The Scientists by Marco Roth
A Family Romance

58%

6 Critic Reviews

...a prolonged and unsentimental backward glance...
-NPR

Synopsis

A frank, intelligent, and deeply moving debut memoir

With the precociousness expected of the only child of a doctor and a classical musician—from the time he could get his toddler tongue to a pronounce a word like "De-oxy ribonucleic acid," or recite a French poem—Marco Roth was able to share his parents' New York, a world centered around house concerts, a private library of literary classics, and dinner discussions of the latest advances in medicine. That world ended when his father started to suffer the worst effects of the AIDS virus that had infected him in the early 1980s.

What this family could not talk about for years came to dominate the lives of its surviving members, often in unexpected ways. The Scientists is a story of how we first learn from our parents and how we then learn to see them as separate individuals; it's a story of how precociousness can slow us down when it comes to knowing about our desires and other people's. A memoir of parents and children in the tradition of Edmund Gosse, Henry Adams, and J.R. Ackerley, The Scientists grapples with a troubled intellectual and emotional inheritance, in a style that is both elegiac and defiant.

 

About Marco Roth

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Marco Roth was raised amid the vanished liberal culture of Manhattan's Upper West Side. After studying comparative literature at Columbia and Yale, he helped found the magazine n+1, in 2004. Recipient of the 2011 Shattuck prize for literary criticism, he lives in Philadelphia. This is his first book.
 
Published September 18, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 209 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Gay & Lesbian. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Scientists
All: 6 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Jessica Winter on Oct 05 2012

...threatens to choke off and kill any spontaneous show of pleasure, passion or affection.

Read Full Review of The Scientists: A Family Romance | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Sep 18 2012

“The Scientists” will strike some readers as fairly twee. But it lingers in the cranium.

Read Full Review of The Scientists: A Family Romance | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Tim Adams on Jan 13 2013

You guess that few authors have been more relieved to get to the final page of a book than this one; for my part, as a reader, I was just sad it had ended.

Read Full Review of The Scientists: A Family Romance | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by James Lasdun on Jan 10 2013

It may not furnish quite the sensational ending the opening seems to promise, and some readers will find it too inward and bookish. But it is appealingly honest, and in its own way wrestles with the large conflicts its talented author has confronted, and survived.

Read Full Review of The Scientists: A Family Romance | See more reviews from Guardian

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Alexander Aciman on Sep 28 2012

Mr. Roth's Reverse Transcription is executed perhaps most powerfully when used to examine the way in which one's perceptions of history are altered...

Read Full Review of The Scientists: A Family Romance | See more reviews from WSJ online

NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Sep 12 2012

...a prolonged and unsentimental backward glance...

Read Full Review of The Scientists: A Family Romance | See more reviews from NPR

Reader Rating for The Scientists
64%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 27 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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