles to cope with an over-protective father, and so leaves the family home to study at a college away from his father’s constant gaze. Once there he encounters all the dangers and temptations he has previously been sheltered from and has to learn to cope in the adult world.
I think it was unfortunate that I read this book so soon after reading The Bell Jar and Norwegian Wood, as all three books share many common themes. Indignation was well written, but I felt it was the weakest of the three books. It seemed to be covering old territory and had nothing new to add. The emotions in Indignation were less intense than Norwegian Wood and the plot was more mundane than that of The Bell Jar.
It was a short, easy read, but this was a negative for me. It felt as though many issues were being skimmed over and the side characters lacked depth.
There were some good sections, but overall it was quite disappointing.
Have you read any Philip Roth books?
Which one is your favourite?