Nemesis

B+
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October 06, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

Philip Roth’s latest is a slim, tense novel that takes a polio outbreak among kids in Newark in 1944 and elevates it to a parable about fear, prejudice, loyalty, and war. Nemesis revolves around Bucky Cantor, a nice guy rejected by the Army because of his poor eyesight. Ashamed of sitting out the war, Bucky runs a playground program in a Jewish neighborhood, where he finds enemies after all — first in polio, then in the kind of God who would let loose such a plague among children. This would have been a stunning short story. B+

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Nemesis

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Nemesis

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