Operation Shylock by Philip Roth
A Confession (Vintage International)

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Synopsis

What if a lookalike stranger stole your name, usurped your biography and went around the world pretending to be you? In this tour de force of fact and fiction, Philip Roth meets a man who may or may not be Philip Roth. Because someone with that name has been touring the State of Israel, promoting a bizarre exodus in reverse of the Jews. Roth decides to stop him—even if that means impersonating his impersonator. Suspenseful, hilarious, hugely impassioned, pulsing with intelligence and narrative energy, Operation Shylock is at once a spy story, a political thriller, a meditation on identity, and a confession.


Like Pushkin and Dostoevsky before him, Philip Roth takes on the subject of the writer’s double, which for Roth is inevitably bound up in Jewishness and identity. This is a bold, inventive and energetic departure from his past novels, a meta-novel, and, like all of his writing, full of ideas, wit, humor and startling observation.

 

About Philip Roth

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Philip Roth was born in New Jersey in 1933.  He studied literature at Bucknell University and the University of Chicago.  His first book, Goodbye, Columbus, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1960.  He has lived in Rome, London, Chicago, New York City, Princeton, and New England.  Since 1955, he has been on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Princeton University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where is now Adjunct Professor of English.  He is also General Editor of the Penguin Books series "Writers from the Other Europe."  Recently he has been spending half of each year in Europe, traveling and writing.
 
Published December 26, 2012 by Odyssey Editions. 402 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Operation Shylock

Kirkus Reviews

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Still ahead: antiquarian David Supposnik's request that Roth write an introduction to Leon Klinghoffer's recently discovered travel diaries, Roth's kidnapping, and his agreeing to undertake a secret mission in Athens for the Mossad.

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The New York Times

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An impostor using the name Philip Roth is promulgating the nonsensical doctrine of "Diasporism."

Mar 07 1993 | Read Full Review of Operation Shylock : A Confess...

Publishers Weekly

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In yet another audacious spin on the doppelganger theme, Roth's dazzling, maddening and brilliant new novel offers two characters that bear his name: one a famous author called Philip Roth, the other an impostor who brazenly impersonates the ``real'' Philip Roth.

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Publishers Weekly

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Roth's brilliant, absurdist novel, set in Jerusalem during the trial of John Demjanjuk, follows the intersecting paths of two characters who share Roth's name and impersonate one another with dizzying speed.

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BC Books

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This is definitely not the shining moment of one of American's brightest stars.

Jun 09 2008 | Read Full Review of Operation Shylock : A Confess...

BC Books

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The other Roth (his impostor) that he takes delight in calling “Moishe Pipik” (a Jewish moniker described in an apparently hilarious anecdote within the book), seemed at times a meager tool to elevate Roth's own bravado and machismo.

Jun 09 2008 | Read Full Review of Operation Shylock : A Confess...

Entertainment Weekly

Philip Roth's new novel, Operation Shylock, contains a preface explaining that everything in the book is .

Mar 12 1993 | Read Full Review of Operation Shylock : A Confess...

People

The conflict between the two Roths eventually expands to become enmeshed in schemes involving the Israeli secret service, the Palestinian intifada, propaganda for and against anti-Semitism and—this being a Roth book, after all—the erotic wiles of the faker's girlfriend, a sexy, buxom, Chicago nur...

Apr 12 1993 | Read Full Review of Operation Shylock : A Confess...

The New York Review of Books

Supposnik, like Aharon Appelfeld a Holocaust survivor, associates “this modern trial of the Jew, this trial which never ends,…with the trial of Shylock.” Roth employs Supposnik to cast aside Romantic and modern emphases on the supposed pathos of Shylock, and thus to return us to the stage Jew’s “...

Apr 22 1993 | Read Full Review of Operation Shylock : A Confess...

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