Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Counterlife by Philip Roth -- BOOK BEGINNINGS


After our cold, rainy spring, summer is finally here in Portland. Of course, by next week, we will all complain it is too hot. That’s a ritual of Oregon life.

But it is beautiful this week. And I am so looking forward to Book Club tonight because it is the perfect evening for dinner outside, drinking pink wine, and chatting about books with my IRL book friends.

Are you in a book club? How do you pick the books you read and how often do you meet? We meet every other month and rotate hosting alphabetically by last name. The hostess picks the book for the next meeting. 

Fortunately, I remembered to post my Book Beginnings on Fridays post before I left for Book Club. Please join me to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week -- of just a book that caught your fancy.

Ever since the family doctor, during a routine checkup, discovered an abnormality on his EKG and he went in overnight for the coronary catheterization that revealed the dimensions of the disease, Henry’s condition had been successfully treated with drugs, enabling him to work and to carry on his life at home exactly as before.
-- The Counterlife by Philip Roth, winner of the 1987 National Book Critics Circle Award.

I'm reading this one now and love it. It's the fifth of nine Nathan Zuckerman books. It starts with the idea is that Zuckerman's younger brother needs heart surgery. Then there are alternate versions of where the story goes from  there -- Henry dies during surgery; he survives but leaves his family and moves to a kibbutz in Israel's West Bank; it's really Nathan who needs the surgery and he dies; Nathan marries a fourth wife and moves to England. There might be another version, but that's as far as I've gotten so far. It's very clever.


Please leave the link to your Book Beginning post in the Linky box below. If you share on SM, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag.

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TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


From The Counterlife:
Down in the living room, he worked his way through the clan, accepting their sympathies, listening to their memories, answering questions about where he was living and what he was writing, until he had made his way to Cousin Essie, his favorite relative and once upon a time the family powerhouse. She was sitting in a club chair by the fireplace with a cane across her knees.

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