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Philip Roth's entire oeuvre – 31 books – to be reissued in electric new Vintage jackets for October 2016

'The Anatomy Lesson is a ferocious, heartfelt book - lavish with laughs and flamboyant inventions' John Updike

With his fortieth birthday receding into the distance, along with his hairline and his most successful novel, the writer Nathan Zuckerman comes down with a mysterious affliction – pure pain, beginning in his neck and shoulders, invading his torso, and taking possession of his spirit. Zuckerman, whose work was his life, finds himself physically unable to write a line.

He treks from one doctor to another, but none can find a cause for the pain and nobody can assuage it. Could it be, he wonders to himself, that the cause of the pain is nothing less than the books he has written?

As he grapples with this possibility, he tries an onslaught of painkillers, then vodka, and finally marijuana. He contemplates threatening the pain with suicide, attempting to scare it out of his system. He toys with the prospect of a dramatic career change. What will it take for the pain to finally leave him alone?

Reviews

Scorchingly funny, gravely disconcerting

Harold Pinter

The Anatomy Lesson is breathtaking stuff, fiction of grit and energy and pizazz

Washington Post

Roth has a genius for the comedy of entrapment...He writes America's most raucously funny novels

The Time

Opening the first page of any Philip Roth is like hearing the ignition on a boiler roar into life

Guardian

This is a beautifully worked and comic novel by a writer at the height of his powers

Sunday Telegraph

One of the most intelligent and energetic of American writers

New Yorker

The finest, boldest and funniest piece of fiction which Philip Roth has yet produced

Spectator

One of Roth's most unsparing and revealing books - forceful and startling

Newsday

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Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781446401255

    June 30, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    304 pages

    Online retailers

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  • Paperback

    9780099476610

    December 1, 1995

    Vintage

    304 pages

    RRP $19.99

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